India is famous for numbers of different art forms, as the country is enriched with great huge talents in all fields. Music is one of art which represents your state of mood, and also an art which can be predicting a way to communicate, expressing and meditate. In daily life, we all have a habit of listening music through which we let ourselves fresh vibes or soothe our moods. Music art has an amazing type, as it is very vast art. With Various varieties of music we have:
- Classical music, rock music, country music, rhythm and blues, folk music, hip-hop music, popular music, pop music, Instrumental, jazz music, vocal music, ambient music, dance music, disco, rapping, industrial music, jazz, drum & bass and etc.
In these all types of music how can we forget to showcase a Bollywood music which is designed and layered with divergent quality sounds? Bollywood music has familiar among the worldwide, recent charts of Bollywood is popular like youth is just cannot get over with. With these quality sounds and rhythms, we cannot deny the fact these sounds would not be complete or imagine without the sweet voices behind them. Music is incomplete without singers, as singers have set their trademarks in the world of music with their great vocal skills. With these star voices, we have some listed singers which cannot be faded from the music industry and has been always popular till now. From those singers, we have a list of Top 13 Most Popular Bollywood Singers of all time, with their glorious journeys.
legend was known as Mohammad Rafi, (Sahab), with his golden voice in Hindi Film industry, Rafi Sahab was one of the greatest contemporary singers. Our soul of the music industry was born on 24 December 1924 Amritsar India. He was famous for his versatility with romantic numbers, sad songs, funny songs, and ghazals. He was born into a family of six sons of Hajj Ali Mohammad. The unknown fact about Rafi sahib was that he use to imitate the chants of fakirs near his house from his young age, during 1920 his family moved to Lahore. His learned his music lessons from Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, and Firoze Nizami. From the age of 13, only he started giving his public performances. His career first debut he made in Lahore, in the year 1941 as a playback singer with duet Zeenat Begum in the Punjabi film, “Gul Baloch”.
He made his debut in 1945 in Hindi film industry with the movie ‘Gaon Ki Gori’. As such theatre has also faced a soar during the late 1940s, however, Rafi Sahab enjoyed his great popularity and glory in 1950’s and 1960s. He was also well known for his strong command over the Hindi language and had the ability to modulate his voice and tone to suit the personalities of the actors he was singing for. With the list over his career, he sang for many Bollywood stars like Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, and Sunil Dutt.
Our legendary of Music Rafi’s also voted as Indian Cinema’s Greatest Voice; also his repertoire includes songs in Indian regional languages like Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, and Telugu. He has been honored with Padma Shri, also he has won the National Film Award for the song ‘Kya Hua Tera Wada’ in 1977. Rafi Sahab died of a heart attack on 31st July 1980 at the age 55 in the year, 1980.
When we are talking about the music that we cannot skip our India ‘Nightingale of Bollywood’ Lata Mangeshkar, one of the foremost recognized and respect female voice in India. This female singer leads over years with her soulful, sweet voice. Over seven decades her singing career spans and ruled the Hindi Film Industry. Lata was born as “Hema” in Marathi family in Madhya Pradesh on 28th September 1929. At the age of five, she began appearing in her father’s plays as an actress. Her schooling was span for short time, the reasoning cited behind vary. At the age of 13, she had to start working to fend for the family, because of her father loss to heart disease in the year 1942. She first sang her first song ‘Naachu Yaa Gade’ for the Marathi movie, Kiti Hasaal. In the year, 1945 she moved to Mumbai along with Master Vinayak’s company where she started taking classes in Hindustani Classical music from Ustad Amanat Ali Khan. The success wasn’t that east for the Golden Voice lady as she faced struggle also in her initial years in Hindi Film industry. Being struggling she scored her first hit in 1949 when she faced another void of Vinayak death. The success arrives in 1950 period where she had great success and got the opportunity to sing songs composed by various music directors with those times famous.
She won Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback in 1958 was her career big turning point towards her industry leads. In the year 1960, she had a hit number with ‘Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’ ‘Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh’. The singer brought into tears to our Nation Prime Minister Jawahar when she sang patriotic ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon’. Majorly she held Guinness Book of World Records from the year 1974 to 1991. Lata Mangeshkar glorious achievements in the music field, she was honored with Bharat Ratna, also had been received with Padma Vibhusha in the year 1999.
The unique and eccentric personality Kishore Kumar was not just a soulful playback singer, but also a comedian, lyricist, composer, producer cum director. Kishor Kumar was born on 13th October, Khandwas India, in Bengali family. He was the youngest one of his siblings. Kishor Kumar named Abhas Kumar Ganguly, as at the young age he was interested in music. After following his elder brother footsteps, Kishor Kumar moved to Bombay and there only he got him this name. Ashok Kumar was a successful actor in Bollywood; also he wanted the Kishor to become an actor, as he began his acting career in 1950 while playing role in movies Andolan. The young boy was an actor, later when Burman realized after seeing the Kishor mimicking the great singer K.L sahgal. Burman gives him the chance to create his own identity in his voice, as he sings many lovely songs for many of his films. The time period of year 1970s and 1980s were a highly productive time for the playback singer, during this period he sang for popular actors like Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachan, Jeetendra, Dev Anand, Anil Kapoor & many more. He is one of the most successful male playbacks of Indian cinema, as he sang not only the Hindi language, but also in Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Oriya, and Urdu.
With his voice, he was one of the proud recipients of eight Filmfare Awards for the Best Male Playback Singer.
The next voice queen is our Asha Bhonsle over six decades of career span she sang thousands of different languages. Her singing quality and versatility made her one of the most recognized singers. With over long and productive career she sang for over thousands of Bollywood movies. The lady singer born on 8th September 1933 in Sangli, Mumbai, she is the daughter of Deenanath Mangeshkar, theater actor, and classical musician. At the age of nine only after the death of her father, she faces the burden to support the family. Her professional career she started in the year 1943, with Marathi film, as in the year 1948 she debuts for Hindi Film movie ‘Chunariya’. During her career initials like all, she also faced struggle, though at that time Lata Ji her sister was highly made into Hindi Film industry. The song ‘Nanhe Munne Bacchae’ took her in the boat of popularity. The special part made her as in versatility, as she was never afraid to experiment and gladly took up singing westernized songs which were picturized on the yesteryears, glamour queen. Over the years the 1960s and 1970s she became the voice of glamour queen Helen. She has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World record.
She has been honored with Dadasaheb Phalke Award in the year 2000; she was also honored with Padma Vibhushan in 2008. She has also become the first Indian to be nominated for the Grammy Award in 1997. More than 12,000 songs and in more 20 Indian and foreign languages, she has sung multiple songs in her career. She has been appreciated for her youthful personality and optimism in the face of all the advertiser’s life has thrown at her.
Highlighting journeys of the famous Bollywood singers, we cannot escape this popular multi-skilled talented singer, Sonu Nigam. The popular Playback singer is known for his excellent singing skills. With his countless versatility and frequently changing style statements, he is a teen icon. This fashion icon singer was born on 30th July 1973 in Faridabad, Haryana. The young sonu did his schooling from J.D Tytler School in Delhi. To pursue his dreams he moved to Mumbai to become a successful career in music. He is a son of renowned singer Agam Kumar, who was famous of being performed on many stages shows in his regime, at his young age sonu use to accompany his father on his shows and had also performed on some of the amazing hits like ‘Kya Hua Tera Wada”. In the year 1990 Sonu Nigam started his Bollywood career with his first break to sing movie Janum.
The legend set goals of his era in the year 1997, with his biggest hit in the film “Border”. He had also sung in Bengali, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Tulu, Assamese, Odia etc. Being not only the popular playback he is also a composer, music, music producer, music programmer, live performer, and actor. This star singer worked as host and celebrity judge for many of famous shows such as: In the year 1995 until 1999 for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa as host, appeared as a judge on Indian Idol for season1 (2004-2005), Star Voice of India in the year 2007, and many more.
In awards and achievements, Sonu Nigam got the Haryana Gaurav Samman in 2007, Zee Cine Award Best Playback Singer in the year 2001 in 2003 he received National Film Award for the best playback singer for ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’. Sonu Nigam is one of the highest paid Indian Playback singers in Bollywood.
With training in classical music, the leading playback singer female in the film industry in the 1980s and in 1990s Kavita Krishnamurthy was born on 25th January 1958 in New Delhi. She has recorded around 15,000 songs in her singing career with 16 languages. This leading singer has worked with a variety of music composers such as Laxmikant- Pyarelal, OP Nayyar, Hemant Kumar, Anu Malik, R.D Burman, Javid Akthar and A.R Rahman and many more. She was born in a Tamil Iyer family and started her music training at the insistence of her aunt, Protima Bhattacharya. At the age of eight, Kavita won the gold medal in training in a Hindustani classical music competition. In the year 1971, during her college days at St. Xavier College, she got an opportunity to record her first song in Bengali film with Lata Mangeshkar. During her college days, only she started performing on live shows, from where playback singer Manna Dey spotted her and employed her to sing advertisements jingles.
During her 80s she started her Bollywood singing span career the era 1990s Kavita Thrust into being known as one of the leading female playback singers, as her performance for 1942: A love story movie took her career at the peaks and which was composed by R.D Burman and the popularity begun.
She had her most prolific work was with the leading singers of the 1990s. She has been a recipient of four Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Award, also in the year 2005, she honored Padma Shri. In spite of this, all Kavita has also sung with orchestras as a soloist and collaborated with Western artists from different fields like jazz, pop and classical fields. Kavita playback career was started in south India Kannada films. In the year 2014, she also sang a song “Koi Chahat hai koi hasrat”.
Moving to next our Bollywood all time the favorite voice is Udit Narayan. With his smiling face and expressive singing style, this playback icon was born on 1st December 1955, in Saptari, Nepal. The star has ruled over 3 decades including the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. Udit Narayan is the only singer who has won the heart of people over the years with his tremendous voice texture. To pursue his career in singing his mother encouraged him, throughout his career he is known for his singing skills and has been praised by his contemporaries Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, also Narayan is considered one of the most prominent singers of his generation. He started his career in 1970, as Maithili folk singer for Radio Nepal. In 1980s Narayan started his Bollywood singing career when he was noted by director Rajesh Roshan. His vocals lead him to the way of popularity in the year 1988 when he performed a tremendous soulful song for Bollywood movies Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Jo Jita Wahi Sikander, etc. In the 90s he was the most successful singers in India, and for his song Mehndi Lga ke Rakhna year 1995 he won his second Filmfare Award after 7 years, before that he won his first for Movie Qyamat Se Qyamat Tak.
After the 90s from 96-97 his following year was golden for his as he got nominated for three songs out of five and also won his third award for the song ‘Pardesi Pardesi’ from Raja Hindustani. With his awards and the honored list is quite long as he has received many of them with, he was honored with Padma Shri in 2009, and in 2016 also awarded with Padma Bhushan by the government of India. He had also received Big Entertainment Award 2017 from 92.7 FM Suhana Safar Legend Award and many more. This singer has sung over 25,000 songs in over 36 languages.
Our next Bollywood and our finest leading singer Alka Yagnik Kapoor was born on 20th March in Kolkata to Gujarati parents. Her roots were always connected to the Indian classical music, as her mother was a singer. At her initial age six, only she started her singing career for Akashvani Calcutta. Her mother was very keen to about her vocal career as she brought her Mumbai as a child singer, as some of reasons industry advised her to let her voice get matured first, however, her mother was determined and stick there only there to let her achieve her career goals. During her 80s she got her break in the industry, whereas in 1988, form movie ‘Tezaab’ she got her big break with the song ‘Ek Do Teen’, a song also won her first out of seven Filmfare Awards as a lead female playback singer.
With many of languages, she has sung divergent style songs except Kannada. In her career graph, she sang duets with our leading legends Male Playback Singers such as Sonu Nigam, Abhijeet, Hariharan, Vinod Rathore, and Shaan, Udit Narayan as she rules over three decades in the industry. She has been also being a part of reality shows as Celebrity Judge. Our finest Alka is also known for her seven-time winning from a record of 36 nominations of the best Female Playback Singer. The queen of the singing field, Alka Yagnik has been the recipient of the National Award. The lady ruled in Bollywood and has countless collaboration with great Giant composers. Also her tracks around twenty featured in BBC’s “top 40 Bollywood soundtracks of all time”.
Kedarnath Bhattacharya, very few of knowing us this name is known as Kumar Sanu also, with a solid textured and lighter throw, Kumar Sanu was born on 20th October in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. This playback singer of Bollywood is Bengali background. He was popular for rendering his voice in Bollywood of time era 90s and 2000s. His father was a vocalist and composer, from being rooted from a music background he was kindled towards the music, as finally in the year 1984, he started his playback career in the film ‘Yeh Desh’ which was composed by R.D Burman. Kumar got introduced by Jagjit Singh in the year 1989, to kalyannji-anandji at their residence in Mumbai, where he chooses to change his name on his suggestion and from that time he becomes Kumar Sanu.
He had been worked with the great giants of Bollywood industry such as; Nadeem Shravan, Anu Malik, Jatin Lalit, Himesh Reshammiya, Rajesh Roshan, Anand Malik. Kumar Sanu had also contributed his part to composing music for various Indian films; Utthan and Yeh Sunday Kyu Ata Hai is one of the remarkable among them. He was also the part of a panel of judges on Sony TV for Waar Parivar, and also on Zee Bangla SA Re Ga Ma Pa. With his achievement and awards bucket, the singer holds the Guinness Book World record. He also was awarded Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award for five consecutive years. He has been honored with Padma Shri in 2009, by the Government of India.
The next Bollywood style singer Sunidhi Chauhan, cannot be skipped from this top list, the Bollywood most popular Sunidhi Chauhan was born on 14th August, in New Delhi. She was rooted to Rajput family, where her father was a theatre personality. The young Chauhan started performing in competitions at the age of four. To pursue her dreams and to fulfill her passion for singing she discontinued her studies and after her high school, she just started focusing on her music. Chauhan began her career debut at the age of 13, with the song “Ladki Deewani Dekho”, alongside with Udit Narayan. She has also won the reality show on DD national “Meri Awaz Suno”. In the year 1999, she was nominated for Best Female Playback Singer for her recording “Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi” (Mast Movie).
From the 2000s her second breakthrough was released, for Fiza and she won another Filmfare nomination. From 2000s Chauhan has just the top numbers throughout her career graph. A powerful performer and being influencing personality, she was introduced to music by her father and credits her “powerful” voice to him. She has been admitted that she likes the western music and love to perform on such beats. She is known for her experimental tones and she likes to exposure the international music has only “sharpened” her skills. Behind her inspiration, she considered Lata Ji. Her professional life could only be admired by the young generation as she is one of the successful female playbacks in industry. From her awards and honors, she won three Filmfare Awards and two for “Best female playback and also she has won RD Burman Award for New Music Talent. Her parents and she described that Sonu Nigam helped her in getting her first break as they consider him “catalyst to fuel my career”.
Shantanu Mukherjee Our next top popular Bollywood singer also known as Shaan is the most versatile singer in Bollywood. He was born on 30th September 1972, as his grandfather was Lyricist Jahar Mukherjee also his father was a music director. When Shaan was 13 years old he lost his father, after which his mother found work as a singer. He began his career with Magnasound recoding company and recorded few successful albums, Young Shaan started his commercial singing with jingles for advertisements also at age of 17 he sang “Kitni Hai Pyari Pyari Dost Hamari” a single line.
After few release of his albums, he got in the limelight with Roop Tera Mastana, a remix album of R.D Burman’s songs. After that, he wrote lyrics “Bhool Ja” on his album Tanha Dil, which a huge success for him as it was appeared on the charts within days and was popular on radio. Along with her albums, Shaan has provided his voice for many of Bollywood leading male stars, as he succeeds in to become the top most wanted Playbacks in industry. He has also hosted few TV shows Sa Re Ga Ma Pa between years 2000-2006, The Voice of India and more. He is only one of few Indian Singers who has also collaborated with the International singers.
His voice considered as one of the most romantic voice and melodious in Bollywood, in his list of awards and achievements Shaan won Filmfare Best Male Playback Award for “Chand Sifarish” and “Jab Se Tere Naina”. Also in 2000, he won the MTV Music Award for best solo album Tanha Dil.
Another all-time favorite Bollywood lead singer Shreya Ghoshal was born on 12th March 1984, in Bharampur, West Bengal. She started learning music at the age of four only, as young was very focused on her goal and she started achieving at very young age. Shreya started her formal training for music at age of six, whereas before that she uses to rehearsal in Tanpura along with her mother.
She also acquired her training of 18 months from Late Kalyanji Bhai in Mumbai. In the year 2000, she got the opportunity through Sanjay Leela Bhansali where she caught by Bhansali mother on show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and then she got a huge break with her career for Devdas Movie. With that movie song, she also received a National Film Award, as Best Female Playback. With her long career graph till date, she is one of the most successful and blissful and blessed with the sweetest singer in the industry. With her awards and achievements lists the lady has remarkable and countless honors received.
In her influences, one of her earliest musical memories is listening to her mothers, songs at the club. Also, she includes in her inspirational list with Lata Ji, Asha Bhonsle, Kishor Kumar, Mukesh, Mohammad Rafi and more.
We are discussing all time famous singers, so how we can escape the one who is just mesmerizing India with his tremendous vocals. Arijit Singh is the most popular and skilled Indian musician, singer, composer, music producer, recorder, and music programmer. He was born on 25th April 1987 in West Bengal to Punjabi father and a Bengali mother. With the musical family background, he started his training at his home with his maternal aunt. At the age of 3 little Arijit Singh started his training under Hazari Brothers; also he got the scholarship from the government for training in vocals at the age of nine. He approached in Fame Gurukul Reality show also where unfortunate his luck couldn’t let him win the show and audiences, though he got eliminated on the sixth position. Winnings come to those who wish for and hard work for, and that what made Arijit shifted to Mumbai after winning another show 10 ke 10 le Gaye dil, with that prize money he buys his own studio in Mumbai and started composing music. His voice got the recognized when he debuts for Bhansali film Saawariya for a song “Yun Shabnami”. He is ruling the Industry with his voice texture and style singing.
Throughout his career, he is still on roads to achieve more awards and achievements which are to date countless.