The legendary Channi Singh of Bhangra band Alaap has received a prestigious honour by the Queen. He has become the first Bhangra artist to be appointed an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to Bhangra music, Charity and community work.
Channi, who is the founder and lead singer of Bhangra band Alaap is credited for pioneering modern Bhangra music around the globe and has successfully continued his reign as the ‘Godfather of Bhangra’ for over 30 years. He is responsible for changing the entire face of Punjabi music and getting it recognised in all corners of the world.
In addition to his successful music career, Channi is actively involved in Charity and community work, where he helps raise funds for cancer research, children from third world countries and eye camps in India to name a few, along with helping elderly and disabled people.
During his illustrious career, Channi has received countless awards from various organisations worldwide.
On receiving the news about his OBE honour, Channi expressed:
"To receive an honour from the Queen and that too an OBE, is something I am extremely proud of. The fact that I have received this in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year makes it even more special and something I will always cherish.
I am from a small village in Punjab and when I arrived in England in 1976, I never expected to become a household name around the world. At that time, I saw there was a need to bring our culture back to our youth as it was almost forgotten, so I decided to form my band Alaap, through which I was able to promote our culture respectfully throughout the world, reaching out to all audiences from different backgrounds.
I have worked extremely hard during my career and am humbly proud of my achievements so far. This award is not only for me, but for the whole community. My lovely wife Dhano and daughter Mona are delighted at the news of this wonderful appreciation.
I thank all my fans and well-wishers for all their love and support and above all God for all His blessings".
Earlier this year, Channi and his daughter Mona Singh also became the first Bhangra artists to perform at 10 Downing Street, on invitation from the Prime Minister David Cameron.