A Hit Bollywood Song – Credit goes to the actor or Lyricist?


Youth icon Aamir Khan claims that the credit for the hit film songs must go to actors, not lyricists. He believes that the actor makes a film song popular and not the lyricist who gives words and a theme to the formation of the song. A lyricist is the person who is originally responsible for the existence of the song. He is the one who gives words to the song by the way of few sets of rhyming words or a poetry which ever is suitable for the song.


The Partial View

How can Aamir Khan claim credit for the hard work of the lyricist community when their product (especially song lyrics) is an instant hit among public? He can not undermine the effort and the role played by lyricist as a crucial hand in making the project hit and successful. Sure, the popularity of a song also depends on the lender of the voice to the song and the crucial role played by the music instructor. However, occasionally, even actors play an important role for certain film songs, but not for all.

Some of the famous lyricists that have left their lasting effect on many a songs of Hindi Film cinema are Javed Akhtar, Kaifi Azmi, Sahir Ludhianvi, Gulzar & Sameer to name a few. Who can forget the popularity of song lyrics like “Panchhi nadiyaan pazwan ke jhonke, Koi sarhad na inhein roke…” by Javed Akhtar from the film Refugee. The song is an evergreen example serving its social theme to the mankind as to how ‘Regional barriers’ have been imposed on rather intelligent human community whereas other species like, for example, birds go free without the barriers of boundaries.

A Hit Song: A Collaborative Effort

I would like to conclude by saying that a hit song is a blended effort of lyricist, music director and the singer. These three professionals provide the actual meaning and aesthetic value to the song. An actor plays a relatively secondary role in making the song hit with his acting and personality. A great composition refined by an able music director and a good lender of voice to the song is a must to prove hit.

In fact, a hit song is a corroborated effort of various professionals involved in formation of a song and not just actors, who play lip-sing and dancing round the corner.

Would be really interested in knowing your views on this one !

  1. Viral says

    Hello Madhav,

    You’re bang right when u say that a lyricist is the owner of the lyrics of the song. Equal truth is that once it is bought by producer, it all becomes the financial property of the producer. But, that should not deny social credit to the lyricist for the song he has created for the producer. The two aspects differ: 1) Financial credit for the success [which entirely goes to the producer], and 2) Social credit for the success [which goes to the lyricist].

    1. Madhav Shivpuri says


      Totally agree with you. And so if and when the world acknowledges the lyrics or give awards it should go to the lyricist not Mr.Khan for lip synching those words!

  2. Madhav Shivpuri says

    I was close to thinking that after Kapil Sibal, Aamir might be the next education minister, but alas! Just imagine Aamir might take credit for education policy leading to improvement in the GDP and claim he should be given royalty for that!

    In the current case, in my view, the lyricist is the owner of the lyrics for his song. But when he provides it for a movie, the rights goes to the producer who pays the lyricist. The producer can then sell the rights to the lyrics along with the music to a music company etc. (But, the question may arise as to how you separate the music from the lyircs? That’s a question for another day.)

  3. Viral says

    Hello Jay,

    You are right. All sections of a movie are in the hands of a different professionals. Each one should get their own credit and at the same time be limited to thier respective fee structure. Ultimately, the one who bears risk should get reward to that extent. But the credit of the professionalism or the work, can definitely be passed-on to the actual contributor, which is a different matter than sharing risk-reward. Nothing wrong in that.

    Thanks for your valued comment.

  4. Jay says

    Aamir sure seems to lost his screws somewhere. First it was Chetan Bhagat and now the lyricist. Don’t agree with his point of view, the songs popularity are often the reason why people go to watch a movie. so saying that actors make songs hit is completely wrong.

    I guess after turning a producer, the only thing one see is making more profit and no one would like others to have a share of that pie.

    What I don’t understand how the copyright of songs can be given to lyricsts when they are actually giving a service in return for a fee. The producers are the ones who have to bear the cost of making a movie.

  5. Viral says

    Hello Pavan,

    It could be related to the story of ‘Fox and the Sour Grapes’. No doubt, Aamir Khan may be a perfectionist as an actor and a successful one in his profession. But, that apart this is a very controversial input by him.

    In other words, how if somebody else would have claimed credit of Aamir’s acting prowess, instead of giving the credt of the same to Aamir?? Thats how it is, to be explained in simple term.

  6. Pavan says

    When I read the title of this post to my wife she said “call it sour grape.He couldn’t win oscar in acting,so trying his hand, in winning it via music director success..” Thought bit absurd ,but who knows ,she might be right :)

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