Alka Yagnik Biography
Alka 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. 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.
Yagnik married Shillong-based businessman Neeraj Kapoor in 1989 and has a daughter named Syesha Kapoor. She and her husband were separated for four to five years but they later reunited. She compliments her husband for understanding her career in singing.
Alka Yagnik is one of the leading singers of the Hindi film who has made an indelible mark for herself. In an industry where big and already established names were ruling, it was not easy for anyone to even get noticed.
But real talent never goes waste and she finally got her big break after which there was no turning back. Born in Calcutta on 20th March in a Gujarati family, Alka Yagnik began showcasing her talent at a very young age.
Today, the chart topping songs of Alka Yagnik are a favorite of many. Check out her life history in this biography of Alka Yagnik.
Alka Yagnik received formal training in Indian classical music at a very young age. Her parents were also well versed with classical music and persuaded her to tone her voice. At the age of six, she began singing devotional songs for Calcutta Radio.
Alka Yagnik never thought that singing would become a profession for her and always thought of it as a hobby.
To realize her dreams, she came to Mumbai. She got an offer to sing in the movie Payal Ki Jhankaar in the year 1979. She also sang Mere Angane Mein from the movie Lawaris in the year 1981. But the song that made her a star overnight was the popular hit Ek Do Teen from the movie Tezaab released in the year 1988.
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 ‘Agar Tum Saath Ho’ song.
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.
The Golden Trio
During the 90s Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik gave many hit songs, there was a very much rivalry among Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan. Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu have given numerous hits during the 1980s and 1990s.
Songs with Kumar Sanu
- Chura ke dil mera
- Baazigar O Baazigar
- Mera Dil Bhi Jitna Pagal Hain
- Pehli Pehli Baar Mohabbat
- Paas Woh Aane Lage
- Kitne Dino Ke Baad
- Saaton Janam Main Tere
Songs With Udit Narayan
- Dil Ne Ye Kahan Hain Dil Se
- Kyon Ki Itna Pyaar
- Tumse Milna
- Chand Chupa Badal Mein
- Abhi To Mohabbat ka
- Tip Tip Barsa Paani
- Kitni Bechain Hoke
- Thoda Sa Pyaar Hua Hain.
Concert in South Africa
Kumar Sanu, Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan thrilled an audience with Bollywood numbers as they appeared together on stage for the first time ever at an event in South Africa.
Over 5,000 Bollywood music admirers attended the event in Pretoria in Gauteng province in South Africa Saturday night.
They have been at events together in the past, but have never sung together at the same show, it has been a special privilege for her to perform alongside two legends of the industry.
Narayan said he was amazed at the reaction of the audience to Bollywood music.
Alka Yagnik has also been a judge on a singing reality television series Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs.
Alka has also appeared on The Kapil Sharma show on TV alongside Kapil Sharma.
- Kalyanji – Anandji – Lawaaris, Itni Si Baat, Sannata, Nastik, Raaj Tilak, Yudh, Pighalta Asmaan, Baat Ban Jaaye, Patthar, Tridev.
- Laxmikant – Pyaarelal – Jeevan Dhara, Coolie, Mera Jawaab , Daku Hasina, Insaaf Ki Manzil, Janam Janam, Tezaab, Dayavan, Bhrashtachar, Veedu Daada.
- Bappi Lahiri – Kanoon Apna Apna, Ghar Ka Chirag, Aaj Ka Arjun, Afsana Pyaar Ka, Geet, Shola Aur Shabnam, Aankhen, Dalaal, Jallaad, Smuggler.
- Anand – Milind – Tan-Daban, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Aurat Teri Yehi Kahaani, Shiv Shakti, Rakhwala, Maha- Sangram, Taqdeer Ka Tamasha, Haque, Chandra Mukhi
- Nadeem – Shravan – Sapne Sajan Ke, Divya Shakti, Rang, Aadmi Khilona Hain, Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke, Raja.
Awards and Recognitions
- Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer – Taal Se Taal – 2000.
- Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer -Re Chhori – 2002.
- Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer -Meri Mehbooba – 1998.
- Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Hum Tum – 2005.
- Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback – Ek Do Teen – 1988.
- Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback – Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Hai Dil Se – 2001.
- Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback – Choli Ke Peeche – 1992.
- National Award
- National Award for Best Playback Female Singer – Ghoongat Ki Aad Se – 1983.
- National Award for Best Playback Female Singer – Kuch Kuch Hota Hain – 1998.
- Lata Mangeshkar Award – Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna 2007.
- Global Indian Films Awards – Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna 2007.
- MTV Asia Viewer’s Choice Award for “Jaane Kyon”- Dil Chahta Hai – 2001.
- Sahara Sangeet Award Best Female Playback for “Tere Naam”- Tere Naam – 2004.
- Sangam Kala Group- Music Awards 2007 Best Playback Singer for Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna – 2007.
- Gr8 Women Achievers’ Award for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Music – 2011.
- Sony Entertainment Asia Pearls Wave Voice of India Honour – 2011.
- Kalakar Awards Best Female Playback for “Milenge Milenge ” – Milenge Milenge – 2011.
- Sahyog Foundation– Kala Shiromani Award – 2011.
- Dr. Ambedkar National Award for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Music – 2012.
- Asia Pacific Brands Foundation Award for Outstanding Contribution To Music – 2012.
- Global Indian Music Award for Best Folk Album – Mone Robe – 2012.
- King Vikramaditya National Music Award – 2013.
- Mirchi Music Awards Listener’s Choice – “Agar Tum Saath Ho” – 2016.
- Atal Mithila Samman for Outstanding Contribution to Indian Music – 2019.