Alka Yagnik (Hindi: अलका याज्ञिक or अलका याज्ञनिक) (born March 20, 1966 in Calcutta, West Bengal, India) is an Indian singer.
Alka Yagnik is classically trained and is the most popular, as well as one of the leading playback singers in Bollywood since the late 1980's. Alka began singing bhajans for Calcutta Radio at the age of six. Her first song was for the film Payal Ki Jhankaar in (1979), followed by Laawaris (1981) with the song Mere Angene Mein, and Hamari Bahu Alka (1982). She got her big break with the song Ek Do Teen from the film Tezaab (1988). The song turned her into a star overnight and went on to become a pop hit. She also received her first Filmfare Best Female Playback Award for the song.
All through the 1980s Alka kept singing in films, yet hits eluded her. It was in 1988 that she got her breakthrough with the song that was to become a Bollywood classic Ek Do Teen Char. Additionally, she has sung in many languages other than Hindi, including Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam. She has been the number one choice for film songs, due to the versatility of her voice, in which more film heroines have requested her voice be dubbed over their performance.. There is no major composer she has not sung for, and she ultimately remains favorite of many composers, such as Anu Malik, Nadeem-Shravan, and Jatin-Lait, to name a few. She is the first choice singer for any song, as a result of her popularity and her fresh, youthful vocals.
Alka shares the title with Asha Bhonsle for the most number of Filmfare Awards won (7) by a single female playback singer. Alka has also been the judge of various Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge shows, and Star Voice of India, both singing competition shows, in which children or adults of various age groups compete with one another to win the award for best vocals. In addition to this, her song, "Chamma Chamma" from China Gate was featured in the soundtrack of the acclaimed film Moulin Rouge!, in the song "Hindi Sad Diamonds".
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