Kishore Kumar: Kishore Kumar is indubitably one of Indian cinema’s pre-eminent playback singers and his contribution to the Indian film industry is immensely significant. He has won 8 film fare awards and numerous other accolades. Till date Kishore Kumar born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly, remains one of the most talented personalities of the Indian film industry. Along with being an iconic singer of Indian cinema, he was also a fine actor, writer and director. He started his singing career with the film Ziddi in 1948 and has over 2500 songs to his name which are universally loved by audiences of every age group. ‘Roop tera mastana’ from the movie Aradhana (1970), ‘Chingari koi bhadke’ from Amar prem (1972), Chookar mere man ko’ from Yaarana (1981) are some of his many memorable songs.
Rafi:Mohd. Rafi is considered as one of the greatest singers of Indian cinema. He was renowned for the versatility in his voice. He sang over 4000 songs and has won six film fare awards for playback singing. He started his singing career in the mid 1940s with the films Gaon ki Gori (1945) and Pehla Aap (1944) and has worked with many prominent music composers like Naushad, S.D. Burman, R.D.Burman, O.P.Nayyar, Shankar Jaikishen. His notable songs include ‘Chaudhavin ka chand’ from Chaudhavin ka chand (1960), ‘teri pyaari pyaari surat’ from the movie Sasural (1961), ‘kya hua tera vada’ from Hum kisise kum nahi (1977).
Lata Mangeshkar:Known as the Nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshkar is one of the most prominent and highly respected singers of Indian cinema. She has won accolades and innumerable awards including four film fare awards for playback singing and two special film fare awards. Her playback singing career started in the mid-1940s with films like Aap ki seva mein (1946) and Badi maa (1945). In her singing career, which spans across seven decades, she has worked with almost every music composer including Naushad, S.D. Burman, R.D. Burman, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Jatin Lalit, A.R. Rahman. Her songs ‘Aaja re pardesi’ from Madhumati (1959) and ‘Lag ja gale’ from Woh kaun thi (1964) are some of her many eternal songs.
Asha Bhosale:One of the few singers whose contribution to the Indian film industry has been monumental is Asha Bhosale. She started her career in the early 1950s. Although her initial songs weren’t very successful, the film which gave her recognition as a playback singer was B.R. Chopra’s Naya Daur (1957). In her six decade long career, she has won seven film fare awards and has collaborated with almost every renowned music composer of the Indian cinema including O.P. Nayyar, S.D. Burman, R.D. Burman, Kalyanji Anandji, Jatin Lalit and A.R. Rahman. Some of her many universally acclaimed songs include ‘piya tu ab toh aaja’ from Caravan (1971), ‘chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko’ from Yaadon ki baarat (1973) and ‘do lafzon ki hai dil ki kahani’ from the great gambler (1979).
Udit Narayan:Udit Narayan is unquestionably one of the most acclaimed playback singers of the 90s decade. He started his career with the 1980 film Unees bees, but the breakthrough which got him recognition was Qayamat se Qayamat tak in 1988 for which he also won a film fare award. Along with being the recipient of five film fare awards, he has also been felicitated with numerous accolades including padma bhushan (2016) and padma shri (2009). Some of his many memorable songs include ‘pehla nasha’ from Jo jeeta wohi sikandar (1992), ‘papa kehte hai’ from qayamat se qayamat tak (1988), ‘jaadu teri nazar’ from darr (1993)
Kumar Sanu:It is almost impossible to find a 90s playlist without a Kumar Sanu track in it. Kumar Sanu has been one of Bollywood’s most acclaimed playback singers especially in the 1990s. He started his career in the late 1980s by his original name Kedarnath Bhattacharya which he later changed to Kumar Sanu as his style of singing was greatly influenced by the legendary singer Kishore Kumar. Kumar Sanu has won five consecutive film fare awards which is a record in itself. Few of his many memorable songs include Aye kash ke hum from the movie Kabhi haan kabhi na (1993), ‘Yeh kaali kaali ankhen’ from Baazigar (1993), Jo haal dil ka from Sarfarosh (1999).
Alka Yagnik:With seven film fare awards and two national film awards to her name, Alka Yagnik is unarguably one of the most prominent playback singers of Indian cinema. She started her career as a playback singer in 1980 for the movie Payal ki jhankaar, but the major breakthrough in her career came with the song ‘ek do teen’ from tezaab in 1988. In her three decade long career, she has sung over 20,000 songs of which many have been considered as few of the most memorable songs of Indian cinema. Her most notable songs include Kuch kuch hota hai from kuch kuch hota hai (1998), Jadu hai from Ghulam (1998), hum tum from hum tum (2004).
Sonu Nigam:Sonu Nigam is beyond doubt one of the most popular Bollywood playback singers of the last three decades. He started his playback singing career in the early 1990s with the song ‘O aasmaan wale’ from Aaja meri jaan (1993) and now has sung for over 80 bollywood films and over 20 music albums. He is known as one of the few versatile playback singers of the Indian film industry with five film fare awards to his name. ‘Kal ho na ho’ from Kal ho na ho (2003), Mai agar kahoon from Om shanty om (2007), ‘chori kiya re jiya’ from dabangg (2010).
Shreya Ghosal:Shreya Ghosal started her career in Hindi cinema in the early 2000s by singing 5 songs for Sanjay Leela Bansali’s Devdas (2002) and later established herself as one of Bollywood’s prominent playback singers. Along with being a leading playback singer in Hindi cinema, she has also sung songs in Marathi, Malyalam, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Oriya, Gujrati, Nepali, Asamese, Bhojpuri, Punjabi and Tulu. She has been one of the most acclaimed singers of the last two decades and has won seven film fare awards and numerous other accolades. Yeh ishq haye from Jab we met (2007), saans from jab tak hai jaan (2012), ghoomar from padmavat (2018) are some of her many popular songs.
Arijit Singh:In 2005, he participated in a singing reality show Fame Gurukul but finished sixth and was eliminated, however today he happens to be one of the most popular, prominent and highest paid playback singers of Bollywood. Arijit Singh is unarguably the most acclaimed singer of the current decade. In the last few years, rarely has a movie album released without having a Arijit Singh track in it. He started his playback singing career with the movie ‘Murder 2’ back in 2011 and has won five film fare awards and numerous other accolades over the years. Some of his many popular songs are ‘phir mohobat’ from Murder 2 (2011), Raabta from agent vinod (2012), kabira from yeh jawani hai deewani (2013), Mast magan from 2 states (2014), soch na sake from airlift (2016).