Alka Yagnik

Alka Yagnik (born 20 March 1966) is an Indian playback singer. She is noted in Indian cinema for a career spanning over three decades.[2] She holds a record of being the only nominee in the category of Female Playback Singer, as in the year 1994 she had three solo nomination and the fourth one was with Ila Arun.[3] She is a record seven-time winner from a record of 36 nominations of the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer, a two-time recipient of the National Film Award[4] as well as several other music awards and honours listed below. Further, as many as twenty of her tracks feature in BBC's "Top 40 Bollywood Soundtracks of all time" review.[5] She is one of prolific female playback singer who has sung maximum number of female solos in her Bollywood career.[6].

Alka Yagnik
Alka Yagnik
Born (1966-03-20) 20 March 1966[1]
OccupationPlayback singer
Neeraj Kapoor (m. 1989)
Musical career
GenresBollywood and regional filmi playback singing
Years active1980–present

Early life

Yagnik was born in Kolkata on 20 March 1966 to a Gujarati family.[1] Her father's name is Dharmendra Shankar.[7][8] Her mother Shubha was a singer of Indian classical music. In 1972 at age six, she started singing for Akashvani (All India Radio), Calcutta.[9][1] At age 10, her mother brought her to Mumbai as a child singer. She was advised to wait until her voice matured, but her mother remained determined. On a subsequent visit, Yagnik got a letter of introduction to Raj Kapoor from his Kolkata distributor. Kapoor heard the girl and sent her with a letter to noted music director Laxmikant. Impressed, Laxmikant gave her two alternatives — an immediate start as a dubbing artist or a later break as a singer; Shubha chose the latter for her daughter.[2][10] Yagnik mentioned that she was a bright student but didn't like studies.[7]


A classically trained Yagnik began singing bhajans for Akashvani (All India Radio), Calcutta[9] at the age of six. Her first song was for the film Payal Ki Jhankaar in (1980). This was followed by Laawaris (1981) with the song "Mere Angane Mein", followed by the film Hamari Bahu Alka (1982). She got her big break with the song "Ek Do Teen" from the film Tezaab (1988). She has said that she had high fever on the day she recorded "Ek Do Teen". The song won her the first out of seven Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer.[11] Besides Hindi-Urdu, she has sung in more than twenty languages[12] including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. She has also performed in live concerts around the world. In an interview to Mid Day, Yagnik told that she records five songs daily during her time.[13] During her starting of career in 80s, her biggest rivals was Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.[14]

In 1993, Yagnik sang a seductive song "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai" with Ila Arun. The song created controversy because of the lyrics written by Anand Bakshi. She got a second Filmfare award for the song, which she shared with Ila Arun.[15]

In 1994, she sang another seductive song "Din Mein Leti Hai" from the film Amanaat with co-singer Kumar Sanu and Ila Arun, composed by Bappi Lahiri and lyrics by Anwar Sagar.[16] Besides the duet version, she also sang the female version of the song with Ila Arun.[17] She has performed several shows with Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.[13]

Yagnik has such as "Tum Aaye" and "Shairana" in which she worked in close collaboration with award-winning lyricist Javed Akhtar and singer Hariharan. She has also performed the Hanuman Chalisa and various devotional songs. Her song "Chamma Chamma" from China Gate was featured in the song "Hindi Sad Diamonds" from the soundtrack of the film Moulin Rouge!.[18]

In 2012 she along with Sonu Nigam sang a song 'Shiksha Ka Suraj' as part of National Literacy Mission of India for which she was felicitated by Union Minister For Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal.[19][20] Also in 2012, on the occasion of 100 years of Hindi Cinema, her song "Taal Se Taal Mila" from the movie Taal was voted as the best song of the century in a poll conducted by DesiMartini, Hindustan Times and Fever 104.[21] Also her song "Choli Ke Peeche" from the movie Khalnayak was voted as the hottest song of the century in a poll conducted by Sanona.[22]

Yagnik has also been involved in various projects to empower girls.[23] In 2014, Yagnik again teamed up with Sonu Nigam to sing the song "Phool Khil Jayenge" for child health awareness.[24] She also sang a song titled "Maine Li Jo Angdai" for the album Women's Day Special: Spreading Melodies Everywhere. It was composed by Farid Sabri, Harish Chauhan, and Gurudatt Sahil; and penned by Sudhakar Sharma.

In 2015, she sung 'Agar Tum Saath Ho' for which she informed that the music director of the song, A.R. Rahman wasn't present in the studio but he was giving instructions on Skype video call and after giving some instructions, he gave the power to Yagnik to do any of her own style of singing in 'Agar Tum Saath Ho' song.[25]

Yagnik shares the title for the greatest number of Filmfare Awards with Asha Bhosle (seven) by a female playback singer.[26] She has sung 2,486 Hindi songs in 1,114 films. She is the fifth most prolific Bollywood singer of all time after Asha Bhosle (7886 songs), Mohammed Rafi (7405 songs),[27] Lata Mangeshkar (5596 songs) and Kishore Kumar (2,707 songs).[28] She is the third topmost female playback singer after Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle who has sung maximum number of female solos in her Bollywood career.[6]


Yagnik credits her mother as her first guru. who began singing at the age of four.[11] Besides her mother, Yagnik learnt singing from Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant–Pyarelal.[29] Although, she has sung many genre of songs but according to Yagnik, her voice suits the romantic genre best.[30] Yagnik has acknowledged veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar as her inspiration,[30] with whom Yagnik says audiences compare her.[15] She has sung romantic, sad, peppy, seductive and item number songs.[31][17]

Yagnik has sung more than 20,000 songs in over 1,000 films.[15] Most of her duets were with Kumar Sanu, followed by Udit Narayan and Sonu Nigam.[32] She sung maximum numbers of romantic songs with Kumar Sanu and flamboyant numbers of songs with Udit Narayan[32] and she is known, with Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan as the trinity of 90s playback singing.[33]

Yagnik stated that singers are also actors. She mentioned that when she sings a song, the actor comes through in her voice.[13]

Yagnik is displeased that notable songs of her are being remixed. She went on to say, "these days composers can’t compose good original songs. They therefore reprise old super hit songs and then claim they’ve made hits".[34]

In the media

Yagnik is cited as "the queen of playback singing".[32] On Mother's Day 12 May 2019, Yagnik became most-streamed Indian artist-mom on Spotify.[35] The Times of India cited her as 'honey-voiced singer'.[36] Mid Day included her in the list of notable 90s playback singers.[37]

Personal life

Yagnik married Shillong-based businessman Neeraj Kapoor in 1989 and has a daughter named Syesha Kapoor.[38] She and her husband were separated for four to five years but they later reunited. She compliments her husband for understanding her career in singing.[30]



Besides singing, Yagnik also judged several singing reality shows on television. She mentioned that kids and children are the main reasons for doing reality shows and she feels comfortable working with them.[39]

1992 Sapne Sajan Ke Yagnik also appeared in film Sapne Sajan Ke in a song 'Yeh Dua Hai Meri' with co-singer Kumar Sanu. N/A N/A
2006 Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs She made her first television debut with the show. Zee TV [39]
2008 Rising Star She appears as a guest and gave a spcial tribute to late actress Sri Devi. Colors [40]
2014 Comedy Nights with Kapil On 25 May 2014 she appeared as a special guest along with Kumar Sanu for the popular TV show Comedy Nights with Kapil. [41]
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs She had done Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs as a judge in first Season and fifth Season as a Maha Guru (also in previous 2 seasons). Zee TV [42]
2016 Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain! In November 2016, she appeared in a Hindi comedy serial Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain! with Kumar Sanu in a special one hour episode. &TV [43]
2017 Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai Yagnik also appeared as a guest in Hindi serial 'Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai' STAR Plus [44]
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs She came with her co-singer Udit Narayan and sung many duets songs of 90s era. Zee TV [45]
2018 Indian Idol She appeared in 10th season of Indian Idol with co-singer Kumar Sanu. Sony Entertainment Television [46]
2019 The Kapil Sharma Show She appeared in The Kapil Sharma Show with other two judges for the promotion of her show 'Superstar Singer'. [47]
Superstar Singer In 2019, she appeared in Superstar Singer as a Judge in Sony TV. [48]

She also appeared in Star Voice of India as a judge.[1] She appears as a guest with Udit Narayan in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs.[49]

Significant collaborations with music directors

She has worked with Indian composers such as Kalyanji–Anandji, Rahul Dev Burman, Laxmikant–Pyarelal, Rajesh Roshan, Nadeem–Shravan, Jatin–Lalit, Anu Malik, A. R. Rahman, Anand–Milind, Himesh Reshammiya, Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy, Ismail Darbar, Aadesh Shrivastava, Viju Shah, M. M. Keeravani, Sajid–Wajid, Bappi Lahiri, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sandesh Shandilya and many others.


Composers Laxmikant–Pyarelal created several musical songs with her in movies such as Coolie, Tezaab, Hum, Khalnayak, Khuda Gawah, Agneepath, Rajkumar and many others.


Alka Yagnik's significant collaborations with Nadeem–Shravan over the years include movies such as Saajan (1991),Phool Aur Kaante (1991), Deewana (1992), Dil Ka Kya Kasoor (1992), Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993), Rang (1993), Dilwale (1994), Raja (1995), Andolan(1995), Barsaat (1995), Jeet (1996), Raja Hindustani (1996), Pardes (1997), Sirf Tum (1999), Dhadkan (2000), Kasoor (2001), Raaz (2002), Andaaz (2003), Dil Hai Tumhaara (2003), and Barsaat (2005).

Jatin Lalit

Alka Yagnik has often collaborated with Jatin–Lalit in movies such as Khiladi, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman,Fareb,Ghulam, Khamoshi: The Musical, Sarfarosh, Yes Boss, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,Dil Kya Kare, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..., Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Chalte Chalte, Hum Tum.

Anu Malik

Alka's collaborations with Anu Malik over the years has yielded several songs in films such as Baazigar, Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee, Imtihaan, Refugee, Vijaypath, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Duplicate, Soldier, Aarzoo, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Asoka, Yaadein (2001), Umrao Jaan, Fiza, Josh, Ishq Vishk, LOC Kargil.

A. R. Rahman

Alka's collaborations with A. R. Rahman in movies such as Taal, Lagaan, Zubeidaa, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Swades, Yuva, Guru, Yuvvraaj, Ada... A Way of Life, Slumdog Millionaire and Tamasha are critically acclaimed.

Rajesh Roshan

Alka has created popular scores with Rajesh Roshan in films such as Kaamchor, Karan Arjun, Dastak, Sabse Bada Khiladi, Koyla, Papa Kehte Hai, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, Koi... Mil Gaya, Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage, Krrish.


Alka has worked in several films with Anand–Milind notably Teesra Kaun, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Laadla, Gopi Kishan,Anjaam, Anari, Suhaag, Aaj Ka Goonda Raj, Coolie No.1, Army, Lootere, Loafer, Mr. Bechara, Jaan, Rakshak, Ajay, Hero No. 1, Sanam, Mrityudand, Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate, Chal Mere Bhai and Jaanwar.

Himesh Reshammiya

Alka gave Himesh Reshammiya his first break in the movie Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya. Thereafter the duo has worked together creating popular scores in several movies such as Hello Brother, Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye, Humraaz, Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne, Tere Naam, Bardaasht, Aitraaz, Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?, Kyon Ki, Banaras, 36 China Town, Milenge Milenge, etc.


Alka's collaboration with Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy in notable films such as Dil Chahta Hai, Mission Kashmir, Armaan, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Lakshya and Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.

Awards and nominations

Yagnik has won several music awards for best female playback such as Filmfare Awards, National Awards, Lata Mangeshkar Award,[50] Bollywood Movie Awards, IIFA Awards, Star Screen Awards, Zee Cine Awards, etc. She also holds the record for most awards won (7) as well as maximum nominations (36) for Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer.[26] She also won 2 National Film Awards.

See also


  1. "Alka Yagnik birthday: Lesser known facts about the Agar Tum Saath Ho singer, you would love to know". Times Now News. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019.
  2. "Iconic Alka Yagnik". IBN Live. 2012. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  3. "Happy Birthday Alka Yagnik: Evergreen songs by the melody queen that will make you nostalgic". Archived from the original on 13 May 2019.
  4. "National Award For Alka Yagnik". TOI. 2000. Archived from the original on 9 July 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2001.
  5. "BBC Top 40 tracks of all time". BBC Asia. 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
  6. "Women are fading out from Bollywood music". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 13 May 2019.
  7. "A Lots Of Songs Were Taken From Me". Filmfare. Archived from the original on 13 May 2019.
  8. "Alka_Yagnik". Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  9. Number, A Hit (16 October 2011). "Fine Tuning". The Telegraph, Calcutta, India. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  10. "About Me". Alka Yagnik. 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
  11. "Would listen to my songs, analyse, learn from mistakes: Alka Yagnik". Hindustan Times. 21 April 2017.
  12. "Alka Yagnik lends her voice to a Rajasthani film". The Times of India.
  13. "Alka Yagnik: Sang Ek Do Teen in one go". Mid Day. 9 July 2018.
  14. "Is the sweet, melodious voice slowly going out of fashion?". Hindustan Times. 31 October 2015.
  15. "Musical notes with Alka Yagnik". 25 October 2016. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  16. "mid-day 38th anniversary: When music was the hero". mid-day. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  17. "15 Most Perverted Double Meaning Songs in Bollywood". Archived from the original on 28 July 2019.
  18. "Hindi Sad Diamonds (From "Moulin Rouge" Soundtrack) by John Leguizamo & Nicole Kidman & Alka Yagnik". Amazon.
  19. "Shiksha Ka Suraj". TOI. 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  20. "Felicitations". The Hindu. 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  21. "Song of The Century". 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  22. "Hottest Song of The Century". 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  23. "Save the Girl Child". India West. 2012. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  24. "Child Health Awareness". 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  25. "World Music Day: 'Time just flew by', says Alka Yagnik on spending close to four decades in Bollywood". Archived from the original on 25 August 2019.
  26. "Filmfare Award Archive" (PDF). 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2005.
  27. "Facts you should know about Mohammed Raf". Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  28. "Most Songs by Singer - Bollywood MuVyz". Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  29. "Alka Yagnik prefers live performances over playback singing". The Times of India.
  30. "A lot of songs were taken away from me". Filmfare official website.
  31. "Digitisation can enhance your singing, not your skill: Alka Yagnik". Hindustan Times. 4 January 2015.
  32. "Alka Yagnik: I'd die if a song I recorded is given to someone else". Times of India.
  33. "38th Anniversary: When music was the hero". Mid Day. 23 June 2017.
  34. "Alka Yagnik on 'Tip Tip Barsa Paani' remake, says music composers these days are tampering with all the evergreen songs - Times of India". The Times of India. 11 July 2019. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  35. "Alka Yagnik Becomes The Most Streamed Indian Artist Mom On Spotify!". Koimoi. 8 May 2019.
  36. "Singer Alka Yagnik enthralls fans at this event".
  37. "Bollywood playback singers who are tuned out!". Mid Day. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
  38. "Alka Yagnik Marriage: Two Decades Of Long Distance Relationship, Zero Regrets - The Bridal Box". 16 November 2016.
  39. "Kids were the main reason for me to choose Superstar Singer, says Alka Yagnik". Eastern Eye.
  40. "Alka Yagink's Tribute To Sridevi".
  41. "Comedy Nights with Alka & Sanu". 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  42. "Alka Yagnik to judge 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs'". Indian Express. 22 December 2014.
  43. "Saumya Tandon's fan moment on sets 'Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai'". Mid Day. 21 November 2016.
  44. "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai September 4, 2017 written update: Alka Yagnik pays tribute to Akshara at sangeet ceremony". The Times of India.
  45. "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs: Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik take the audience on a 90's nostalgia trip". 23 April 2017.
  46. "Indian Idol contestants pay special tribute to Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik".
  47. "The Kapil Sharma Show preview: A musical night with Superstar Singer team". 22 June 2019.
  48. "Alka Yagnik to judge music reality show". The Times of India.
  49. "Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan's cute BANTER on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs". DNA. 19 April 2017.
  50. "Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan to get Lata Mangeshkar Award - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.