Biddu, or Biddu Appaiah (Kannada: ಬಿದ್ದು ಅಪ್ಪಯ್ಯ) (born 1944), is an Indian-born, England-based music producer, composer, songwriter and singer who produced and composed many hit records worldwide during a career spanning five decades. Considered one of the pioneers of disco, Euro disco, and Indian pop, he has sold millions of records worldwide, and has received Grammy and Ivor Novello awards for his work. He has been ranked at number 34 on NME's "The 50 Greatest Producers Ever" list.
Biddu was born in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. He began his music career in the 1960s, singing as part of a music band in India before moving to England where he would start his career as a producer. He eventually found some success producing a hit song for Japanese band The Tigers in 1969, scoring the soundtrack for 1972 British film Embassy, and producing several early disco songs that would find a niche audience in British northern soul clubs during the early 1970s.
His international breakthrough came in 1974 with "Kung Fu Fighting" performed by Carl Douglas; the song became one of the best-selling singles of all time with eleven million records sold, helped popularise disco music, was the first worldwide disco hit from Britain and Europe, and established Biddu as one of the most prolific dance music producers from outside the United States at the time. He soon began producing his own instrumental albums under the name Biddu Orchestra, which started an orchestral disco trend in Britain and Europe with 1975 hits "Summer of '42" and Blue Eyed Soul; his solo albums eventually sold 40 million copies worldwide. He also launched the careers of other British disco stars such as Tina Charles, helping her sell 36 million records within a few years, and Jimmy James; scored soundtracks for several British films such as The Stud (1978); and produced a hit song for late French singer Claude François. Biddu also experimented with electronic disco and Hi-NRG music from the mid-1970s, and influenced British new wave bands such as The Buggles, founded by two of his former session musicians Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes.
Following the decline of disco in the Western world, he later found success in Asia during the 1980s, where he launched the careers of the late Pakistani pop singer Nazia Hassan and her brother Zohaib; he produced their debut album Disco Deewane, which charted in fourteen countries and became the best-selling Asian pop album up until that time, and helped the duo eventually sell 60 million records worldwide. During that decade, he also produced several hit Bollywood soundtracks for films such as Qurbani (1980) as well as several hit songs for Japanese pop idol Akina Nakamori and Chinese pop singer Samantha Lam (林志美). In the 1990s, he popularised Indian pop with the hit album Made in India (1995), which became the best-selling pop album in India and launched the career of Alisha Chinai, after which he would launch the careers of several more Indian pop acts such as Shaan and his sister Sagarika as well as Sonu Nigam. In the 2000s, Biddu has been active in the Western and Indian music scenes producing albums which are more spiritual and Eastern-oriented. He rearranged a classical hit for Luke Kenny's film, Rise of the Zombie.