As part of celebrations to mark Bangladesh’s 50th year of independence, Joy Crookes gave us her first-ever live performance in Bengali.

Fifty years ago, Bangladesh first declared its independence, breaking away from Pakistan to become a separate country.

For 22 year-old singer Joy Crookes, who was born to a Bangladeshi-Bengali mother and an Irish father, the month of March is an emotional time.

In an Instagram post, sharing her performance, Joy Crookes said:

“Independence day for Bangladesh is always a time that fills me with a whirlwind of emotions. The fact that I am a musician – that tries my best to use my ‘voice’ in both senses of the word – and come from a family that have literally shed blood for me to keep my big gob is beyond grounding.”


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A post shared by Joy Crookes (@joycrookes)

The soul singer has always paid homage to her South Asian heritage. At the Brits 2020, Joy celebrated her mother’s Bangladeshi roots in a traditional yellow and gold lehenga and chunni, wanting to be “dressed as the girl I always wish I saw on TV”.


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A post shared by Joy Crookes (@joycrookes)

Yesterday’s performance was the first time Joy has sung in her mother tongue, which was yet another emotional tribute tapping into her culture.

Taking centre stage, dressed in brown silk traditional wear, Joy creates a soothing space with just keys and rolling drums amplifying her soulful vocals.

Rich in emotion, she takes you on a journey through her sentimental tribute to Bangladesh. She said:

“Thank you for my mother tongue, my home and my voice. Happy 50th independence Bangladesh. Amar Shona ar basha.” 

Have you seen Joy Crookes Bangladesh at 50 performance? Let us know your thoughts @PieRadioUK.

Tune into Mango Masala on Pie Radio 3-5pm today for a 50 years of Bangladesh Independence special.