Sadhana Sargam

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Sadhana Sargam
Sadhana Sargam.jpg
Background information
Birth name Sadhana Ghanekar[1]
Born 1973/1974 (age 41–42)[2]
Dabhol, Maharashtra, India
Genres Playback singing, Indian classical, Devotional, Pop Music, Ghazals, Regional Film Music, Spiritual, Folk and Classical Singer
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocalist
Years active 1982–current

Sadhana Sargam (born Sadhana Purushottam Ghanekar) is a playback singer of Indian cinema with a career spanning over three decades. Besides film music, she is well known for her devotional songs, Classical music, ghazals, regional film songs and pop albums. She is a recipient of the National Film Award[3] and Filmfare Awards South. She bagged five Maharashtra State Film awards and four Gujarat State Film Awards.

Sadhana has been felicitated with 'Lata Mangeshkar Award' from the Government of Madhya- Pradesh.

Sadhana performed at prestigious music festival Sawai Gandharva at the age of 4. She sang popular song "Sooraj Ek Chanda Ek Taare Anek" for Doordarshan at the age 6. The song was composed by veteran Vasant Desai. She is the only playback singer who actively participated and sings meditation songs for spiritual foundations like Prajapita Brahmkumari Vishwavidyalaya and Satya Saibaba.

Sadhana has sung in 34 Indian languages for films, television serials, devotionals and pop music albums. This is another record for melodious queen Sadhana Sargam. She is well known for her 1990s Hindi songs and South Indian songs. She holds a record for being the only non South Indian to have won the National Award for a South Indian song.[4] She is also a trained Hindustani classical singer. Beginning her career in the early 1980s, Sargam has recorded her voice in various Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Odia, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Nepali and many others.


Sadhana is the daughter of classical singer and music teacher Neela Ghanekar. Influenced by the musical environs of her home, Sadhana began to learn singing and classical music from the age of four. She won a Central Government scholarship at the age of 10 and this led to a 7 – year learning stint under Pandit Jasraj. From childhood she was also learning and performing with Vasant Desai for his documentaries, children’s films and stage shows. Desai advised her mother that Sadhana was competent enough to handle both classical and light music and should remain in touch with both, as her mother wanted her to take up light singing. In fact, it was Desai who recommended that she learn under Pandit Jasraj.

Early life[edit]

Sadhana was born to a family of musicians at Dabhol, the seaport town in Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra. Her mother Neela Ghanekar, knew arranger – composer Anil Mohile, who was then arranging music for Kalyanji-Anandji. He introduced Sadhana to them, and she was in the children’s chorus in "Pam Pararampam, Bole Jeevan Ki Sargam" sung by Kishore Kumar in G. P. Sippy’s Trishna (1978).


Sadhna has sung 1938 Hindi songs in 1546 films and 1111Tamil songs in 536 films. She has reportedly sung 2500 Bengali songs from 1994-2015. She has sung 3467 songs in Marathi. She has sung 15,000 songs in 34 Indian languages. She has won all topmost awards in India.[5][6]


1982 – 1990: Early Career[edit]

Sadhana made her playback debut in Kanku Pagli, a Gujarati film. Her first Hindi song was the solo "Door Nahin Rehna" from the film Rustom. However, Rustom got delayed and was released only in 1985, and Sadhana’s first released film was Subhash Ghai’s Vidhaata (1982) in which she sang the song "Saat Saheliyan" for actress Padmini Kolhapure.[7] The song, composed by Kalyanji-Anandji, also had the voices of Kishore Kumar and Alka Yagnik.

Sadhana continued to sing for her mentors in films like Taqdeer, Pighalta Aasmaan, Raj Tilak, Karishma Kudrat Ka (in which she was the only female singer) and others, but it was only with "Har Kisiko Nahin Milta" (Janbaaz 1986) that she was really noticed.

Khudgarz was followed by Khoon Bhari Maang (1988) and Sadhana also began to sing for other composers like Anu Malik, R. D. Burman, Anand Milind and sparingly under Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Her main hits continued to be with Rajesh Roshan, which included 'Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye' / Jurm, 'Radha Bina Hai' / Kishan Kanhaiya, and songs in Dariya Dil, Aasmaan Se Ooncha and Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni.

She got a major boost from Tridev (Kalyanji – Anandji – Viju Shah) in 1989 in which she shone in "Main Teri Mohabbat Mein" and "Gajar Ne Kiya Hai Ishara".

1990–2000: Fame and Migration to South Indian films[edit]

In the early 1990s, Sadhana soon emerged as one of the most sought-after female singers, along with Kavita Krishnamurthy, Alka Yagnik, and Anuradha Paudwal. She sang for composers like Anand–Milind, Nadeem–Shravan, Anu Malik, Jatin – Lalit, Bappi Lahiri, Viju Shah and Dilip Sen – Sameer Sen.

For the 1992 film Vishwatma, she sang "Saat Samundar Paar" which became a tremendously Hit song and is still everyone's favourite and had even further boosted her career. From the mid-1990s, Sadhana became popular in singing Tamil songs. She is the only playback singer from India who currently sings in 27 regional languages. She won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the song "Pattu Solli" from Thankar Bachan's cult classic movie Azhagi; the music was by maestro Ilaiyaraaja, whom she has praised for "giving her such a wonderful song, and making her eligible for the National Award". Her most critically acclaimed[citation needed] songs were in the film Water, composed by A. R. Rahman, in which she sang three songs: "Aayo Re Sakhi", "Piya Ho" and "Naina Neer". Her other notable songs in Hindi with the same composer include "Aahista Aahista" from Swades, "Chupke Se" and "Naina Milaike" from Saathiya, "Chanda Re" from Sapney, "O Palanhare" from Lagaan, "Jhulaa Bahon Ka" from Doli Saja Ke Rakhna, and "Banno Rani" from 1947: Earth. Her other notable rhapsodic hits in Hindi are "Neele Neele Ambar Par" from Kalakaar, "Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye" from Jurm, "Pehla Nasha" from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, "Teri Umeed Tera Intezar" from Deewana, "Na Kajre Ki Dhar" from Mohra, "Aashiqui Mein Har Aashiq" from Dil Ka Kya Kasoor, "Tere Dar Pe Sanam" from Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee, "Jhinimini" from Maqbool and "Aao Na" from Kyun! Ho Gaya Na....

She won her first Star Screen award for "Chupke se Lag Ja Gale" from Saathiya. She also won Filmfare, IIFA, Star Screen, GIFA, Apsara awards, Zee Cine Award, Star Screen Award and Stardust Best Playback Singer Female award nomination for "Aao Na" from " Kyon Ho Gaya Na..!" She received prestigious Zee Cine Award at Dubai for "Halki Halki Mulaqate Thi" from Kuch Na Kaho in 2003.

She has sung more than 170 songs in Tamil alone and has many top songs. Her recent songs are "medhuvaagathaan" from Kochadaiiyaan. Her most famous songs in Tamil include "Snehithane" from Alaipayuthey, "Mukundha Mukundha" from Dasavathaaram, "Akkam Pakkam" from Kireedam, "Konjum Mainakkale" from Kandukondain Kandukondain and "Swasame" from Thenali. She also sang "Om Zaarare" from Kuselan, along with Daler Mehndi and K. S. Chithra.

Bengali career[edit]

Sadhna sang her first sing in the 1992 film Daan Pratidan, music composed by Ajoy Das. The following year Bappi Lahiri approached her to sing in the film Tomar Rakte Amar Sohag. She sang in films like Sagar Kinare, Kotha Chilo, Phiriye Dao and Dhushar Godhuli.

Recent works[edit]

Sadhana sang several songs in Hindi and Odia for music director Kajol-Saroj. She has also sung the Tamil version of "Mann Mohana" from the Hindi film Jodhaa Akbar. Another notable recent solo Tamil song is "Sutri Varum Bhoomi" from the Vidhyasagar-composed Jeyamkondaan and "En Nenjil" from Baana Kaathadi. She also sang for the Hindi-dubbed version of Chandramukhi in 2008. "The song Rara are tu aja.. " from Hindi-dubbed version of Chandramukhi became very popular. Sadhana's recent Kannada song Marali mareyagi from the movie Savaari became very popular across the south India.

The recent Ilaiyaraaja-composed Tamil film Naan Kadavul had a song titled "Amma Un Pillai" featuring her voice.

Her popular tracks in Marathi include "Onjalit Majhya" and "Saanjh Jhali Tari" from Sarivar Sari, "Dis Char Jhale Mann" and "Dhag Datun Yetat" from Aaishappath, "Pahile Paul", "Jhali Punha Pravahi" and "Ye Saad Jivnachi" from Sakhi.

Her recent Marathi album Tu Sukhkarta..Tu Dukhaharta was released by Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar on the occasion of Shri Ganesh Chaturthi on 3 September 2010 at Ravindra Natya Mandir, Mumbai. The songs were composed by Amol Bawdekar and lyrics were written by Mahesh Ghatpande. In 2008 Sadhana was a singer in the album "Noorani Chehra" produced to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of HH the Aga Khan. Her songs in this album included: Sabse unchi and the garba "Hey maara saaheba na bol mane saambhle re lol" both written in Gujarati by Shaukat (Sam) Kassam.

In 2011, Sadhana Sargam made a significant contribution to the spiritual music world by lending her golden voice to an album: Mahalaxmi Mukti Samvad, MMS i.e. Mahalaxmi's Dialogues of Salvation. The lyrics of these are written by Dr. Pradeep Wagh. Dr. Wagh's entire Trilogy of Anthologies is hosted on . The books are available from . This album was released at the hands of great spiritual Guru Vidyavachaspati Dr. Shankar Abhyankar.[8]

In 2013 'Sadhana Sargam sang romantic duet songs with Udit Narayan,"Ek dil toota idhar bhi,koi apna rootha udhar bhi" and "Ek dil mein mohabbat idhar bhi "penned by Raghvendra Singh in music direction of Navin Manish for Rajshri Productions TV show " Jhilmil Sitaaron Ka Aangan Hoga "on Sahara One channel.

In 2014 Sadhana Sargam has sung a bhajan, "O kaanha kaa tohe arpan karun " penned by Raghvendra Singh in music direction of Navin Manish for Rajshri Productions upcoming TV show Mere Rang mein Rangne Waali on Life Ok channel.

Upcoming Project[edit]

Sadhana Sargam has sung a romantic song, "Abhi Sawalon Me Aaye" in "Teen Tilange" upcoming Bollywood film, written & produced by pawan pandit and directed by shashank dandotiya. Marathi Feature Film Majha naav shivaji (2016) Produced by Chakraborty and Pranita Pawar, Directed by Pranita Pawar

Significant collaborations[edit]


Sadhana has recorded many songs for the veteran composer Ilayaraja in Tamil and Telugu movies such as Azhagi, En Mana Vaanil, Oru Naal Oru Kanavu, Naan Kadavul, Ramanaa, Ninuchudaka Nenundalenu, Manasellam, Ayyan, Anumanaspadam, Rudramadevi and many more.

A. R. Rahman

Sadhana has recorded many songs for the Academy Award winning composer A. R. Rahman in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu movies such as Jeans, Minsara Kanavu, Ratchagan, Alaipayuthey, Kandukonden Kandukonden, 1947 Earth, Thenali, New, Anbe Aaruyire, Boys, Saathiya, Parthale Paravasam, Water, Alli Arjuna, Udhaya, Naani, Warriors of Heaven and Earth, Enthiran,Kochadaiiyaan and many others.


With composer Vidyasagar, she has sung many melodies in movies such as Coimbatore Mappillai, Poovellam Un Vasam, Abhiyum Naanum, Anbe Sivam, Jeyam Kondaan and others. Also. she sang songs in the Hindi-dubbed version of Tamil movie Chandramukhi, in which music was given by Vidyasagar and she sang 4 songs in it out of which "Aaja Are Tu Aja(Rara)" became popular.

Popularity in South India[edit]

Post mid 1990s, Sadhana has been very well received in Tamil films making her one of the busiest in the Tamil music field among all other singers. She was first introduced to Tamil songs by acclaimed music director Vidyasagar in the film Coimbatore Mappillai. She went to record many successful songs for composers such as Ilayaraaja, A. R. Rahman, Deva, Guru kiran, Manikanth Kadri, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Karthik Raja, Manisharma, Bharathwaj, Harris Jayaraj and many others. Her duet songs with singer Hariharan proved to be most successful (listed below).

Among all the Bollywood singers (male/female), Sargam has sung the most number of songs in Tamil, followed by Shreya Ghoshal (165 songs). 184 songs from 141 films of Sargam are listed as of 2015.

In an interview in May 2007 while touring in the USA, the most celebrated composer of the Indian music industry, A. R. Rahman, complimented Sadhana Sargam, calling her one of the few Indian singers who could surpass his expectations in her renditions of his songs.[9]

Awards & Nominations[edit]

National Film Awards

Filmfare Awards

Filmfare Awards South

Zee Cine Awards

Maharashtra State Film Awards[10]

  • 1993 - State Award for Best Singer - Female - Saarech Sajjan
  • 1994 - State Award for Best Singer - Female - Mayechi Sawli
  • 2000 – State Award for Best Singer – Female – "Kshitijavaril Tara" (Jodidar)
  • 2002 – State Award for Best Singer – Female – Aadhar
  • 2005 – State Award for Best Singer – Female – "Saanjh Jhali Tari" (Sarivar Sari)

Orissa State Film Awards

  • 1994 - Best Playback Singer (Female)- Sagar Ganga

Zee Gaurav Puraskar

Star Screen Awards

Uninor South Radio Mirchi Awards

  • 2009 - Best Playback Singer Female - "Marali Mareyaagi" (Savaari)
  • 2009 - Song Of The Year - "Marali Mareyaagi" (Savaari ; along with Composer Manikanth Kadri)
  • 2009 - Best Kannada Song Listener's Choice - "Marali Mareeyaagi" (Savaari)

Other Awards and Recognitions[edit]

  • 'Lata Mangeshkar Award' from the Government of Madhya Pradesh
  • Konkan Sahyadri Swar Ratna Award for Invaluable contribution in Indian Music[10]
  • 2000 – Dinakaran Award for Best Female Singer – "Snegithane" (Alaipayuthey)
  • 2002 – Dinakaran Award for Best Female Singer – "Paattu Cholli" (Azhagi)
  • 2004 – Kalakar Award for Best Female Playback
  • 2005 – Vitusco Award for Best Female singer – "Oru Vaarthai" (Ayya)
  • 2005 & 2008 – Bhojpuri Film Award for Best Singer – Female
  • 2005, 2006 & 2007 – Sanskruthi Kaladarpan Awards
  • 2006 – Gujrath State Film Award for Best Singer – Female
  • 2008 – Chitrapathi V. Shantaram Award for Best Female singer – "Tu Aevdhasa Aabhal" (Aevdhasa Aabhal)



External links[edit]