Playback singer

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For other uses, see Playback.

A playback singer is a singer whose singing is pre-recorded for use in movies. Playback singers record songs for soundtracks, and actors or actresses lip-sync the songs for cameras, while the actual singer does not appear on screen.

South Asia[edit]

South Asian movies produced in the Indian subcontinent are particularly known for using this technique. A majority of Indian movies as well as Pakistani movies, typically include six or seven songs. After Alam Ara (1931), the first talkie film, for many years singers made dual recordings for a film, one during the shoot, and later in the recording studio, this practice continued till 1952–53. Popular playback singers in India enjoy the same status as popular actors, and music directors, such as Rahul Dev Burman (1939–1994)[1][2] and A. R. Rahman,[3] also receive wide public admiration.

Most of the playback singers are initially trained in classical music, though they later often expand their range.[4] Mohammad Rafi and Ahmed Rushdi, both are regarded as two of the most influential playback singers in South Asia.[5][6][7][8] The sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, who have mainly worked in Hindi films, are often referred to as two of the best-known and most prolific playback singers in India.[9][10][11][12][13] In 1991, Mangeshkar was cited by the Guinness Book of World Records for having sung more than 30,000 solo, duet and chorus-backed song recordings, more than any other singer in the world.[14][15] In 2011, Guinness officially acknowledged Asha Bhosle as the most recorded artist in music history, surpassing her sister.[16]

Other popular singers include Bhupen Hazarika, KJ Yesudas,[9] Mukesh, (Talat Mahmood), Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, Noor Jehan,(Shamshad Begum), (Suraiya) ( Mubarak begum) Sandhya Mukherjee, Sabina Yasmin, Kishore Kumar, Geeta Dutt, Anuradha Paudwal, S.P. Balasubramaniam, K. S. Chitra, S. Janaki, Vani Jayaram, P. Susheela, p. Leela,[17] Swarnalatha,[18] Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu, Sonu Nigam, K.K., Shaan, Himesh Reshammiya, Mika Singh, Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Zubeen Garg.[19][20]

Famous Pakistani playback singers include Shafqat Amanat Ali, Ahmed Rushdi, Nazia Hassan, Alamgir,[21] Mehdi Hassan, Masood Rana, Adnan Sami Khan, Noor Jehan, Mala, Ghulam Ali and Runa Laila.[22]

Songs in Bollywood movies – the combined products of the talents of lyricists, music directors/composers, and singers – often determine the extent of success of individual movies; as such, playback singers are an important part of the Indian film industry. Soundtracks for movies are usually released before the movies themselves.

Hollywood[edit]

Playback singing is not as common in contemporary Hollywood given the fact that musicals are not as frequent. It was, however, more widely used in the past. Notable Hollywood performances include Marni Nixon in West Side Story for Natalie Wood's character (she also did dubbings in The King and I and My Fair Lady), Bill Lee voicing the Christopher Plummer character in The Sound of Music,[23] Lindsay Ridgeway for Ashley Peldon's character as Darla Dimple in the animated film Cats Don't Dance, Claudia Brücken providing the singing voice for Erika Heynatz's character as Elsa Lichtmann in L.A. Noire, and Betty Noyes singing for Debbie Reynolds in Singin' in the Rain,[24] a movie in which playback singing is a major plot point. James Brown play backed Jackie Chan in the movie The Tuxedo.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wolk, Douglas (April 1999). "Kill Your Radio: Music On The 'Net". CMJ New Music (Electro Media): 61. 
  2. ^ D. Booth, Gregory (2008). Behind the curtain: making music in Mumbai's film studios. OUP USA. pp. 275–276. ISBN 0-19-532764-0. 
  3. ^ Srinivasan, Meera (27 February 2009). "Fans spend a sleepless night". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 August 2009. 
  4. ^ Rajamani, Radhika (17 February 2003). "Realising a dream". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  5. ^ Harris, Craig. "Mohammed Rafi on AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  6. ^ "Articles about Mohammad Rafi – Times of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Ahmed Rushdi, Remembering a legend". Dawn News. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Express Tribune, Remembering Ahmed Rushdi". Archived from the original on 27 April 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Gangadhar, v. (18 May 2001). "Only the best preferred". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  10. ^ Gulzar; Nihalani, Govind; Chatterji, Saibal (2003). Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema. Popular Prakashan. pp. 72–73. ISBN 81-7991-066-0. 
  11. ^ Arnold, Alison (2000). The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Taylor & Francis. pp. 420–421. ISBN 0-8240-4946-2. 
  12. ^ Yasmeen, Afshan (21 September 2004). "Music show to celebrate birthday of melody queen". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 August 2009. 
  13. ^ Pride, Dominic (August 1996). "The Latest Music News From Around The Planet". Billboard: 51. 
  14. ^ Puri, Amit (24 February 2003). "Dedicated to Queen of Melody". The Tribune, Chandigarh. Retrieved 18 August 2009. 
  15. ^ "Melody Queen Lata rings in 75th birthday quietly". The Tribune, Chandigarh. 29 September 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2009. 
  16. ^ Banerjee, Soumyadipta (22 October 2011). "It’s a world record for Asha Bhosle". DNA India. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Glorious 50 years". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 13 April 2007. 
  18. ^ BBC World Service 70th Anniversary Global Music Poll: The World's Top Ten. 2002. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  19. ^ Kumar, Divya (5 February 2009). "Shreya rocks". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 October 2009. 
  20. ^ Locapally, Vijay (5 January 2008). "Singing star". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 August 2009. 
  21. ^ "Nisar Bazmi passes away". Top11.htm. 23 March 2007. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  22. ^ Alavi, Omair (1 October 2006). "The rise and fall of playback singing". Dawn. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  23. ^ "The Sound of Music full credits". IMDb.com. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  24. ^ Earl J. Hess and Pratibha A. Dabholkar, Singin' in the Rain: The Making of an American Masterpiece (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2009), p145.