Anwar was born in Mumbai in 1949; his father was an accomplished harmonium player and an assistant music director to the famed Ghulam Haider. He was classically trained by Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan, incidentally same musical academy that produced the legendary playback singer Mahendra Kapoor. Anwar started singing Mohammad Rafi songs at various concerts. It was during one of those musical shows that Anwar was spotted by the music director Kamal Rajasthani, who gave him a chance to sing for his film Mere Gharib Nawaz. The song was Kasme Hum Apni Jaan Ki.In an interview given to Afternoon Dc in May 2013 he claimed that Mohammad Rafi personally acclaimed and congratulated him for the song.
Very few people know that Anwar is step brother of Arshad Warsi and noted actress of her time Asha Sachdev.
In 1977, comedian Mehmood and music director Rajesh Roshan hired Anwar to sing for the film Janta Hawaldar. The songs "Teri Aankhon Ki Chahat", and "Humse Ka Bhool Hui", were picturised on famous actor Rajesh Khanna. Both the film and song were super hit; hence Anwar started getting work and recognition.
Music Director Kamal Rajasthani relates that during the recording sessions of song "Kasme Hum Apno Jaan Ki", Mohammed Rafi was so impressed that he described Anwar as the one singer who could take his place after him.
Anwar sang duets alongside the majestic playback singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle to Alka Yagnik, under music directors Khayyam, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kalyanji Anandji to Bappi Lahiri, Anu Malik and present Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen. In a career span stretching over thirty years, Anwar sang a variety of songs including filmi songs, classical songs and contemporary ghazals, bhajans, qawwali, and Sufi songs.
He was offered to sing in Raj Kapoor's Prem Rog, which he declined. However he got to sing a duet Ye Pyar Tha Ya Kuch with Sudha Malhotra. Manmohan Desai wanted him to sing in Amitabh Bachchan starrer Mard, but the songs later went to Shabbir Kumar as Anwar demanded too much.
In an interview given to Hindustan Times in November 2007, he cite the rise of Kumar Sanu after the release of Aashiqui as the reason for his moving to the United States, where he gave music lessons and performed live shows to audiences in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
In 2004 Anwar composed an album called Meri Aashiqui Se Pehle broadcast on popular RKB show of Sahara Channel. All the songs in the album were mesmerising so much so that one would sense the magic of Mohammad Rafi and appreciate Anwar's talent.
In 2007 he admitted being in construction business. He stated that he was expecting the release of his latest album Tohfa.
He is not in good terms with his half brother Arshad Warsi and half sister Asha Sachdeva. He was reported by the Mumbai Mirror to be living on a very meager income obtained by singing in a night bar.
Thanks to a November 20, 2010 interview published in the Mumbai Mirror, Anwar got a few offers to sing for few TV shows like Rishton Ke Bhanwar Mein Uljhi Niyati.
Film songs:Humse Ka Bhool Hui, Jo Yeh Sajaa Hum Ka Mili(Film :Janta Havaldar, starring Rajesh Khanna)Ek Akela Man Ka Panchchi(Film :Sardar)Sohni Meri Sohni.. Rab Se Zyada Tera Naam Leta Hun(Film :Sohni Mahiwal, starring Sunny Deol, Poonam Dhillon)Yeh pyar tha ya kuchh aur tha (Film : Premrog Rishi Kapoor)( This particular song he sang with old times singer Sudha Malhotra, and was picturised on Anwer's sister Asha Sachdev.)Nazar Se Phool Chunti Hai (Film: Ahista Ahista1981)Yun Zeher Zindagi Ka (Film: Salaam e Mohabbat (1983), starring [Tabrez, Farida Jalal]Mohabbat Ab Tijarat (Film: Arpan, starring Jeetendra)Rab Ne Banaya Mujhe Tere Liye (Film: Heer Ranjha1992, starring Anil Kapoor)Zindagi Imtihan Leti hai (Film: Naseeb, starring Amitabh Bachchan)Hathon Ki Chand Lakiron Ka (Film: Vidhaata, starring Dilip Kumar)Shair Bana Diya (Film: Yeh Ishq Nahin Ahsaan, starring Rishi Kapoor) and many more.Aisa Bhi Dekho Waqt (Film: Saathi 1991, starring Aditya Pancholi and many more).
Other Selected Hit Songs:Chand Se Phool Talak (Film Jaan-E-Wafa)Yeh Husn Yeh Shabab (Film Shiv Charan)Mere Khayalon Ki Rehguzar (Film Yeh Ishq Nahin Asaan)Mausam Mausam lovely Mausam (Film Thodisi Bewafai)Ek Pal Hasna (Film Bahar Aane Tak)Huzoor Aap Yeh Tohfa (Film Safar)Kahan Jateho Ruk Jao (Film Dulha Bikta Hai)O Saathi Re (Film Cobra)Maine Zameen Per Chand (Film Parbat ke Us Paar)Dil Toot Gaya Hai Apna (Film Anokha Insaan)Ruk Ja Saathi (Door Desh)Uthao Jaam Masti Mein (Film Beshak)Kisi Soorat (Film Awara Zindagi)O Jaane Jaana Jaane Bahara (Film Pratigyabadh)Main Tere Paas Hoon (Film Do Disayen)Lagi Re Mehndi (Film Maqqar)Jab Aaye Aise Pal Kabhi (Film Yudhpath)Yeh Safar Bhi Kitna Suhana Hai (Film Sawaal)Ek Taj Mahal Dil Mein (Film Kasak)Tumhen Jhamgata Ashikon ka (Film Padosi Ki Biwi)Hum Unki Aarzoo Mein (Film Noor E Illahi)Dil Diwano Ka Dola (Film Tahalka)Main Faqeer Ishq Mera (Film Ishq Khuda Hai)Aag Hawa Mitti Aur Paani (Film Heer Ranjha 1992)Jaa Meri Deeye Ladli (Punjabi Film Sarpanch)Ek Gal Das Mainu Bottle (Punjabi Film Sarpanch)Koi pardesi Aaya pardes mein ( Film [ Hum Hai Lajawaab ] )
Selected Classical Ghazals:Bahar Aai Hai BhardeAap Ka Aitbar Kaun KareTarkh-E-MohabbatTu Hi Apne Hath SePhool Si Soorat
Selected Contemporary Ghazals:Lab Pe Tere Iqraar E MohabbatYeh Kafas Hi Mujhko Aziz HaiJabse Kareeb Hoke ChaleGhadiyan Ginte Din Beete
Contemporary Ghazal Albums:NagmaMehboob MereTohfa