Ali Zafar was born on May 18th, 1980 in Lahore, Pakistan to Mohammad Zafarullah, Professor of Fine Arts and Kanwal Ameen, who worked in the Library Sciences department at Punjab University at the time.
Lahore is not only the place of birth for Ali, but also where he studied. He began his schooling at C.A.A. until 5th standard and excelled in his studies. He then moved to Beaconhouse School where he topped in his matriculate examinations in 1996. He then joined Government College University, where he completed his F.A. in Arts as the class of 1998. After that, Ali pursued his childhood love for painting and went to the “National College of Arts", from where he graduated with honors in 2002. Hence, completing his education.
Ali Zafar hit the music scene in 2003 with his single "Channo" which sold half a million copies in just the first week and ended up selling over 5 million copies of his first album "Huqa Paani". The album went on to become one of the biggest hits the country had ever produced and made him a superstar over night.
Prior to this, Ali was seen acting on television and modeling on the ramp. He also spend his evenings painting live portraits in a lobby of a 5 star hotel to help raise some extra money to produce his music.With his reputation of being a successful model,actor and a painter his move of releasing a dance single left the nation in awe. His tracks pumped up the dance floors at various weddings, balls and parties. This set a trend and the fever spread, increasing his fan following to a global scale. Apart from this his unique style became an inspiration to the youth and put him on a pedestal to becoming a national icon. He was awarded the "Youth Icon" award in 2007, by the biggest award ceremony in Pakistan: the Lux Style Awards. From then on there was no looking back.
During his career, Ali has managed to win almost all major awards starting from the “Best Album” in 2003 to the "Best Male Artist" at MTV Awards in 2009. He has been on the covers of various style and music magazines and has been the brand ambassador for the most premier companies in Pakistan.
Who can resist Ali Zafar's youthful persona, million-dollar smile and charming looks, assets that give him a solid edge and make him the stand-alone choice for most multinational brands that use his image to sell their products. They couldn’t help signing him up even if in competition with each other. He would perhaps be the only celebrity to have endorsed Pepsi as well as Coke, Sony Ericsson along with LG mobile phones, and Instaphone, Telenor and Mobilink. He was the first male to endorse the biggest brand in soaps, Lux, with his hit single "Dekha" which starred all the big female actresses in Pakistan. He has also endorsed brands such as Head and Shoulders, Close Up, Tapal Tea, Tarang Tea Whitener, Lays Chips, Lu Bakery and many others. As of now, Ali Zafar is heading Mobilink Jazz, the biggest telecommunication brand in the region.
Enhancing His Career (Coke Studio)
A remarkable recent achievement in Ali's career was his infectious rendition of Sufi and semi-classical music in the popular 'Coke Studio' sessions. He was the only artist to also be featured in the second season of Coke Studio, based on popular demand. The Coke Studio sessions have had almost all leading musicians and singers of Pakistan performing on a single platform. However, Ali's single "Dastaan-E-Ishq" was reported to have had the maximum number of hits on Youtube compared to the other major artists.
This fact earned him immense respect amongst his fans and fellow musicians who realized that Ali Zafar can sing such a diverse range of music, completely switching genres, as well as being able to play instruments like the guitar, keyboard and harmonium interchangeably.
Accross the Border (Bollywood Calling)
Being a pioneer in his craft, Ali has yet again set a precedent by being the first ever Pakistani star/singer to be featured as a solo main lead in a Bollywood movie namely "Tere Bin Laden", directed by Abhishek Sharma. Tere Bin Laden released on the 16th of July, 2010 and was a major hit for a low budget movie. The film grossed over US $1.11 million in its opening weekend, internationally it grossed $150,000 from Britain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Australia, during the period. At the end of its theatrical run, the movie had collected US $1.83 million. This phenominal success of Tere Bin Laden made Ali Zafar a Bollywood star over night. Not only did he receive more than 40 offers post Tere Bin Laden but he also made history by being the first Pakistani actor to be nominated for any Bollywood awards. He got nominated for IIFA, Star Screen, Zee Cine and Filmfare awards of 2011 in the best male debut category. He was also the first Pakistani to be called to Indian Film Festival at Australia in March 2011 for his movie screening.
Ali Zafar who took up movies as a serious career after his debut film has proved himself once again with his second film under Yash Raj Films banner. This Katrina, Imran and Ali Zafar starrer romantic comedy, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, was one of the most anticipated films of 2011. Released on 9th September, the film was both critically acclaimed and a commercial success like his first film. His performance was specially praised by the industry and fans. Before MBKD could release, he had already started shooting for a love story, London Paris NewYork. This Rose movies and Star 20th century Fox production, is in post production phase and will be hitting theaters by end of February 2012. Apart from acting as male protagonist in the film opposite Aditi Rao, Ali Zafar is also the music director. He is nowadays shooting for David Dhawan's remake of 1981 cult comedy Chashme Buddoor.
The International Scene
Ali is now set to further enhance his career by becoming an international super star and cross all barriers. Recently his track "Dekha" has been picked up by the international block buster "Wall street part 2". He is in process of working on tracks sung by him in English for the international market and is looking for the best means and avenues to execute his plans.