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Breaking Barriers: Diljit Dosanjh Becomes First Punjabi Artist to Perform at Coachella

Diljit Dosanjh

In addition to Tomorrowland, Lollapalooza, and others, Coachella in California, USA is undoubtedly one of the world’s biggest music festivals. Diljit Dosanjh was the first Punjabi artist and the second Indian artist to ever appear at the festival in its latest edition.

Having started his musical journey at Kirtans (a religious gathering), Dosanjh has earned multiple notable achievements. Here’s a look at the many feathers in his cap… or rather, his turban:

In his trademark Punjabi look (a turban with a kurta and a tehmat (a kind of lungi), Diljit Dosanjh belted out songs from his albums at Coachella. The festival’s official Instagram account had videos of people headbanging and dancing to Punjabi beats. American DJ Diplo was among the crowd that thronged the stage during Dosanjh’s performance.

It has been an annual event since 2001 (except during the pandemic), gradually expanding from a one-day concert to a multi-week festival. In 2003, Coachella introduced the option for attendees to set up camps. The event was attended by 7,50,000 people in 2022. Coachella champions established and emerging artists and has experimented with different formats throughout the years.

There are two weekends of Coachella this year – April 14-16 and April 21-23. Tickets for weekend 2 start at $549. Other South Asian performers at the event include Ali Sethi, the Pakistani singer behind the popular song Pasoori, and K-pop sensation BLACKPINK.

A film critic named Anupama Chopra interviewed Dosanjh in 2020 about the release of his album G.O.A.T, which he titled “G.O.A.T.”. During the pandemic, Dosanjh confessed to becoming bored of binge-watching Netflix shows. It was a worldwide success, dominating Instagram reels and landing the star on Times Square billboards.

Dosanjh is not the only Indian artist to grab a spot at Times Square; comedian Vir Das and singer Sona Mohapatra are also there

After his album G.O.A.T’s titular track hit the number one spot on the magazine’s Top Triller Global chart, Dosanjh also received a plaque from Billboard. In four weeks, the song rose to the top of the magazine’s charts after debuting at number 11.

Wembley Arena sold out

During Dosanjh’s “The Dosanjh Tour” in 2016, Dosanjh sold out Wembley Arena in London. He also had a sold-out UK tour that year. Some of the biggest musical stars have performed here at Wembley Arena, including Queen, the Rolling Stones, Beyonce, Ed Sheeran, Michael Jackson, and Eminem. As the first Indian to perform at Wembley Stadium, Himesh Reshammiya became the first Indian to do so.

An Indian artist who sold the most tickets for a single concert in history

Dosanjh broke the Box Office record two years later in 2018 when his Con.Fi.Den.Tial live show sold out in Birmingham, confirming his position as the biggest-selling Indian artist for a single concert in Birmingham. During this tour, he also sold out concerts at Wembley in London and the First Direct Arena in Leeds, in addition to Birmingham.

As a kirtan singer, Diljit Dosanjh began his journey

A native of Jalandhar, Punjab, India, Dosanjh sang kirtans in Gurudwaras when he was a child. He released his first album in 2002 when he was 18 years old, following his childhood love of singing. In the intervening years, he has released over ten albums and performed multiple singles in movies, including Proper Patola and 5 Taara, which hit the charts.

Diljit Dosanjh made his debut in to the movies

He made his acting debut in 2011 with the Punjabi film The Lion of Punjab, which flopped, but went on to deliver major hits like Jatt & Juliet, Shadaa, and Punjab 1984, among others. The critical-acclaimed and commercially successful Udta Punjab was his first film in Bollywood.

Creating his trademark traditional style

Dosanjh is open about his Sikh ancestry, and was unwavering in his determination to only be cast in roles that allowed him to keep his turban – despite what people told him. His devotion to the traditional Punjabi look was also evident during his recent tour, where he opted for traditional clothing over designer Western outfits. In Oslo, Norway, Dosanjh was even given a designer turban as a gift on Turban Day 2018.

Projects to be undertaken

The Punjabi romantic drama Jodi is scheduled for release in 2024, following Dosanjh’s role in Netflix’s period drama Jogi. Besides starring alongside actor Parineeti Chopra in Imtiaz Ali’s Chamkila – a biopic about legendary singer Amar Singh Chamkila, he will also appear in Imtiaz Ali’s Chamkila.

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Editorial Director
I'm Shruti Mishra, Editorial Director @Newsblare Media, growing up in the bustling city of New Delhi, I was always fascinated by the power of words. This love for words and storytelling led me to pursue a career in journalism. In this position, I oversee the editorial team and plan out content strategies for our digital news platform. I am constantly seeking new ways to engage readers with thought-provoking and impactful stories.

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