With a career spanning over four decades, seven Filmfare Awards For Best Female Playback Singer from 36 nominations, and two National Film Awards under her belt, Alka Yagnik is one of the only female artists with the maximum number of solo songs in the history of Bollywood Music Industry.
Alka Yagnik was born to Dharmendra Shankar and Subha on 20th March 1966 in Kolkata to a Gujarati household. She grew up listening to her mother sing Indian Classical Music that sparked her interest in the Performing Arts. Yagnik started her career at the age of six when she started singing Bhajans for “All India Radio” (Calcutta) and then when she turned ten, her mother brought her to Mumbai to become a child artist. She was immediately recognized for her skills but was given two alternatives at the time considering her age; to become a child dubbing artist or to wait and be launched as a trained singer. Yagnik’s mother chose the latter for her.
At the beginning of her career, she worked as a singer in a couple of movies like Paayal Ki Jhankaar (1980) and Lawaaris (1981) but her first big break came in the form of the song Ek Do Teen from movie Tezaab (1988); a song that is famous till date. The song won her, her first-ever Filmfare Awards For Best Female Playback Singer (one out of the seven she won in her career) as well and established her foothold in Bollywood for good. In an interview with Mid-Day, Yagnik confirmed that during the prime of her career she would record up to five songs daily.
Being considered One Of Bollywood’s Legendary Singers, alongside Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, Yagnik has had quite a career. She has sung over 2400 songs in over 1,000 movies, establishing her place in not only Hindi songs but over 20 different languages including Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Punjabi, and Marathi. There was a time in the 90s where every film included the voice of Alka Yagnik. But her career wasn’t limited to playback singing at all. Along with that, Yagnik has done numerous live-stage shows and even world tours; The Magical Voice Of Alka Yagnik has managed to snag hearts even across seven oceans for decades on end.
Continuing with her impressive collection of achievements, Yagnik received her second Filmfare Award For Best Female Playback Singer for her infamous song “Choli Ke Peeche Kyh Hai” in 1993, causing a lot of controversies due to the explicit meaning of the lyrics. Following that year, Yagnik worked with some of the 90s biggest music industry names like Kumar Sanu and Ila Arun to sing another seductive masterpiece “Din Mein Leti Hai” composed by Bappi Lahiri. She has worked on private albums as well, collaborating with award-winning lyricists like Javed Akhtar and Shankar Mahadevan. One of her songs “Chamma Chamma” from the movie China Gate was featured in the song “Hindi Sad Diamonds” from the soundtrack of The Moulin Rouge.
In 2012, nineteen years later, her song “Taal Se Taal Mila” from the movie Taal (1999) was voted as the best song of the century by a poll conducted by Hindustan Times, Desi Martini, and Fever 104. In the same poll, her seductive masterpiece “Choli Ke Peeche kyh Hai” was voted as the hottest song of the century. In 2015 she sang another Bollywood masterpiece “Agar Tum Saath Ho” of the movie Tamasha, teaming up with the music director A. R Rehman; another Music legend. Even after working in Bollywood for 40+ years, Alka Yagnik is still one of the most sought out female singers. She has been one of the Judges for Sa Re Ga Ma L’il Champs for 4+ seasons and has even made a guest appearance on the show. She has also judged Star Voice Of India along with Sa Re Ga Ma L’il Champs.
For her magnanimous contribution to Bollywood and the Indian Music industry, and as one of the judges of the Sa Re Ga Ma L’il Champs show, we the Sa Re Ga Ma family feel proud to be a part of her journey and we celebrate her contribution on her 55th Birthday.
You can listen to all your favorite Alka Yagnik songs on the Saregama Carvaan. Saregama Carvaan is a digital audio player with 5000 retro Hindi songs. The portable speaker also has some exclusive features like Bluetooth and AUX connectivity. You listen to Tamil songs sung by the legend on Saregama Carvaan Tamil.