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Chandraprakash Dwivedi and Sonu Nigam are 'humbled and honoured' to receive the Padma Shri

Nigam is regarded as one of the most diverse voices in the Indian cinema business, having had a successful singing career spanning three decades

Chandraprakash Dwivedi and Sonu Nigam are humbled and honoured to receive the Padma Shri

On Wednesday, playback singer Sonu Nigam and filmmaker Chandraprakash Dwivedi expressed their thanks after receiving the Padma Shri, the country's fourth highest civilian honour.

Nigam is regarded as one of the most diverse voices in the Indian cinema business, having had a successful singing career spanning three decades.

Dwivedi, 62, is best known for directing and portraying the titular political strategist in the 1991 epic TV series "Chanakya."

He also directed the Partition drama "Pinjar," starring Urmila Matondkar and Manoj Bajpayee.

The 48-year-old singer said the Padma awards announcement on January 25 would be a "special day" for him and his family.

"I'm thankful to the Government of India for thinking of me as a deserving candidate and bestowing me the Padma Shri. My heartfelt thanks to all those who selected me and suggested my name for this prestigious honour. I would also like to thank my mother, Shobha Nigam, and my father, Agam Kumar Nigam. In fact, I want to dedicate this award to my mother. Had she been here today, she would have cried a lot," Nigam said in a statement.

The singer, whose chart-topping hits include "Ye Dil Deewana," "Kal Ho Na Ho," "Saathiya," and "Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin," among others, owed his success to his gurus and their lessons.

"Whatever I know today is because of them and their blessings. Watching and listening to them has been a learning experience for me. My sincere gratitude to my friends and colleagues who have been a part of my journey, and my family who is my pillar of support," Nigam added.

Dwivedi also mentioned his previous creative collaborations, praising them for "enriching" him as an artist.

The prize is dedicated to India, according to the director, who has often captured stories from and about the country.

"I'm deeply humbled to have been bestowed with the prestigious Padma Shri award. I have been fortunate enough to creatively collaborate with some of the best minds of the Hindi film and television industry. They have enriched me, pushed my boundaries and made me better creatively. "I share this huge moment of my life with all these people who have shaped me and my thinking. I have always been someone who has tried to tell a story that is dipped in our country's history and culture and I dedicate this award to my country," he said in a statement.

The honour, he said, will enable him to commemorate the country in the same way as his next Akshay Kumar film "Prithviraj" will.

The historical film is based on the life of Samrat Prithviraj Chauhan and is produced by Yash Raj Films.

"This recognition will drive me to tell stories that celebrate my motherland in its full glory like my next 'Prithviraj' in which we will honour the valour of one of the bravest warriors that India has ever seen. "I have had the pleasure to work with a towering actor like Akshay Kumar to essay 'Prithviraj' on screen and I hope my countrymen love the film that we have made with a lot of passion," he added.

Kumar also greeted the winners on Twitter, including Dwivedi.

"Heartwarming to see some great names in the #PadmaAwards list. Amazing achievers from science, armed forces, sports, industry, art and of course my director friend Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi. Super proud," the actor wrote.

Dr. Prabha Atre of the Kirana Gharana has been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second highest civilian honour.

Veteran actor Victor Banerjee, who starred in Satyajit Ray's "Ghare Baire" and David Lean's epic "A Passage of India," as well as actor and culinary master Madhur Jaffrey, earned the Padma Bhushan, the country's third highest civilian award.

Punjabi folk singer Gurmeet Bawa (posthumous) and classical pianist Rashid Khan, who will be honoured with the Padma Bhushan, are among the names from the Indian arts area who have been chosen for Padma Awards.

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