Kumar Sanu Marriage: One Voice To Woo Three Women

Kedarnath Bhattacharya, better known to the masses as Kumar Sanu, was on a roll in 1993. Nearing the peak of his career, Sanu was recording a dozen songs a day. But his popularity was only to go up.

So much was the craze around Sanu, that he holds the Guinness World Record for the total number of songs recorded in a single day – a staggering 28. Commendable, and a testament to the sort of demand he generated.

Sanu’s first marriage was to Rita Bhattacharya in the late 1980s, and it unfortunately ended in a bitter divorce in the 1994 due to Kumar’s involvement with actress Meenakshi Seshadri. Later, Sanu would marry again, and this time it would be one Saloni Bhattacharya who would be his stable companion. What went wrong with the first Bhattacharya – Sanu marriage? Let’s take a look.

Kumar Sanu – Becoming The Acclaimed Singer

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Kumar Sanu was born on 20th October 1957 in Kolkata, the son of popular Bengali singer Pashupati Bhattacharya. Since his father was a singer and a musician, Kumar received training in music and singing right from an early age – learning to play several instruments, as well as sing.

After his graduation, he left for Mumbai where he decided that a career in Bollywood as a playback singer was what he wanted. He modelled his singing style after the legendary Kishore Kumar. He struggled for many years before he was noticed by the famous ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, who gave Sanu a chance to show off his skills in Aandhiyan (1990).

Jagjit Singh later introduced him to the music director duo of Kalyanji-Anandji, who gave Kumar his subsequent shot at fame. But it was the opportunity provided by Nadeem-Shravan for the film Aashiqui (1991) that brought Kumar under the limelight bigtime, and he soon became the most sought after singer in Bollywood.

In 1993, Kumar Sanu put his name in the Guinness Book for singing the most number of songs (28) in a single day. In 2001, 31st March was declared ‘Kumar Sanu Day’ in the United States in the honour of the singer. Kumar Sanu even received the civilian honour of Padma Shri in the year 2009.

Rita Bhattacharya – An Ugly Divorce Courtesy Meenakshi Seshadri

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Kumar Sanu married Rita Bhattacharya some time in the mid-1980s. It is speculated that Kumar knew Rita from his Kolkata days, and when he shifted to Mumbai he brought her along and the two got married. The couple had their first son Jesi in 1988, and two sons Jeeko and Jaan shortly after.

It was a picture-perfect family, and life was good since Kumar was climbing the ladder of fame and success at a phenomenal rate. But trouble started brewing some time in 1993, when Kumar got involved with the small-time actress Kunika Lal. Their fling was ultra-brief since Kumar soon found someone more lucrative, and this time it was Meenakshi Seshadri – touted as the most attractive Bollywood actress of the early 90s era.

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Kumar and Meenakshi apparently first met during the premiere of Mahesh Bhatt’s film Jurm, in 1990. The film’s song Jab Koyi Baat Bigad Jaaye was sung by Kumar Sanu and picturised on Meenakshi, and when Kumar saw the song he was immediately bowled over by Meenakshi’s ethereal beauty. He made it a point to befriend Meenakshi, and soon, the two were seeing each other.

Kumar and Meenakshi managed to keep their affair under wraps for almost three years, but in 1993 Sanu’s wife Rita got a whiff of the matter through an interview Kumar’s secretary had given to a tabloid. The secretary shared that Kumar has many ‘girlfriends’ and for now he is dating the popular actress Meenakshi Seshadri. When Rita confronted Kumar about it, he got irked and denied it. But Rita was feisty, and eventually Kumar acknowledged his affair with Meenakshi. What followed was an ugly legal spat full of mudslinging. Rita candidly passed derogatory remarks about Meenakshi, who despite being aware of the matter, declined to comment.

Rita and Kumar eventually settled for a divorce in the year 1994 with Rita retaining the custody of their three sons. Kumar was granted access rights to his children on the condition he agrees to pay a fixed alimony per month. Kumar and Meenakshi’s relationship suffered some collateral damage in the bitter divorce lawsuit. After his divorce Kumar severed all his ties with Meenakshi. She later married the US-based investment banker Harish Mysore in 1995, and retired from cinema.

Saloni Bhattacharya – Finally Finding A Footing In Marriage

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Much after his split with Rita (and Meenakshi), Sanu tied the knot with Saloni Bhattacharya. Little is known about their courtship or the progression of their relationship. Saloni hails from Bikaner in Rajasthan, with a significant chunk of her family living in London. Kumar has two daughters from his second marriage, Shannon and Ana. They currently reside with their mother in London, which is now the permanent home base.

His elder daughter Shannon even released her own music album in 2014 in the UK, and for now sings only in English. In an interview, Kumar shared that he is happy to have harmony back in his life thanks to Saloni and his two daughters.

A Stable Life

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Post the late 2000s, Kumar has primarily shifted his focus towards stage shows and live performances. He stated that “in modern times there is more attention towards generating commercially viable music rather than a melodious symphony.” It is a thought, which is often reverberated by Sanu’s contemporaries – Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan, to name two.

Kumar Sanu seems to have found peace and stability in his marriage, and with that, here’s wishing him and the family all the very best for the future, and to Shannon with her very own music career.

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