Elvis Presley to Lady Gaga: Bappi Lahiri's Hollywood Connection

Bappi Lahiri had revealed that he started wearing gold after being inspired by Elvis Presley.

4 min read
Elvis Presley to Lady Gaga: Bappi Lahiri's Hollywood Connection

Composer Bappi Lahiri had a prolific career in Bollywood and even entered the Guinness world of fame in 1986 for recording over 180 songs for 33 films. However, from recording music with Lady Gaga to singing the song Shona in Moana, he was also a popular name in Hollywood.


Bappi Lahiri, known as India's Disco King, composed the track ‘Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja’ for Mithun Chakraborty’s film Disco Dancer. That track was also re-arranged by Julius Dobos and used in the Hollywood film You Don’t Mess with the Zohan starring Adam Sandler. The singer M.I.A also borrowed from the track for her single Jimmy in the album Kala.

A few years ago, a musician from Tajikistan was discovered after a video of him singing ‘Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja’ while working in a warehouse went viral.

Back in 2002, the American singer ‘Truth Hurts’ had used a riff from Lahiri’s composition ‘Kaliyon Ka Chaman’ which was voiced by Lata Mangeshkar. His song ‘Come Closer’ from the 1984 Mithun-starrer Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki even made it to the soundtrack of the award-winning film Lion starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.

After Truth Hurts sampled Lahiri’s music, without his permission, he sued Dr Dre for copyright infringement and won. Disney India also acquired the rights for his song ‘Jhoom Jhoom Jhoom Baba’ and used it in the Hindi trailer of Marvel Studios’ Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.

However, Bappi Lahiri has also had a more hands-on involvement in Hollywood. In 2019, the composer had told Mumbai Mirror that he recorded two songs with singer Lady Gaga and he had also shared a picture with Akon with the caption, “Disco king bappilahiri and pop star Akon in recording mood.”

Lahiri told the publication, “Yes, two duets, with her singing in English and me in Hindi in my inimitable style. We are now waiting for the release to be greenlit, hopefully by the year-end. I also collaborated with Akon two month ago. That song should also be out soon.”


He also sang and composed the Hindu dubbed version of the song ‘Shiny’ in the Disney hit Moana, titled ‘Shona’. Talking about the same, Lahiri earlier told The Quint, “I enjoyed composing the original track Shona for Moana more, maybe because it was all about loving everything golden and I am know for my love of gold ornaments.”

In 2012, Bappi Lahiri became the first Indian composer to be part of the Grammy jury. The composer also secured nominations at the 2017 Oscars and Golden Globes Awards for the films Moana (‘Best Animated Film’) and Lion (‘Best Film’).

Bappi Lahiri had also sent his album ‘World Peace and Harmony’ with saxophone player Gerald Albright, who has won multiple Grammy awards for the Grammys in 2011. While the album made it to the top 50, it wasn’t selected in the top five.

Lahiri had once also revealed that the King of Pop, Michael Jackson liked his song ‘Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja’ and a Ganapati pendant his wife had gifted. When Jackson visited Mumbai in 1996, he had met Bappi Lahiri.

Talking about the interaction on The Kapil Sharma Show, Lahiri had said, “Jab woh Bombay mein aaye the, main ek jagah pe baitha tha. Michael Jackson aaye aur mera yeh gold chain, Ganpati wala, unko bohot nazar aaya. Unhone bola, ‘Oh my God, fantastic! What’s your name?’ (When MJ came to Bombay, I was sitting somewhere. He came and saw my gold chain with the Ganpati and said, ‘Oh my God, fantastic! What’s your name?’)”

He later revealed in an interview that he had considered giving the chain to Michael Jackson, who he was a huge fan of, but decided against it since he believed the gold chain was lucky for him.

The composer, Bappi Lahiri, was known for always being decked in gold. During an event, he’d revealed that he was inspired by the legendary singer Elvis Presley.

ANI had quoted Lahiri as saying, “In Hollywood, famous singer Elvis Presley used to wear gold chains. I was a huge follower of Presley. I used to think, if I become successful someday, then I will build a different image of mine. By the grace of God, I could do it with gold.”

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