Bollywood is all about glamour, glitz and gaane. And while there’s always a lot of news about the glamour and glitz, today we’re focusing on the gaane. The Bollywood film industry would have been incomplete without the famous songs in the films. And while the credit for these songs goes to the talented singers, both male and female. However, today, we’re putting extra focus on the wonderful female Indian singers. These Indian singers female have delivered some of the best songs till date.
As per you, who is the No 1 female singer in Bollywood? Who is the most beautiful female singer in Bollywood? And who is the best female singer in India? Make up your mind and let’s see whether the person in your answers features in this list!
1. Shreya Ghoshal
One of the highest-paid and most well-established Indian female singers in the Bollywood industry, Shreya Ghoshal, belongs to a musical family and has been singing from a very young age. She first hit the limelight when she was a contestant on the singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa as a teenager.
At the age of 16, she auditioned for and was one of the finalists of Indian Idol. The industry quickly recognised her talents and Shreya debuted as a playback singer in the 2002 movie, Devdas. She became a hit instantly and went on to win the National Film Award, Best Female Playback Singer (Filmfare Award), and an RD Burman Award for New Music Talent (Filmfare).
2. Sunidhi Chauhan
A young star, Sunidhi Chauhan debuted as a singer at the age of 13 for the film Shastra. The same year, she won the reality show Meri Awaz Suno and hit popularity post the release of her song Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi from the movie Mast.
A versatile singer, she has won the Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent and featured among the nominees for the Best Female Playback Singers.Sunidhi has won numerous awards including three Filmfares and has risen as an artist becoming a judge on several reality shows.
Not just that, she has also been featured four times in the list of Forbes Celebrity 100 of India. Some of her most famous songs are Desi Girl, Crazy Kiya Re, Dhoom Machale, Bhaage Re Mann, Mehboob Mere, The Disco Song and Sheila Ki Jawaani among many others.
3. Lata Mangeshkar
The late Lata Mangeshkar was popularly called the Nightingale of India as she has sung over 30,000 songs in her lifetime. She had recorded songs in over 36 languages, including foreign languages like Russian, Dutch, Nepali and Swahili.
Over the course of her career, she has been bestowed with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award and the Bharat Ratna by the Government of India, while in 2007, France bestowed her with its highest civilian award, Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour.
Lata Ji also has her name in the Guinness World Records for holding the position of the artist most recorded in history between 1948 and 1987. Some of her most famous songs are Lag Jaa Gale, Jiya Jale, Ek Pyaar Ka Nagma Hai, Tere Bina Zindagi Se and Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh.
4. Neeti Mohan
Another talent that rose to fame via a reality show, Neeti Mohan won the Channel V show titled Popstars. Her popularity started soaring post the launch of her song Ishq Wala Love from the Dharma banner, Student of the Year.
She went on to win the RD Burman Award for New Music Talent and was among the nominations for Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer, for her song Jiya Re from Jab Tak Hai Jaan. She earned her second Filmfare nomination for the song Sau Aasmaan from Baar Baar Dekho. She’s also voiced some popular songs like Kashmir Main Tu Kanyakumari, Saadi Galli Aaja, Tune Maari Entriyaan, Bawra Mann and many others.
5. Monali Thakur
Moh Moh Ke Dhaage won Monali Thakur the National Film Award and Sawaar Loon won her the Filmfare Award. Monali belongs to a musical family where her father was a singer and actor in the Bengali film industry while her sister, Mehuli Thakur, is a playback singer in Bengal.
Even though she’s been performing since a young age, Monali’s popularity grew after her appearance in the reality show Indian Idol 2. Her most famous songs include Cham Cham from Baaghi, Badri Ki Dulhaniya title track, Zara Zara Touch Me, Khwab Dekhe and Khudaya Khair among others.
6. Alka Yagnik
One of the most prominent and successful playback Indian female singers is Alka Yagnik. Her career spans over four decades during which she has recorded over 20000 songs in various languages. She’s won numerous awards including two National Film Awards, seven Filmfare Awards for Best Female Playback Singer out of thirty-six nominations, two awards from the Bengal Film Journalists’ Association, etc. Alka has twenty of her tracks featured in BBC’s list of top 40 Bollywood tracks of all time.
And as of February, on the digital front, she ranks at the top position on YouTube’s music charts and insights of the top global artists’ list. She’s held her place in the charts for 283 weeks with over 300 million views! Undoubtedly one of the best female singers in India, she has sung songs like Chura Ke Dil Mera, Tip Tip Barsa Paani, Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai, Neend Churayee Meri, Ek Din Aap, Ae Mere Humsafar and numerous others.
7. Asha Bhosle
The voice behind the songs like Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja, Sajna Hai Mujhe Sajna Ke Liye, Aaiye Meharbaan, In Aankhon Ki Masti and so many others, Asha Bhosle Ji, is one of the best Hindi female singers that Bollywood has ever heard. With a career that spans over eight decades, Asha Ji has sung songs and recorded albums in various languages. She has been presented with:
- 18 Maharashtra State Film Awards
- 9 Filmfare awards
- 7 Filmfare awards for Best Female Playback Singer
- Four BFJA Awards
- Two National Film Awards
- Two Grammy nominations
- A Lifetime Achievement Award by Filmfare
- The Dadasaheb Phalke Award
- The Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India
She also holds the Guinness World Record for the most studio recordings – singles.
8. Kanika Kapoor
This 44-year-old, one of the leading Indian female singers, started her journey in 2012 when she moved to Mumbai to pursue her playback dreams. Her first commercial hit was her music video titled ‘Jugni Ji’. And her first Bollywood song went on to make her a household name – the Sunny Leone starrer, Baby Doll from the film Ragini MMS 2.
She is among the top female singers in India and has sung multiple Bollywood songs till date. Some of her top songs are Lovely, Kamlee, Chittiyaan Kalaiyaan, Beat Pe Booty, Da Da Dasse. She was presented with multiple awards including a Filmfare, two IIFAs and a Global Indian Music Academy Award among others.
9. Neha Kakkar
One of the top female singers in Bollywood, Neha Kakkar is a household name since her Indian Idol days. Even though she hadn’t won the reality show, her voice had garnered a lot of attention. She rose to fame in 2012 post the release of her song Second Hand Jawaani from the movie Cocktail and London Thumakda from Queen.
She has appeared in many music videos during her career and has even gone on to judge Indian Idol for a few seasons. With 4.2 billion views, she became one of the most-viewed female artists on YouTube in 2019 and in 2021, she was the first Indian singer to win a YouTube Diamond Award.
10. Kavita Krishnamurthy
We have been blessed to hear Kavita Krishnamurthy share her lovely voice with us since 1971. She is among the popular female singers and has recorded over 50,000 songs in over 45 different languages – Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, English and more! She received the Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Award for four consecutive years.
In 2005, she received the Padma Shri and in the year 2015, she was awarded a Doctorate for her contributions to Indian music. She is currently married to renowned violinist L. Subramaniam. Some of her notable songs are Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast, Kay Sera… Sera, Bin Tere Sanam, Satrangi Re, Neend Churayi Meri, Bole Chudiyan, etc.
11. Palak Muchhal
Palak Mucchal stands among the top 10 female singers in India, who not only performs in Bollywood but does a lot of stage shows and charity shows to raise funds for poor children and aid in financial support towards people with heart diseases.
Some of her famous Bollywood songs include Meri Aashiqui and Chahun Main Ya Na from Aashiqui 2, Dhokha Dhadi from R… Rajkumar, Jumme Ki Raat from Kick, Teri Meri Kahaani from Gabbar is Back, Jab Tum Chaaho from Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo, Kaun Tujhe from M. S. Dhoni: An Untold Story and so many more.
12. Anuradha Paudwal
Dhak Dhak Karne Laga, Kamariya Lachke Re, Pyar Kiya To Nibhana, Nazar Ke Saamne, Too Mera Hero Hai, Maiyya Yashoda, Dheere Dheere Se Meri Zindagi Mein Aana, etc are all sung by the one and only Anuradha Paudwal. But that’s not it, she is famously known for being one of the notable Bhajan singers in India.
This makes her one of the best female singers in India! She’s the recipient of awards like the National Film Award, four Filmfares, two Odisha State Film Awards and Padma Shri from the Government of India among others.
13. Richa Sharma
Sajdaa (My Name Is Khan), Maahi Ve (Kaante), Chhalka Chhalka Re (Saathiya), Jag Soona Soona Lage (Om Shanti Om), Show Me Your Jalwa (Aaja Nachle) are among some of the great songs that Richa Sharma, one of India’s top 10 female singers has sung.
She has been trained by Pandit Aaskaran Sharma, in Indian classical and light music. She’s a versatile singer who has sung ghazals, film songs and Punjabi and Rajasthani music as well.
14. Sona Mohapatra
One of the best Indian female singers, Sona Mohapatra is also a music composer and lyricist. She has completed her Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar, obtained an MBA degree from Symbiosis Centre for Management and HRD, worked as a Brand Manager and handled brands like Parachute and Mediker among others.
She came into the limelight as she performed on Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate as a lead singer. She happened to be the executive producer of the musical project on the same. Her notable songs include Ambarsariya, Jiya Laage Na, Bahara, Dum Dum Andar, Naina and I Hate You (Like I Love You).
15. Asees Kaur
Another great talent discovered on the reality shows, Asees Kaur has been a part of Indian Idol and Awaz Punjab Di. She has voiced songs like Makhna, Jaan ‘Nisaar, Ve Maahi, Bolna, Jaan Ban Gaye, Chogada, Nain Te Haare, Raataan Lambiyan, etc, She’s won two Filmfares, one IIFA and many others for her work.
Her journey began at the age of 5, she entered the industry with Dildara Reprise and there’s been no stopping for her since then! Undoubtedly one of the notable Indian female singers that you just can’t miss!
16. Rekha Bhardwaj
Darling, Oye Boy Charlie, Mileya Mileya, Kabira, Genda Phool, Phir Le Aya Dil, Judaai, Ghagra and so many more have been voiced by the one and only Rekha Bhardwaj. She has been a part of the industry since 1997 and rightfully holds the place of the best Indian female singer in Bollywood.
She is married to director, composer and singer Vishal Bhardwaj. Rekha has received formal training from Pandit Amarnath. She shot to fame post the songs Namak Ishq Ka and Sasural Genda Phool. She’s been awarded three Filmfares to date!
17. Alisha Chinai
Alisha Chinai is known for her song Made In India but there’s more to her than the song! She has lent her voice to some of Bollywood’s hit songs like Kajra Re, Touch Me, Ticket To Hollywood, Oh My Darling, Dilruba, Kate Nahin Kat Te, Dil Tu Hi Bataa and so many others! She was popularly known as the Queen of Indipop.
She was introduced to the industry by Bappi Lahiri and has been one of the top Indian female singers for years. She has won the Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer for her song Kajra Re starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan.
18. Shilpa Rao
Woh Ajnabi and Khuda Jaane were the songs that made Shilpa Rao a name that everyone wanted to work with. So, post the launch of these two songs, Shilpa has recorded numerous songs like Ishq Shava, Khuda Jaane, Ghungroo, Bulleya, Allah Maaf Kare, Manmarziyan, Malang and so many more! She deserves to be among the top Indian female singers; she has delivered some top-class songs. She is known for trying new styles and exploring different genres.
Bollywood is nothing without iconic songs and it’s time to thank the various Indian female singers we have remembered today and look forward to gracing our ears with some of the best songs sung by the best Bollywood female singers in future.