|Born||20 March 1966|
Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Alka Yagnik (born 20 March 1966) is an Indian playback singer who works predominantly in Hindi cinema. She has been described in the media as one of the most prominent and successful playback singers in Bollywood. In her career spanning over four decades she has recorded over 8000 songs for films and albums in various Indian languages and received several accolades including two National Film Awards, two Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards and a record seven Filmfare Awards for Best Female Playback Singer[note 1] from a record of thirty-six nominations.
Yagnik is one of the most prolific female playback singers and artists, and has sung a large number of female solos in her Bollywood career. In her career spanning over four decades she has sung songs for more than thousand films and recorded over twenty thousand songs in different Indian languages. Twenty of her tracks feature in BBC's list of top forty Bollywood soundtracks of all-time. She is ranked No.1 on the YouTube's Music Charts & Insights list of top global artists as of January 2023. She has been on the chart for 331 weeks with 371 million views.
Yagnik has been recognized as the most streamed artist in the world by Guinness World Records with 15.3 Billion YouTube views in 2022. The record book further reported that, "Kolkata-born Yagnik, 56, has been the most popular artist on the platform for the past three years, with 17 billion streams in 2021 and 16.6 billion in 2020."
Yagnik was born in Kolkata on 20 March 1966 to a Gujarati family. Her father's name is Dharmendra Shankar. Her mother Shubha was a singer of Indian classical music. In 1972 at age six, she started singing for Akashvani (All India Radio), Calcutta. 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 Shantaram Kudalkar. 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. Yagnik mentioned that she was a bright student but didn't like studies.
A classically trained Yagnik began singing bhajans for Akashvani (All India Radio), Calcutta 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 a 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. Besides Hindi, she has sung in more than twenty-five languages, besides singing 15 Pakistani songs. including Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Manipuri, Odia, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Tamil and Telugu. She has also performed in live concerts around the world. In an interview with Mid-Day, Yagnik told that she records five songs daily during her time.
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.
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. Besides the duet version, she also sang the female version of the song with Ila Arun. She has performed several shows with Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.
Throughout the 90s Yagnik along with Kavita Krishnamurthy and Poornima were singing most of the songs for heroines.
Yagnik worked on private albums like "Tum Yaad Aaye" in 1997 in close collaboration with award-winning lyricist Javed Akhtar and composer Raju Singh, "Tum Aaye" in 2002 with Javed Akhtar and singer Hariharan and "Shairana" in 2003 with Javed Akhtar and singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan. 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!.
In 2012 she along with Sonu Nigam sang a song 'Shiksha Ka Suraj' as part of the National Literacy Mission of India for which she was felicitated by Union Minister For Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal. 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. 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.
Yagnik has also been involved in various projects to empower girls. In 2014, Yagnik again teamed up with Sonu Nigam to sing the song "Phool Khil Jayenge" for child health awareness. 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 power to Yagnik to do any of own style of singing in the song 'Agar Tum Saath Ho'.
Yagnik shares the title for the greatest number of Filmfare Awards with Asha Bhosle (seven) by a female playback singer. 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), Lata Mangeshkar (5596 songs) and Kishore Kumar (2,707 songs). She is the third topmost female playback singer after Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle who has sung the maximum number of female solos in her Bollywood career.
Yagnik credits her mother as her first guru, who began singing at the age of four. Besides her mother, Alka learned singing from Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant–Pyarelal. Although she has sung many genres of songs but according to Alka, her voice suits the romantic genre best. Alka has acknowledged veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar as her inspiration, She has sung romantic, sad, peppy, seductive and item number songs.
Yagnik has sung more than 9000 songs in over 300 films. Most of her duets were with Kumar Sanu, followed by Udit Narayan and Sonu Nigam. She sang maximum numbers of romantic songs with Kumar Sanu and flamboyant numbers of songs with Udit Narayan and she is known with Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan, as the trinity of 90s playback singing.
In the media
Yagnik is cited as "the queen of playback singing". On Mother's Day 12 May 2019, Alka became the most-streamed Indian artist-mom on Spotify. The Times of India cited her as 'honey-voiced singer'. Hindustan Times mentioned her as "magical voice". Mid-Day included her in the list of notable 90s playback singers. One of the most well known and leading contemporary singer Sunidhi Chauhan once said that she can't even dream of getting where Lataji, Ashaji and Alkaji (Alka Yagnik) have reached.
Yagnik married Shillong-based businessman Neeraj Kapoor in 1989, with whom she has a daughter named Syesha.
Besides singing, Yagnik also judged several singing reality shows on television.
|1992||Sapne Sajan Ke||Yagnik also appeared in film Sapne Sajan Ke in a song 'Yeh Dua Hai Meri' with co-singer Kumar Sanu.||—||—|
|2006||Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs||She made her first television debut with the show.||Zee TV|||
|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.||Colors TV|||
|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|||
|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|||
|2017||Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai||Yagnik also appeared as a guest in Hindi serial 'Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai'||STAR Plus|||
|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|||
|2018||Rising Star||She appears as a guest and gave a special tribute to late actress Sri Devi||Colors|||
|Indian Idol||She appeared in 10th season of Indian Idol with co-singer Kumar Sanu.||Sony Entertainment Television|||
|2019||The Kapil Sharma Show||She appeared in The Kapil Sharma Show with other two judges for the promotion of her show 'Superstar Singer'.|||
|Superstar Singer||In 2019, she appeared in Superstar Singer as a Judge in Sony TV.|||
|2020||Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs||Besides Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan and Kumar Sanu appeared as judges after 30 years.||Zee TV|||
She also appeared in Star Voice of India as a judge. She appears as a guest with Udit Narayan in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs.
Awards and nominations
Yagnik has won several accolades including two National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for her songs: "Ghoongat Ki Aad Se" from Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993) and "Kuch Kuch Hota Hai" from Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998). She has won a record seven Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer[note 2] for her songs: "Ek Do Teen" from Tezaab (1988), "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai" from Khalnayak (1993), "Zara Tasveer Se Tu" from Pardes (1998), "Taal Se Taal" from Taal (2000), "Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Hai Dil Se" from Dhadkan (2001), "O Re Chhori" from Lagaan (2002) and "Hum Tum" from Hum Tum (2005) from a record thirty-eight nominations. Additionally she has won two Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards. For her contribution in the field of music, Yagnik was bestowed with the Lata Mangeshkar Award in 2017.
- ^ Tied with Asha Bhosle.
- ^ Tied with Asha Bhosle.
- ^ a b "Women are fading out from Bollywood music". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 13 May 2019.
- ^ a b "Iconic Alka Yagnik". IBN Live. 19 March 2012. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- ^ "Happy Birthday Alka Yagnik: Evergreen songs by the melody queen that will make you nostalgic". 20 March 2019. Archived from the original on 13 May 2019.
- ^ "BBC Top 40 tracks of all time". BBC Asia. 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- ^ "YouTube Music Charts". Retrieved 17 March 2020 – via YouTube.
- ^ "Guinness World Records". Retrieved 21 January 2023 – via YouTube.
- ^ a b c "Alka Yagnik birthday: Lesser known facts about the Agar Tum Saath Ho singer, you would love to know". Times Now News. 20 March 2019. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
- ^ a b "A Lots of Songs Were Taken From Me". Filmfare. Archived from the original on 13 May 2019.
- ^ "Alka_Yagnik". Alkayagnik.co.in. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
- ^ a b Number, A Hit (16 October 2011). "Fine Tuning". The Telegraph, Calcutta, India. Archived from the original on 18 October 2011. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
- ^ "About Me". Alka Yagnik. 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
- ^ a b "Would listen to my songs, analyse, learn from mistakes: Alka Yagnik". Hindustan Times. 21 April 2017.
- ^ "Alka Yagnik lends her voice to a Rajasthani film". The Times of India.
- ^ Dasgupta, Piali (17 April 2012). "˜Item songs dominate the film industry". Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
- ^ a b "Alka Yagnik: Sang Ek Do Teen in one go". Mid-Day. 9 July 2018.
- ^ a b "Musical notes with Alka Yagnik". Bollywood Hungama. 25 October 2016. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- ^ "mid-day 38th anniversary: When music was the hero". mid-day. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
- ^ a b "15 Most Perverted Double Meaning Songs in Bollywood". MensXP.com. 30 May 2015. Archived from the original on 28 July 2019.
- ^ Raman, Sruthi Ganapathy (9 December 2017). "Sunidhi Chauhan interview: 'Any song can sound good if you do a good job'". Scroll.in. Retrieved 14 January 2020.
- ^ "Hindi Sad Diamonds (From "Moulin Rouge" Soundtrack) by John Leguizamo & Nicole Kidman & Alka Yagnik". Amazon.
- ^ "Shiksha Ka Suraj". The Times of India. 2012. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- ^ "Felicitations". The Hindu. 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
- ^ "Song of The Century". 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- ^ "Hottest Song of The Century". 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- ^ "Save the Girl Child". India West. 2012. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- ^ "Child Health Awareness". 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
- ^ "World Music Day: 'Time just flew by', says Alka Yagnik on spending close to four decades in Bollywood". indulgexpress.com. Archived from the original on 25 August 2019.
- ^ "Filmfare Award Archive" (PDF). 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2005.
- ^ "Facts you should know about Mohammed Raf". Retrieved 2 September 2016.
- ^ "Alka Yagnik prefers live performances over playback singing". The Times of India.
- ^ a b "A lot of songs were taken away from me". Filmfare official website.
- ^ "Digitisation can enhance your singing, not your skill: Alka Yagnik". Hindustan Times. 4 January 2015.
- ^ a b c "Alka Yagnik: I'd die if a song I recorded is given to someone else". The Times of India.
- ^ "38th Anniversary: When music was the hero". Mid-Day. 23 June 2017.
- ^ IANS (8 May 2019). "Alka Yagnik is number one on this list". TheQuint. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
- ^ "Singer Alka Yagnik enthralls fans at this event - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
- ^ "Melody and good music will remain in our hearts forever, says Alka Yagnik". Hindustan Times. 9 August 2020. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
- ^ "Bollywood playback singers who are tuned out!". Mid-Day. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2017.
- ^ Jha, Subhash K (14 June 2005). "How can I disrespect Lata, Asha: Sunidhi". Hindustan Times. Indo-Asian News Service. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
- ^ "Alka Yagnik Birthday Special: From 'Tip Tip Barsa' to 'Lal Dupatta,' Top 10 songs by the soulful singer". Free Press Journal. 19 March 2021. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
- ^ a b "Kids were the main reason for me to choose Superstar Singer, says Alka Yagnik". Eastern Eye. 3 July 2019.
- ^ "Comedy Nights with Alka & Sanu". 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
- ^ "Alka Yagnik to judge 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs'". The Indian Express. 22 December 2014.
- ^ "Saumya Tandon's fan moment on sets 'Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai'". Mid-Day. 21 November 2016.
- ^ "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai September 4, 2017 written update: Alka Yagnik pays tribute to Akshara at sangeet ceremony". The Times of India.
- ^ "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs: Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik take the audience on a 90's nostalgia trip". 23 April 2017.
- ^ "Alka Yagink's Tribute To Sridevi".
- ^ "Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan to usher in Navratri on TV". Sify. Indo-Asian News Service. 6 October 2021. Archived from the original on 7 October 2021. Retrieved 20 June 2022.
- ^ "The Kapil Sharma Show preview: A musical night with Superstar Singer team". 22 June 2019.
- ^ "Alka Yagnik to judge music reality show". The Times of India.[permanent dead link]
- ^ "Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu launch the new season of SaReGaMaPa Lil Champs 2020". Mumbai Live. 28 February 2020. Retrieved 4 March 2020.
- ^ "Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan's cute BANTER on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs". DNA. 19 April 2017.
- ^ "41st National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 January 2020. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
- ^ "46th National Film Awards (PIB - Feature films)". Press Information Bureau (PIB), India. Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
- ^ "The Filmfare Awards Winners – 1988". The Times Group. Archived from the original on 14 October 2007.
- ^ "The Filmfare Awards Winners – 1993". The Times Group. Archived from the original on 28 October 2007.
- ^ "43rd Filmfare Awards 1998 Winners". Indian Times. The Times Group. Archived from the original on 8 May 2006. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
- ^ "The 45th Filmfare Awards 2000 Winners". Indian Times. The Times Group. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
- ^ "Filmfare Awards Winners From 1953 to 2019". filmfare.com. Retrieved 14 February 2020.
- ^ "Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan to get Lata Mangeshkar Award". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 February 2022.
- 1966 births
- Living people
- Gujarati people
- Bengali singers
- Singers from Kolkata
- Bollywood playback singers
- Assamese playback singers
- Bengali-language singers
- Malayalam playback singers
- Marathi-language singers
- Punjabi-language singers
- Tamil-language singers
- Telugu playback singers
- Urdu playback singers
- Women musicians from West Bengal
- 21st-century Indian singers
- 20th-century Indian singers
- 20th-century Indian women singers
- 21st-century Indian women singers
- Filmfare Awards winners
- Screen Awards winners
- Zee Cine Awards winners
- Best Female Playback Singer National Film Award winners
- International Indian Film Academy Awards winners