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Balbir Singh
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Bhai Balbir Singh Ji Ragi was born in his maternal village Mrigindpura near Bhikhiwind (Amritsar), Punjab on March 23rd, 1933 to Mata Prasan Kaur Ji and Bhai Santa Singh Ji. Bhai Sahib Ji was the eldest of the four brothers. His father Bhai Santa Singh Ji was a famous tabla/pakhawaj exponent who taught at the Gurmat Vidyalaya in Taran Tarn (Amritsar). Bhai Balbir Singh Ji received his initial training in Gurbani Kirtan from his father, his grandfather Bhai Kundan Singh Ji, and great-grandfather Bhai Hira Singh Ji. Bhai Balbir Singh Ji began learning singing at the tender age of four. Bhai Sahib Ji made his debut at the Darbar Sahib, Taran Taran at the tender age of seven where he sang two compositions. Bhai Balbir Singh Ji accompanied his father who travelled extensively to Benaras, Lucknow, Gwalior, Pune, Calcutta and Delhi for music conferences. Bhai Sahib Ji was able to listen to and seek blessings from some of the finest names in Indian classical music.

Bhai Sahib Ji was fortunate to learn dhrupad from the legendary Pandit Nathu Ram, a student of Ustad Bhai Boota Singh and Ustad Baba Shardha Singh. Bhai Balbir Singh Ji learnt Gurbani kirtan from his elder uncle Bhai Sohan Singh Ragi of Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar. Bhai Sahib Ji also has been fortunate to study from the legendary Ustad Bhai Arjan Singh Tarangar, Pandit Krishnarao Pandit (khayal), Ustad Habibuddin Khan (tabla) and Gyani Gyan Singh Almast (jal-tarang). Bhai Sahib Ji is also a very talented dilruba player having studied from his father. Bhai Balbir Singh Ji also considers Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and Pandit Dilip Chandra Vedi as his mentors.

Bhai Balbir Singh Ji sang Gurbani kirtan at Sri Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar for 36 years from 1955 till 1991. Bhai Sahib Ji remembers nearly three thousand shabads of Gurbani and can sing in over two hundred ragas. Since, his retirement he continues to sing throughout the country and recorded nearly 30 albums. Bhai Balbir Singh Ji is one of the last remaining links to the original Gurbani kirtan parampara, of the Golden Temple, Amritsar.

* Sangeet Natak Acadmey Award 2012
*Shiromani Ragi awards from Indian Council for Sikh Affairs (1983),
*Kendriya Singh Sabha (1987),
*Chief Khalsa Diwan (1991),
*Vismaad Naad Ludhiana (1991),
*Sant Sujan Singh (1994),
*Bhai Mardana Yadgari Award (1995),
*President of India Honí Shri K R Narayan (1996),
*Sardar Prakash Singh Badal, and Bhai Batan Singh Memorial Award (1997),
*Gurmat Sangeet award by Jawaddi Taksal, at Gurdwara Gur Gian Parkash, Ludhiana (1999)
*Punjab Languages Department (2001) from the Honorable Chief Minister of Punjab,
*Sant Sarwan Singh Gandharva Award (2001),
*S.G.P.C., Amritsar (2004),
*Bhai Mardana Gurmat Sangeet Vidyalaya and Missionary Society, Midland, UK (2006),
*Bhai Dilbagh Singh Kirtaniya Samrat Award as well as Bhai Nand Lal Goya Sanman by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (2010).
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