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Alka Yagnik (born 20 March 1966) is an Indian playback singer. She is noted in Indian cinema for a career spanning over three decades.[2] She holds a record of being the only nominee in the category of Female Playback Singer, as in the year 1994 she had four solo nomination and the fifth one was with Ila Arun.[3] She is a record seven-time winner from a record of 36 nominations of the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer, a two-time recipient of the National Film Award[4] as well as several other music awards and honours listed below. Further, as many as twenty of her tracks feature in BBC's "Top 40 Bollywood Soundtracks of all time" review.[5] She has consistently been rated as the No.1 Global Artist on YouTube. She is the 3rd topmost female playback singer after Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle who has sung maximum number of female solos in her Bollywood career.[6] She has sung 20,000 plus songs in over 1000 films.[7]

Alka Yagnik
Alka Yagnik
Born (1966-03-20) 20 March 1966 (age 53)[1]
OccupationPlayback singer
Neeraj Kapoor (m. 1989)
Musical career
GenresBollywood and regional filmi playback singing
Years active1980–present


Early lifeEdit

Yagnik was born in Kolkata on 20 March 1966 to a Gujarati family.[1] Her father's name is Dharmendra Shankar.[8][9] Her mother Shubha was a singer of Indian classical music. In 1972 at age four, she started singing for Akashvani (All India Radio), Calcutta.[10][1] 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. 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.[2][11] In an interview to Mid Day, she told that she records five songs daily during her time.[12]


Yagnik is classically trained and began singing bhajans for Akashvani (All India Radio), Calcutta[10] at the age of six. Her first song was for the film Payal Ki Jhankaar in (1980), 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 told that she had high fever on the day when she was recording "Ek Do Teen". The song won her first out of seven Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer.[13] She has sung in many languages other than Hindi-Urdu, including Assamese, Awadhi, Bengali, Bhojpuri, English, Gujarati, Malayalam, Marathi, Meitei, Odia, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Tamil and Telugu.

In 1993, Yagnik sung a seductive song "Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai" female version of the song with Ila Arun and the song created a lots of controversy because of the lyrics written by Anand Bakshi. She got second Filmfare award shared with Ila Arun for the song.[7]

In 1994, she sung seductive song "Din Mein Leti Hai" from film Amanaat with co-signer Kumar Sanu and Ila Arun, composed by Bappi Lahiri and lyrics by Anwar Sagar. Besides duet version, she also sung the female version of the song with Ila Arun. She done several shows with Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.[12]

Her songs recordings were found at Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad.[14]

She has such as "Tum Aaye" and "Shairana" in which she worked in close collaboration with award-winning lyricist Javed Akhtar and singer Hariharan. She has also rendered the Hanuman Chalisa and various devotional songs.

Yagnik shares the title with Asha Bhosle for the greatest number of Filmfare Awards won (7) by a single female playback singer.[15] Yagnik has also been the judge of various Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge shows, and Star Voice of India, both singing competition shows, in which children or adults of various age groups compete with one another to win the award for best vocals. Her song "Chamma Chamma" from China Gate was featured in the song "Hindi Sad Diamonds" from the soundtrack of the film Moulin Rouge!. She has also been performing in live concerts around the world.

In 2012 she along with Sonu Nigam sang a song 'Shiksha Ka Suraj' as part of National Literacy Mission of India for which she was felicitated by Union Minister For Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal.[16][17] Further in 2012, on 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.[18] 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.[19]

She has also been involved in various projects pertaining to empowerment of the girl child.[20]

In 2014, she once again teamed up with Sonu Nigam to sing a song "Phool Khil Jayenge" for child health awareness.[21] 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.

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)[22]Lata Mangeshkar (5596 songs) and Kishore Kumar (2,707 songs).[23]

Besides singing, she also become judge in several singing reality shows on television.


Yagnik told that her first guru is her mother. At the age of four, she started to learn singing skills from her mother.[13] According to Yagnik, her voice suites in romance (in romantic songs).[24] Yagnik has acknowledged that veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar as her inspiration.[24] Yagnik stated that in her era, audiences compared her to Lata Mangeshkar.[7]

Yagnik has sung 20,000 plus songs in over 1000 films[7] from which she sung maximum numbers of romantic songs with Kumar Sanu, flamboyant numbers of songs with Udit Narayan, memorable song with Sonu Nigam and with others also.[25] She along with Kumar and Narayan together are known as "Tridev" of 90s playback singing.[26] In a career spanning over three decades she has sung many duet songs, most of these have been with Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan. She has also sung many duets with Sonu Nigam, Abhijeet, Hariharan, Vinod Rathod, and Shaan.

Yagnik stated that singers are also actors. She mentioned that when she sings a song, the actor comes in her voice.[12]

In the mediaEdit

Yagnik is cited as the queen of playback singing.[25] On Mother's Day 12 May 2019, Yagnik became most-streamed Indian artists-moms on Spotify.[27] The The Times of India cited her as 'honey-voiced singer'.[28]

Personal lifeEdit

Yagnik married Shillong-based businessman Neeraj Kapoor in 1989 and has a daughter named Syesha Kapoor.[29]

She and her husband had separation for about four to five years but they reunited again. She compliments her husband for understanding her career of singing.[24]



Year Name Notes Channel Ref
1992 Sapne Sajan Ke Yagnik also appeared in film Sapne Sajan Ke in a song 'Yeh Dua Hai Meri' with co-singer Kumar Sanu. N/A N/A
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 [30]
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 [31]
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 [32]
2017 Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai Yagnik also appeared as a guest in Hindi serial 'Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai' STAR Plus [33]
2019 Superstar Singer In 2019, she appeared in Superstar Singer as a Judge in Sony TV. Sony [34]

She also appeared in Star Voice of India as a judge.[1] She appears as a guest with Udit Naraya in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs.[35]

Significant collaborations with music directorsEdit

She has worked with Indian composers such as Kalyanji–Anandji, Rahul Dev Burman, Laxmikant–Pyarelal, Rajesh Roshan, Nadeem–Shravan, Jatin–Lalit, Anu Malik, A. R. Rahman, Anand–Milind, Himesh Reshammiya, Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy, Ismail Darbar, Aadesh Shrivastava, Viju Shah, M. M. Keeravani, Sajid–Wajid, Bappi Lahiri, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sandesh Shandilya and many others.


Composers Laxmikant–Pyarelal created several musical songs with her in movies such as Coolie, Tezaab, Hum, Khalnayak, Khuda Gawah, Agneepath, Rajkumar and many others.[citation needed]


Alka Yagnik's significant collaborations with Nadeem–Shravan over the years include movies such as Saajan (1991),Phool Aur Kaante (1991), Deewana (1992), Dil Ka Kya Kasoor (1992), Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke (1993), Rang (1993), Dilwale (1994), Raja (1995), Andolan(1995), Barsaat (1995), Jeet (1996), Raja Hindustani (1996), Pardes (1997), Sirf Tum (1999), Dhadkan (2000), Kasoor (2001), Raaz (2002), Andaaz (2003), Dil Hai Tumhaara (2003), Barsaat (2005) etc.

Jatin Lalit

Alka Yagnik has often collaborated with Jatin–Lalit in popular movies such as Khiladi, Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman,Fareb,Ghulam, Khamoshi: The Musical, Sarfarosh, Yes Boss, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai,Dil Kya Kare, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..., Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani, Chalte Chalte, Hum Tum.

Anu Malik

Alka's collaborations with Anu Malik over the years has yielded several songs in films such as Baazigar, Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee, Imtihaan, Refugee, Vijaypath, Main Khiladi Tu Anari, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Duplicate, Soldier, Aarzoo, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Asoka, Yaadein(2001), Umrao Jaan, Fiza, Josh, Ishq Vishk, LOC Kargil.

A. R. Rahman

Alka's collaborations with A. R. Rahman in movies such as Taal, Lagaan, Zubeidaa, The Legend of Bhagat Singh, Swades, Yuva, Guru, Yuvvraaj, Ada... A Way of Life, Slumdog Millionaire & Tamasha are critically acclaimed.

Rajesh Roshan

Alka has created popular scores with Rajesh Roshan in films such as Kaamchor, Karan Arjun, "Dastak", Sabse Bada Khiladi, Koyla, Papa Kehte Hai, Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, Koi... Mil Gaya, Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage, Krrish .


Alka has worked in several films with Anand–Milind notably Teesra Kaun Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Laadla, Gopi Kishan,Anjaam, Anari, Suhaag, Aaj Ka Goonda Raj, Coolie No.1, Army, Lootere, Loafer, Mr. Bechara, Jaan, Rakshak, Ajay, Hero No. 1, Sanam, Mrityudand, Jhooth Bole Kauwa Kaate, Chal Mere Bhai & Jaanwar.

Himesh Reshammiya

Alka gave Himesh Reshammiya his first break in the movie Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya. Thereafter the duo has worked together creating popular scores in several movies such as Hello Brother, Kahin Pyaar Na Ho Jaaye, Humraaz, Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne, Tere Naam, Bardaasht, Aitraaz, Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya?, Kyon Ki, Banaras, 36 China Town, Milenge Milenge, etc.


Alka's collaboration with Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy in notable films such as Dil Chahta Hai, Mission Kashmir, Armaan, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Lakshya & Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Alka Yagnik has won several music awards for best female playback such as Filmfare Awards, National Awards, Lata Mangeshkar Award,[36] Bollywood Movie Awards, IIFA Awards, Star Screen Awards, Zee Cine Awards, etc. She also holds the record for most awards won (7) as well as maximum nominations (36) for Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer.[15] She also won 2 National Film Award.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Alka Yagnik birthday: Lesser known facts about the Agar Tum Saath Ho singer, you would love to know". Times Now News.
  2. ^ a b "Iconic Alka Yagnik". IBN Live. 2012. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Happy Birthday Alka Yagnik: Evergreen songs by the melody queen that will make you nostalgic".
  4. ^ "National Award For Alka Yagnik". TOI. 2000. Retrieved 3 May 2001.
  5. ^ "BBC Top 40 tracks of all time". BBC Asia. 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
  6. ^ "Women are fading out from Bollywood music". Hindustan Times.
  7. ^ a b c d "Musical notes with Alka Yagnik". 25 October 2016. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  8. ^ "A Lots Of Songs Were Taken From Me". Filmfare.
  9. ^ "Alka_Yagnik". Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  10. ^ a b Number, A Hit (16 October 2011). "Fine Tuning". The Telegraph, Calcutta, India. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  11. ^ "About Me". Alka Yagnik. 2008. Retrieved 3 May 2008.
  12. ^ a b c "Alka Yagnik: Sang Ek Do Teen in one go". Mid Day.
  13. ^ a b "Would listen to my songs, analyse, learn from mistakes: Alka Yagnik". Hindustan Times.
  14. ^ "Alka Yagnik Fan". 2017. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Filmfare Award Archive" (PDF). 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2005.
  16. ^ "Shiksha Ka Suraj". TOI. 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  17. ^ "Felicitations". The Hindu. 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  18. ^ "Song of The Century". 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  19. ^ "Hottest Song of The Century". 2013. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  20. ^ "Save the Girl Child". India West. 2012. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  21. ^ "Child Health Awareness". 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  22. ^ "Facts you should know about Mohammed Raf". Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  23. ^ "Most Songs by Singer - Bollywood MuVyz". Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  24. ^ a b c "A lot of songs were taken away from me". Filmfare official website.
  25. ^ a b "Alka Yagnik: I'd die if a song I recorded is given to someone else". Times of India.
  26. ^ "38th Anniversary: When music was the hero". Mid Day.
  27. ^ "Alka Yagnik Becomes The Most Streamed Indian Artist Mom On Spotify!". Koimoi.
  28. ^ "Singer Alka Yagnik enthralls fans at this event".
  29. ^ "Alka Yagnik Marriage: Two Decades Of Long Distance Relationship, Zero Regrets - The Bridal Box". 16 November 2016.
  30. ^ "Comedy Nights with Alka & Sanu". 2014. Retrieved 20 May 2014.
  31. ^ "Alka Yagnik to judge 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs'". Indian Express.
  32. ^ "Saumya Tandon's fan moment on sets 'Bhabhiji Ghar Par Hai'". Mid Day.
  33. ^ "Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai September 4, 2017 written update: Alka Yagnik pays tribute to Akshara at sangeet ceremony". The Times of India.
  34. ^ "Alka Yagnik to judge music reality show". The Times of India.
  35. ^ "Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan's cute BANTER on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs". DNA.
  36. ^ "Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan to get Lata Mangeshkar Award - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 January 2018.

External linksEdit