Aarti Mukherji (also known as Aarti Mukherjee or Arati Mukhopadhyay) is a Bengali playback singer who has also sung in Hindi films such as Geet Gata Chal (1975), Tapasya (1976), Manokamana and Masoom (1983).
Aarti Mukherji was born in c. 1943 in West Bengal, India. She belongs to a bengali speaking family. In a TV show called "Dadagiri" she recollected memories of her early days. She stated there that she once got an opportunity to sing in the "All India Music Talent Programme" in 1955, when she was merely a 14 or 15 years old teenage girl who had streams of dreams to go to Bombay and match the height of fame as Lataji. Arati Mukhopadhyay was trained in Indian Classical Music from a young age. She sang primarily for Bengali films. She won the music contest, "Metro-Murphy Contest", where the judges were music directors like Anil Biswas, Naushad, Vasant Desai and C. Ramchandra. This paved way for a career as a playback singer. she got her first break in 1958 hindi film sahara starring Meena Kumari and music by Hemant Kumar, but the music of that film was not so successful. After a string of flop films like Do Dil Char Rahe(1959, music by Anil Biswas starring Meena Kumari) and Boy Friend(1961, which starred Madhubala and music by S-J), she decided to examine herself to bengali films. The reason for which she failed to curve a niche in Bollywood was that for majority of quality songs every composer except O. P. Nayyar chosed Lata. If unavailable, they had Geeta, Shamshad, Asha, Suman etc. Moreover, sweet and superb voice of her was neglected for heavy voices like lata and geeta. Despite being the alternative of lata and geeta, asha bhosle had the distinction of singing maximum songs, hardly figured out by even lata or rafi. Asha sang 285 songs in the year 1957 making the record of most songs in a year which is unbroken till date. She hardly refused any songs she got. So, it was impossible for aarti to get even B-grade songs from the stranglehold of asha whereas getting A-grade songs from lata or geeta was impossible. She played back for the first time in a bengali film called "kanna" in 1962. Her outstanding versatility and nice-pitched voice infatuated people so much that they started losing attention to erstwhile leading singer Sandhya Mukherjee. Her voice and singing style was not only different from Sandhya, but also was better than her. In the late 1960's, her voice was used to be on-screen voice of leading actress Suchitra Sen, instead of Sandhya Mukherji. In 1966, she sang in the film "Golpo Holeo Sotyi", which earned her BFJA Award for Best Female Playback Singer. In 1976, she restored the award for the film "Chhutir Phande". She lent her voice for the leading actresses of the late sixties till eighties such as Madhabi Mukherji, Sharmila Tagore, Aparna Sen, Debashri Roy, Tanuja etc. She along with Asha Bhosle took leading spot in the 1970's, gradually replacing Sandhya. It is considered to be the cause behind the decline of a flamboyant career of sandhyaji. she sang two songs in the rakhee starrer film tapasya in 1976. The first song being 'bacche ho tum khel khilone' and a duet with kishore kumar entitled 'do panchi do tinke', which was popular. She is rumoured to have sung 15000 songs in bengali as well as hindi songs to her credit. She did playback in 96 films in 6 languages- Bengali(66), Hindi(20), Oriya(5), Assamese(2), Gujarati(2) and Manipuri(1). She continued success in the seventies that inspired her to try her fate in bollywood once again. It was R. D. Burman, who was the mentor of bengali singers who would later give Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet and Andrew Kishore their first breaks in bollywood. In 1983, He gave her to sing the melodious song "Do naina aur ek kahani" in the film Masoom as the voice of Shabana Azmi. The song was a chartbuster and is even lilted today. It earned her Filmfare award for best female playback singer in 1983. She has also churned out a mindblowing classical song "Kabhi Kuch Pal" in the film Rang Birangi, a female duet with Anuradha Paudwal in 1983. Like Sandhya Mukherji had on-screne voice almost every film for Suchitra Sen and Asha Bhosle as Sharmila Tagore's, she has the distinction of becoming the on-screne voice of actresses Tanuja. Her popular repertoires include 'Radha banshi chara janena','Ek boishakhe dekha holo dujonar','Ei mon jochonay pa dubiye','ja ja behaya pakhi jana','na de de da, tu na tum','tokhon tomar ekush bochor bodhoy'. She also has a number of famous non-film songs to her credit. She lent her voice to a number of Hindi compositions as well. She joined the BJP in September 2014.
She won the National Film Award as well as Filmfare Award as Best Female Playback Singer Award for the song "Do naina" in Shekhar Kapur's Masoom. BFJA Award for Best Female Playback Singer- 1976 for the film "Chhutir Phande" BFJA Award for Best Female Playback Singer- 1967 for the filkm "Golpo Holeo Satyi"
|1985||Ram Tere Kitne Nam||Hindi|
|1983||Masoom||Hindi||Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer|
|1981||Tike Hasa Tike Luha||Oriya|
|1980||Ek Baar Kaho||Hindi|
|1980||Geet Gaata Chal||Hindi|
|1979||Nagin Aur Suhagan||Hindi|
|1978||Saajan Bina Suhagan||Hindi|
|1978||Ganga Ki Saugand||Hindi|
|1977||Janam Janam Na Saath||Gujrati|
|1974||Bikele Bhorer Phul||Bengali|
|1971||Jal Bin Machhli Nritya Bin Bijli||Hindi|
|1966||Joradighir Chowdhury Paribar||Bengali|
|1965||Abhaya O Srikanta||Bengali|
- "Do Panchhi Do Tinke"
- "Kabhi Kuchch Pal Jeevan Ke"
- "Do Naina, Ek Kahani"
- "Bolo Na Bolo Na Soi"
- "Prajapati Sethay Ghore"
- "Kon Kule Aaj Bhirlo Tari"
- "Swapna Niye"
- "Sujyi Alo De"
- "Anugatajane Keno Karo Eto"
- "Full of patriotic fervour Solo magic". The Hindu. 3 October 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Aarti Mukherji at the Internet Movie Database
- Aarti Mukherji at Bollywood Hungama
- "Aarti Mukherjee on Calcuttaweb". Archived from the original on 13 February 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
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