Music is the foundation of life. If you want to live and not just be alive, you need music. This is so because music infuses colour and happiness. It opens all the doors of emotions making you express your feelings. It provides solace to your worn-out soul and pacifies your raging mind. Music teaches you how to be all sunshine on a dark and gloomy day. It can make you cry your heart out when you are low. It helps you to profess your love to the one whom you are scared to even ask out. It openly speaks out all our unsaid words. And when it comes to Bollywood, well you just cannot get enough of it. So, today we will be penning down everything about the popular Bollywood female singers. We will cover every detail about these dynamic ladies with such magical voices. Hence, do stay tuned right till the end!!
The retro queens
1. Lata Mangeshkar– Queen of Melody, Voice of the Nation, Voice of the Millennium, Nightingale of India these are some of the names we use to hail this melodious lady. Her enchanting voice is the reason that will forever immortalize her. Be it Lag ja gale, Ae mere watan ke, Piya tose, Ajeeb dastan hain- all are priceless gems.
2. Asha Bhonsle– Asha Bhonsle is a veteran singer who has won millions of hearts with her golden voice. A sister of Lata Mangeshkar, she is someone who with her mellifluous vocals can keep us totally spellbound. Her famous chartbusters like Aao huzoor tumko, Dil cheez kya hai, Raat akeli hai, Abke baras still resound in our ears afresh.
3. Geeta Dutt– Originally known as Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri, Geeta Dutt was indeed a queen of hearts back in that golden retro age. We still listen to her melodies because they were created to stay in our hearts till eternity. Babuji dheere chalna, Hawa dheere aana, Aan milo are some of her mesmerizing numbers which we are addicted too till date.
4. Suman Kalyanpur– Initially named as Suman Hemmady, Suman Kalyanpur is someone whose classically enriched vocals are still worshipped and adored. This enigmatic lady has given her voice to Bollywood and several other regional film industries. Some of her best melodies include- Aajkal Tere Mere Pyaar Ke Charche, Mera Pyar Bhi Tu Hai, Gir Gayi Re More Mathe Ki Bindiya which we all love to hear even today as well.
5. Suraiya– Suraiya was one of the most stunning, beautiful and phenomenal actress and playback singer that Bollywood ever had. Her voice had honey in it since all her melodies sound sweet and euphonious. Her famous numbers like Tu mera chaand, main teri Chandni, Man mor hua matwala, Ek Tu Hoo, Ek Main Hoon indeed tell us about the mellifluent voice that she possessed.
6. Shamshad Begum– Shamshad Begum is one of those genius maestros who has taught us that true talent doesn’t need any platform or age. It will come out in the open and people are bound to recognize it. The legacies of songs that she has left behind for us is just marvellous and too valuable. Kankaan Diyaan Faslaan, Meri jaan…Sunday ke Sunday, Kuch Rang Badal Rahi, Ab To Jee Hone Laga are some of her enticing numbers which we will always treasure in our hearts.
7. Arati Mukherji– Arati Mukherji’s captivating voice is loved by all. The melodies that she showered on us will always be glorified as long as men will breathe and music will subsist. Bacche ho tum Khel khilone, Do Naina Aur Ek Kahani, Do panchi do tinke are some of her astounding numbers.
The 90s-2005 divas
1. Alka Yagnik– A dynamic lady with an extremely dulcet and melodious voice, Alka Yagnik indeed ruled our hearts for more than 40 years. However, her contributions specially in the 90s decades made her what she is today. She has sung the maximum number of female solo hit songs and all of them are our favourites. Tum aaye, Tip tip barsa pani, Din mein leti hai, Chamma chamma are some of those numbers which we yearn for even now.
2. Kavita Krishnamurti– Though she began her career in 1980s, Kavita Krishnamurti made her indelible mark in Bollywood during the 90s as one of the most notable female playback singers. Her brilliant voice indeed kept us and will always keep us hooked onto her melodies for ages to come. Be it Bin tere sanam, Bole chudiyan, Mera piya ghar aaya, Tu hi re- all her songs are just love.
3. Sadhana Sargam– A lady with such a powerful and classically rich voice, Sadhana Sargam is a playback singer whose contribution to Bollywood shall always be cherished. She has given us some of the best romantic and dance songs too that we all still fondly listen to. Saat samundar, Chupke se, Naina milaike, Piya ho- these are some of the treasures that she has presented us with that we can never get over from.
4. Anuradha Paudwal– Anuradha Paudwal is a singer whose voice has woven magic all around us. Once we listen to her melodies, there is no way of coming out of them. Be it romantic numbers, devotional hymns or sad songs- all her songs are nothing but pure bliss to the soul. Nazar Ke Saamne, Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, Bahut Pyar Karte Hain are those timeless classics that she has blessed us with.
5. Sunidhi Chauhan– Sunidhi Chauhan, the queen of item songs, is a personality whom everyone loves and is gaga over. Though she is still an active playback singer in Bollywood now also, but we are putting her under this section due to her lovely melodies that she showered on us in her early years. Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi, Mehboob Mere, Crazy kia re, Saajna ji waari waari, Udi, Kamli- the list of her splendid melodies is just endless.
6. Ila Arun– Ila Arun is not just a bewildering singer but also a brilliant dancer. She is someone who can make everyone come alive on the dance floor. With some intensely strong and sturdy vocals she can just rule the world. Ghup chup, Choli ke peeche kya hain, Morni Baaga Ma Bole are some of her stellar performances that we can never ever forget.
7. Jaspinder Narula– Jaspinder Narula’s beguiling vocals are the reason that Bollywood will idolize forever. Her soothing yet classically powerful voice is indeed gripping and you will just be hooked onto her melodies for days and months. Her performances in Pyar to hona hi tha, Mission Kashmir, Mohabbatein have and always will keep us awe-struck.
8. Alisha Chinoi– Known as the Queen of Indipop, Alisha Chinoi’s contribution to the Bollywood music industry is something which makes us worship her literally. Her melodies just compel us to stay hooked onto her for years and years. Kaate Nahin Katthe, Dhak Dhak Dhak, Raat Bhar Jaam Se, Made in India, Ruk Ruk Ruk are some of her awesome melodies.
The new contemporary ladies
1. Shreya Ghoshal– The new skylark of India, Shreya Ghoshal immensely sweet and harmonious voice indeed makes us fall in love with her. She is just beyond every perfection and praise. She has indeed made her mark in the entire world, as everybody is just a crazy fan of hers. Be it Bairi piya, Rozana, Jadu hai nasha hai, Chikni Chameli, Mere dholna sun- all her melodies are simply remarkable and enticing.
2. Palak Muchhal– A girl with a golden voice and heart, Palak Muchhal is a singer who is just far ahead of her times. Her noble deeds and her mellifluous vocals both indeed make her an angel. Chahun main ya na, Baatein yeh kabhi na, Kaun tujhe, Yaad hai are some of the masterpieces that she has bewitched us with.
3. Neha Kakkar– Neha Kakkar just needs no introduction at all. Her amazing voice and that jovial attitude simply steals all our hearts. Her peppy songs, emotional numbers, romantic tracks- all are just unforgettable and will keep you glued to them for years. Mile ho tum, Aankh maarey, Dilbar, Manali trance, Jaado ki jhappi, Nikle Current- the list of her amazing songs is just endless and we crave to hear more of her.
4. Monali Thakur– Some voices leave a deep impact on our souls and minds. Monali Thakur has that voice which will just create ripples in your heart. She can enthral everyone with those charmingly gentle vocals of hers. Sawaar loon, Zara Zara Touch me, Moh moh ke dhaage, Khwaab deke- every melody by her is just a gift which is priceless.
5. Jonita Gandhi– A rising star with a commending Youtube presence, Jonita Gandhi has started making herself known as the future of the Bollywood music industry. Her sturdy and powerful vocals are worth the drool. Her debut in Bollywood started with Chennai Express and now there is no stopping. She has given us numerous blockbusters like- Chandralekha, Yeh Jawaani teri, The Break up song, Sau taraah ke to name some.
6. Neha Bhasin– Neha Bhasin indeed completes Bollywood. Her velvety smooth vocals which are rich in classical and sufi overtones do make us go gaga over her. She is someone that you cannot help but adore. Her Kuch khas hai, Heeriye, Kaala Doreya, Jag ghoomeya, Aslaam-e-ishqum quite justify we everyone is simply crazy about her.
7. Shalmali Kholgade– Shalmali Kholgade is a wonder. Her effortless and bubbly style of singing is something that makes us yearn more for her. Be it Pareshan, Aga bai, Daaru desi, Lat lag gayee- her mesmerising melodies will just intoxicate you and you will indeed crave for her compositions more and more.
8. Kanika Kapoor– Kanika Kapoor is a singer who is loved by everyone because of her extremely versatile voice. She can beautifully give emotions to every song she sings and you can literally feel the melody as she pours her heart in it. Baby doll, Chittiyan Kalaiyaan, Desi Look, Da Da Dasse- these will make you dance like there is no tomorrow.
These are our top picks of the most popular and best female singers of Bollywood. Though we regret to have missed some of the greatest singers and musicians and would like to make some honourable mentions like Mahalakshmi Iyer, Shilpa Rao, Chandana Dixit, Nikita Gandhi, Usha Uthup, Dhvani Bhanushali, Neeti Mohan here yet each of these robins are just stunning and their charisma is strong enough to melt you down. So, do plug in your earphones to listen to the all-time favourite melodies sung by these inspirational and gifted ladies and enjoy an elated musical evening with your loved ones.