Contemporary Bengali playback singers in Bollywood
usic forms an integral part of any Bengali household. Most Bengali parents train their children in this art form since childhood. This practice has its basis in the musical history of India. Over the years Bengalis have ruled over the music industry and has produced the many eminent singers in the likes of S.D. Burman, R.D. Burman, Kishore Kumar, Hemanta Mukhopadhyay , Arati Mukhopadhyay and many more. And the tradition still continues. Tollywoodhamaka looks at the various contemporary Bengali singers who have attained success even outside their mother land.
Kumar Sanu (alias Kedarnath Bhattacharya) ruled the Bollywood male playback singing industry in the 90’s. Trained by his father, Pashupati Bhattacharya, a vocalist and composer Sanu started his career as a playback singer with the Bengali film ‘Tin Kanya’ in 1986. However he soon shifted to Hindi music. The film ‘Aashiqui’(1990) won him the first of the five consecutive filmfare awards as the Best Male Playback Singer. The films ‘Saajan’ (1991),’Deewana’ (1992), ‘Baazigar’ (1993), and ‘1942: A Love Story’ (1994) helped him to bag the next filmfare awards. ‘Ek ladki ko dekha’ from the film ‘1942: A Love Story’ also got him the Star Screen Awards. He has co-sung quite a number of songs with the famous Lata Mangeshkar of which ‘Tujhe Dekha Toh’ from the film’ Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ still rings in our ears. Sanu along with Alka Yagnik have created some beautiful, evergreen melodies like "Ghunghat Ki Aad Se" (Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke), jeeta hoon jiske liye (Dilwale), Dil mera churaya kyun (Akele Hum Akele Tum), Ladki badi anjani hain (kuch kuch hota hain) and many more. Sanu teamed up with another eminent Bengali singer Shreya Ghoshal for the song "Chamak Challo Chel Chabeli” from the film ‘Rowdy Rathore’ in 2012. His songs are still enough to make a crowd go crazy with love for music.
Shreya Ghoshal got a direct entry to Bollywood after winning the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. Her debut film ‘Devdas’ received critical acclaim and she won the first of the four national awards that she received till date. She also received her first filmfare award for this film. She went on to bag four more filmfare awards. Apart from these Ghoshal has got many other awards in her kitty of which includes numerous best playback singer awards (female) at IIFA Awards, Zee Cine Awards, Screen Awards, Apsara Awards and Mirchi Music Awards among others. She has also lent her voice in various other Indian languages including Assamese,Bengali, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Punjabi ,Odiya, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. In 2010, Ghoshal sang for the English independent film When Harry Tries to Marry. Ghoshal sang quite a few songs with Shaan, another eminent Bengali singer of which Haan Yehi Pyaar Hain (Mile Na Mile Hum) and Do You Know (Housefull 2) gained immense popularity. Her melodious voice teamed up with her gorgeous appearance and over powering stage persona has earned her quite a fan following across the globe.
Shantanu Mukherjee aka Shaan shot to fame with his second album ‘Tanha Dil’ which became popular soon after its release. After an initial struggle he got accepted in the world of playback singing and is now rated as one of the leading singers in Bollywood. In 2007 he got his first Filmfare award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song ‘Chand Sifarish’ from the film ’ Fanaa’ He also won the Zee Cine award, Bollywood Movie Awards, Star Screen Awards and IIFA for this song. The following year he again bagged the Filmfare award for ‘Jab Se Tere Naina’ from ‘Saawariya’. His other popular tracks include ‘ Nikamma’ (Kya Dil Ne Kaha), ‘Koi Kahein Kehta Raahein’ (Dil Chahta Hain),’Dus Bahane’ (Dus) and ‘Behti Hawa Sa Tha Who’ (3 Idiots). He has been the voice of various actors like Arjun Rampal, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Akshay Kumar, Shahid Kapoor, Sunil Shetty, Dino Morea, Jackie Shroff, Abhishek Bachchan, Fardeen Khan, Anil Kapoor, Sharman Joshi, Ranbir Kapoor and R. Madhavan .Apart from Hindi He has also sung in various Urdu, Kannada and Bengali films. His romantic voice and killer smile is enough to make girls go gaga over him thus giving a competition to some of the leading singers of the country.
Monali Thakur , the daughter of famous Bengali singer Shakti Thakur, proved her talent in her debut film Race(2008) where she sung two songs ‘Khwab Dekhe (Sexy Lady)’ and ‘Zara zara touch me’, both of which topped the charts. For the latter she got nominated for the Best Playback singer (Female) in IIFA Awards. She went on to deliver various hit songs like ‘Anjaana Anjaani ki kahani’ (Anjaana Anjaani), ‘Jingle Jingle’ (Badmash Company),khudaya khair (Billu Barabar).Well we do wish the sexy lady all luck she needs and we do want to hear more of her party numbers for sure!
Abhijeet’s first stint as a plyaback singer in the movie ‘Anand Aur Anand’ did not give him much publicity. However his subsequent song, Ek chanchal shokh hasina," "Chandni raat hai" and "Har kasam se badi hai, established him as a playback singer in Bollywood. He won the Filmfare Best Male Playback Award for the song ‘Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaun’ from the film Yes Boss.
Usha Uthup, the proud ‘Bangali’, has lent her voice to various Hindi films. Her recent song ‘Darling’ from the film 7 Khoon Maaf won her the Filmfare Award for best Playback Singer. The song is a perfect dancing number and leaves us breathless but still wanting more. Her famous songs also include Ek Do Cha Cha Cha (Shalimar), ‘Shaan se…’ (Shaan), ‘Koi Yahan Aha Nache Nache’ (Disco Dancer), Vande Mataram (kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gam), all of which speak of her talent. She has worked with eminent music directors like R.D.Burman, Bappi Lahiri, A.R. Rahman, Pritam, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and many others.
As we can see the voice of Bengal has reached across the country and left everyone mesmerized. From melody to romance to emotions to disco numbers Bengal has it all!!!