Shilpa Rao

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Shilpa Rao
Birth name Apeksha Rao
Born Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India
Genres Pop,Indian classical music
Occupations Playback singer
Years active 2006 – present

Shilpa Rao (born Apeksha Rao) is an Indian female playback singer in Hindi films.[1]

Early life[edit]

She was born on 11 April 1984 in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand.[citation needed] Her father, S. V. Rao, who held a degree in music, introduced her to music. For her education, she went to Little Flower School and Loyola School, Jamshedpur.


The playback singer Hariharan arranged for Rao to study under his music teacher, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. After performing with Shankar Mahadevan in concert, she moved to Mumbai on his advice.

Although she started her career singing advertising jingles, Rao soon moved on to film music. In 2006 she recorded the song "Tosey Naina Lagey" for the movie Anwar and "Saiyaan Re" for the film Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love. She went on to perform songs in films like The Train ("Woh Ajnabee"), Aamir ("Ek Lau"), Dev D ("Dhol Yaara Dhol", "Ranjhana"), Gulal ("Aisi Saaza").[2] She has sung one Tamil song in Naan Mahaan Alla ("Oru Maalai Neram") for Yuvan Shankar Raja.She recently appeared on Star World's popular TV series "The Dewarists" in collaboration with "Agnee" and "Parikrama". She has also sung some Bengali songs mostly with Jeet Ganguly. She also Sung a Song Bekaboo from the Serial Navya.

An article published in the Hindustan Times in 2009 described her as one of the most prominent singers in the "wave" of "young, little-known singers" then sweeping through Bollywood.[3] She is also a part of band, Band Called Nine, with lyricist Neelesh Misra and composer Amartya Rahut, working with traditional Indian craft of Qissa Goi (storytelling).[4] In 2011, the band released its debut album, Rewind, consisting of songs and storytelling, put together with a narrative.[5][6]

In 2012, Rao sang 'Yaariyaan' for Cocktail.The song got critical success and went on to became a chart-buster eventually.She ended the year 2012 by working with academy award winner A. R. Rahman for the song 'Ishq Shava' in Yash Chopra's last film Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The song was received well by the critics and public. In 2013, Rao sang 'Malang' – Dhoom 3 which gave her critical success. The song went on to become a rage and then a chart-buster.


Year Film Song Name Composer Notes
2005 Ek Ajnabee Stranger on the Prowl Amar Mohile
2007 Anwar Javeda Zindagi (Tose Naina Laage) Mithoon
Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love Saiyaan Re Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
The Train Woh Ajnabee
Teri Tamanna
Gandhi My Father Pain (Raghupati Raghav)
Gandhi's Favourite
Piyush Kanojia
2008 Aamir Ek Lau Amit Trivedi
Bachna Ae Haseeno Khuda Jaane Vishal-Shekhar Won – Screen Award for Best Female Playback
Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer
Nominated – IIFA Award for Best Female Playback
Hijack Koi Na Jaane Justin-Uday
2009 Gulaal Aisi Sazaa Piyush Mishra
Aagey Se Right Mahiya Ram Sampath
Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam Egire Egire
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Telugu
Sikandar Manzaraat Justin-Uday
Dev.D Dhol Yaara Dhol
Amit Trivedi
Puthiya Mukham Rahasyamay Deepak Dev Malayalam Film
Paa Mudhi Mudhi Ittefaq Se
Udhi Udhi Ittefaq Se
2010 Toh Baat Pakki! Dil Le Jaa Pritam
Admissions Open Aasman Ke Paar
Lahore Rang De
O Re Bande
M.M Kreem
Naan Mahaan Alla Oru Maalai Neram Yuvan Shankar Raja Tamil Film
Lafangey Parindey Nain Parindey R. Anandh
Anjaana Anjaani Anjaana Anjaani
I Feel Good
Memories in March Kaisi Azeeb Dawat
2011 No One Killed Jessica Yeh Pal Amit Trivedi
That Girl in Yellow Boots Ladkhadaaya Naren Chandavarkar & Benedict Taylor
Yeh Saali Zindagi Dil Dar-Ba-Dar
Yeh Saali Zindagi
Yeh Saali Zindagi
Nishat Khan
Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge Uh-Oh Uh-Oh Raghu Dixit
Ladies vs Ricky Bahl Jazba Salim-Sulaiman
Pappu Can't Dance Saala Lamha
Desi Boyz Allah Maaf Kare Pritam
2012 Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Aahatein
Kar Chalna Shuru Tu
Amit Trivedi
Jodi Breakers Jab Main Tumhare Saath Hun Salim-Sulaiman
Cocktail Yaariyaan Pritam
English Vinglish English Vinglish
Gustakh Dil
Amit Trivedi Hindi, Tamil, Telugu
Jab Tak Hai Jaan Ishq Shava A.R. Rahman
Awara Moner Radio Jeet Ganguly Bengali Film
2013 Lootera Manmarziyan Amit Trivedi
3G Khalbali Mithoon
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Subhanallah Pritam
Dhoom 3 Malang Pritam
2014 Gulaab Gang Gulaabi Soumik Sen
2014 Bang Bang! Meherbaan Vishal–Shekhar


  • Teri Aakhein – Saiyaan
  • Navya..Naye Dhadkan Naye Sawaal – "Bekaboo"
  • Band Called Nine (Shilpa Rao, Neelesh Misra, Amartya Rahut) – Rewind
  • The Dewarists (Season One) – I Believe
  • MTV Unplugged (Season One)
  • Coke Studio @ MTV Season 2 – Hallelujah, Shedding Skin


Shilpa won the Best Female Playback Singer at the Star Screen Awards, 2008 for the song "Khuda Jaane" from the movie Bachna Ae Haseeno. The song was also adjudged the Song of the Year. She also has won Best Singer award at Indian Television Academy Awards for Navya..Naye Dhadkan Naye Sawaal. She has also won 2 GIMA Awards.


  1. ^ "Tracking playback singer Shilpa Rao's success Published: Wednesday,". DNA. 21 December 2011. 
  2. ^ George, Liza (7 April 2008). "New Kid on the Block". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 March 2009. 
  3. ^ Nanda, Malvika (8 August 2009). "Coup in Bollywood". Hindustan Times. p. 17. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  4. ^ "Shilpa Rao to sing for webcert online". Hindustan Times. 19 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Band Called Nine releases its debut album". The Indian Express. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Neelesh Misra: Reviving the traditional storytelling". CNN-IBN (IBN LIVE). 18 September 2012. 

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