Kumar Sanu's father, Pashupati Bhattacharya, was a vocalist and composer. He along with Sanu, and Sanu's elder sister lived in Sinthee area (Dumdum, Kolkata) near Biswanath Park. Sanu's father, Pashupati Bhattacharya was a very famous singer, and he trained Sanu as a singer and tabla player. After getting a degree in commerce from Calcutta University, Sanu began performing in 1979, singing at shows and restaurants around Calcutta. He tried to model his singing style after Bollywood singer Kishore Kumar.
Kumar Sanu started his playback career in 1986, with a Bangladeshi film Tin Kanya, which was directed by Shibli Sadiq. In 1987, music director and singer Jagjit Singh offered Sanu the chance to sing in the Hindi film Aandhiyan, which was released in 1990 but Kumar Sanu Not Sing This Film. Sanu had his first major Bollywood song in Hero Hiralal (1988). Kumar Sanu Establised In 1989, Jagjit Singh introduced Kumar Sanu to Kalyanji Anandji at their residence Vimal Bunglows in Mumbai. On their suggestion, Kumar Sanu got his name changed from "Kedarnath Bhattacharya" to "Kumar Sanu" because his voice and singing style were much influenced by Kishore Kumar. Anandji shared this story in the show Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai hosted by Farooq Sheikh. Sanu then relocated to Mumbai, where Kalyanji-Anandji gave him a chance to sing in the film Jaadugar.
For the 1990 film Aashiqui, music directors Nadeem-Shravan got Sanu to sing all but one of the songs. He won the first of his record five consecutive Filmfare Awards as Best Male Playback Singer. His next Filmfare Awards came for songs in the movies Saajan (1991), Deewana (1992), Baazigar (1993), and 1942: A Love Story (1994).
Kumar Sanu got his major break when Nadeem Shravan gave him chance to sing most of the songs of movie Aashiqui (1990). The movie as well as songs were a grand success. Thereafter they worked together in many films, including Saajan (1991), Phool Aur Kaante (1991), Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin (1991), Sadak (1991), Deewana (1992), Dil Ka Kya Kasoor (1992), Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993), Sainik (1993), Sapne Sajan Ke (1993), Waqt Hamara Hai(1993), Rang (1993), Dilwale (1994), Barsaat (1995), Raja Hindustani (1996), Pardes (1997), Dhadkan (2000), Kasoor (2001), Hum Ho Gaye Aapke (2001), Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love (2001), Yeh Dil Aashiqanaa (2002), Dil Hai Tumhaara (2002), Dil Ka Rishta (2003), Andaaz (2003), and others.
Sanu has sung songs of various genres with Anu Malik. In fact, it was Anu Malik who made Sanu sing his first western-style song, "Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhe" from the film Baazigar (1993). Some other achievements of the combo are Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee (1993), Sir (1993), Imtihaan (1994), Vijaypath (1994), Main Khiladi Tu Anari (1994), Naaraaz (1994), Naajayaz (1995), Diljale (1995), Virasat (1997), Judwaa (1997), Tamanna (1997), Duplicate (1998), Kareeb (1998), Soldier(1998), Ishq Vishq (2003), Fida (2004), No Entry (2005), and many more. In 2015 they were again back with songs in Dum Laga Ke Haisha.
Sanu started his work with Jatin Lalit on the 1992 film Khiladi. From then on he provided his voices for hit movies like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman (1992), Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (1993) Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Khamoshi (1996), Yes Boss (1997), Jab Pyaar Kisise Hota Hai (1998), Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998), Pyaar To Hona Hi Tha (1998), Ghulam (1998), Dil Kya Kare (1999), and Sarfarosh (1999).
Sanu worked for Himesh Reshammiya, in TV serials, for all title tracks of TV serials which Reshammiya produced. All the title tracks were sung by Kumar Sanu, and then in his debut film as a Music Director, Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya and further for many other films like Kurukshetra, Yeh Hai Jalwa, Humraaz, Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye, Hello Brother, Bandhan, Dulhan Hum Le Jayenge, Jodi No.1, Uljhan, Footpath, and Taarzan: The Wonder Car, etc.
Beginning from Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye in the movie Jurm (1990), Kumar's collaboration with Rajesh Roshan went on by producing hits one after another. Significant movies are Karan Arjun (1995), Sabse Bada Khiladi (1995), Papa Kehte Hai (1996), Dastak (1996), Koyla (1997), Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000), Kya Kehna (2000), Karobaar: The Business of Love (2000), Aetbaar (2004) and many more.
Sanu has rendered his voice for some of Viju Shah's greatest compositions. Mohra (1994), Tere Mere Sapne (1996), Gupt (1997), Aar Ya Paar (1997), Beti No. 1 (1999), Bulandi (2000), Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat (2001), Kasam (2001 film) (2001) are some of their notable albums.
Sanu has recorded over 150 songs with Anand-Milind, one of the composers with whom he has recorded a huge number of songs. Breaking away from his romantic image, he has sung peppy numbers for the duo, his most famous ones being for actor Govinda which include hits in films like Raja Babu, Coolie, Hero No. 1 and others in Gair, Chal Mere Bhai, Army, Trinetra, Lootere, Gopi Kishan, Rakshak, to name a few.
In a career spanning three decades he has sung with other composers including R.D. Burman, Bappi Lahiri, Suresh Wadkar, Talat Aziz, Anup Jalota, Shyam Surendar, Tapan, Ismail Darbar, Kalyanji Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Sajid-Wajid, Viju Shah, Uttam Singh, Raam Laxman, A. R. Rahman, Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Naushad, Aadesh Shrivastava, Jeet Gannguli, Damodar Raao, Aryan R. Jain etc.
Kumar Sanu has composed music for various Indian films. Utthaan and Yeh Sunday Kyun Aata Hai are most remarkable among them. Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Sapna Mukherjee, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sonu Nigam, Sadhana Sargam, Sudesh Bhonsle, Shaan, Shreya Ghosal, Hema Sardesai, Sunidhi Chauhan and many more lent their voices for his music. "Yeh kaisa utthhan Hai" (sung by Asha Bhosle and Sonu Nigam in two different versions) and "Jisne Sapna Dekha" (sung by Kumar Sanu himself) are critically acclaimed.
Sanu had also sung the title song for TV show Yeh Duniyan Gazab Ki, with singer Udit Narayan.
Other than singing, and composing music for films, he has also shown interest in producing films. In 2006, he produced his first Hindi film, Utthaan. Currently, he is working with a fellow producer, Rakesh Bhhatia on a new project named "Yeh Sunday Kyun Aata Hai". The film is based on the lives of four children who live in the streets of Mumbai and polish shoes at a train station in order to earn their livelihoods. The film will feature Mithun Chakraborty in a leading role. Recently, Kumar Sanu sang for a Bangladeshi Bengali film Hason Raja, which was directed by a UK-based filmmaker Ruhul Amin. This movie was never released. He also has composed for some Bengali movies named "AMRITA" and "Tobu Aporichito".
Sanu was in the panel of judges on Sony TV for Waar Parriwar, a reality show based on the bringing together of a singing gharana (family of singers) and on Zee Bangla TV in a music reality show called Sa Re Ga Ma Pa - Vishwa Sera.
In 2012, he judged Zee Bangla musical reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – Gane Gane Tomar Mone. At present, he is one of the judges on the Bengali version of the popular musical reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs. Recently he recorded an album named Hum aur Tum. He also recorded a Spanish song for an album. He has also the record for maximum recording of songs in a single day, as 28 songs.
He also made special appearances as an actor in the movies Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain (1999) and Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015).
Kumar Sanu is a trustee and Brand Ambassador of "BISHWA BANDHAN", a foundation for cerebral palsy.
Kumar Sanu has opened a primary school, Kumar Sanu Vidya Niketan for the underprivileged children in Karol Bagh, Delhi. The students are given uniforms and books free of cost.
Kumar Sanu had multiple hit duet numbers with singers Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Anuradha Paudwal, Alka Yagnik,Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sadhana Sargam, Alisha Chinai, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sapna Mukherjee, Poornima, Sapna Awasthi, Shreya Ghoshal, Akriti Kakkar, Monali Thakur and others.
Kumar Sanu is also credited with the highest number of version songs and male duet hits with the finest singers of 1980s and 1990s. Some of the notable songs are as follows:
He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2004 in a ceremony headed by then Party President Venkiah Naidu, but he later resigned to concentrate on singing. He rejoined BJP on 2 December 2014 inducted by Amit Shah, the current BJP president.
Kumar Sanu returned to playback singing in 2012. He made a comeback at the urge of composer Sajid-Wajid. Sajid-Wajid gave him "Chammak Challo Chhail Chhabili"-Rowdy Rathore, a wedding song with Shreya Ghoshal. In 2015, Kumar Sanu replaced Lata Mangeshkar as the background voice of Yash Raj Films logo for the film Dum Laga Ke Haisha. This was for the first time in YRF's 60-year history that Lata Mangeshkar's voice was replaced.
Filmfare awards—1991-1995 Padma Shri Screen award for Best Male PlaybackWonNominated2017: BAIBASUTA Award▶ 2016: 8th position on "Google most searched Indian Singers on last 10 years."▶ 2016: International Bhojpuri Film Awards (IBFA), Dubai – Golden Voice Award▶2016: Most trusted singer according to "Celebrity / Personality Brand Trust Report: India Study 2016"▶ 2015: "Prudent Personality of the Nation" by Parwaz Corporate Today.▶2004: Kala Vedika Awards - "Pride Of India Award". The Pride Of India Awards Presented To Singers Kumar Sanu For Promoting Indian Culture Through Indian Music.▶2004: Global Excellence Award▶2003: Bollywood Music Award For "Best Artist Of The Decade".▶2001: Channel V Award For Best Male Playback for "Chand Sitare" - Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai▶2000: Hero Honda Award For Best Playback Singer (Male) For "Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyan" - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam▶2000: Kalashree Award For Best Male Playback For "Chaand Sitare" - Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai▶2000: Nomination: IIFA Award for Best Male Playback For "Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyaan" - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam▶2000: Nomination: MTV Award For "Dil ne yeh" With Udit Narayan And Alka Yagnik▶1999: Mohammed Rafi Memorial Award for Best Playback Singer For "Aankhon ki gustakhiyaan" - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam▶1999: Nomination: MTV Award For "Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyaan" With Kavita Krishnamurthy - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam▶1999: Zee Gold Awards For "Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyaan" - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam▶1999: Kalakar Awards For "Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyaan" - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam▶1999: CSR Gold Award For Best Playback Singer "Aankhon ki gustakhiyaan" - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam▶1999: Stardust Award For Best Playback Singer For "Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyaan" - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam▶1999: Anandalok Awards For Best Playback Singer (Male) Kumar Sanu For "Ami Sei Meye"▶1998: Lions' Club Gold Award For Best Playback Singer "Ladki badi anjani hai" - Kuch Kuch Hota Hai▶1998: Grammy W. Indian▶1998: Punjabi Kalirangan Award▶1998: Anandalok Awards For Best Playback Singer (Male) Kumar Sanu For "Gane Bhuban Bhoriye Debo"▶1997: BFJA Award For Film "Lathi"▶1997: Punjabi Kalirangan Award▶1996: BFJA Award For Film "Kencho Khurte Keote"▶1995: Deva Award▶1995: Channel V Award For Best Male Playback "Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jaana Sanam" - Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge▶1995: Ashirwad Award For Best Male Playback "Ek Ladki Ko Dekha" - 1942: A Love Story▶1995: Screen Award for Best Male Playback For "Ek Ladki Ko Dekha" - 1942: A Love Story▶1993: SUMU Award For Best Male Playback Singer In 1993 For Singing Maximum Good Songs▶ 1993: SUMU Award For Best Male Playback Singer In Baazigar