B.H.Harsh wrote on 11 Aug 2008
Alka Yagnik was born on March 20, 1966 in Calcutta. Her parents were well educated with Classical Indian music. Especially her mother was determined to make her a successful playback singer. When Alka was 6, she started singing bhajans for Kolkata Radio. Alka’s mother brought her to Bombay as soon as she reached her teens. Alka Yagnik also sang a few songs, “Mere angne mein…” (Laawaris) being very popular of them. But she was advised to wait till she grew up before she tried to become a full-fledged play back singer. Alka Yagnik’s breakthrough song was “Ek do teen…” from Tezaab (1988). This song took her career graph soaring. And then there were her duets with Udit Narayan in Qayamat Se Qayamat tak (1988). She was the heroine’s voice for many more years to come. Her songs in Saajan (1991), Deewana (1992) and Khalnayak (1993) were huge rage. Her sensuous rendition of “Choli ke peeche…” (Khalnayak) made the song top charts for many weeks.
Alka Yagnik continued her unperturbed run for almost an entire decade. Be it romantic, emotional or soft numbers, Alka Yagnik sang each of them with grace. This is the reason why Alka Yagnik was the first choice for all the Music directors – be it A.R.Rahman, Nadeem-Sharavan, Jatin-Lalit, or Anu Malik.
She was the voice of everyone from Madhuri Dixit to Karisma Kapoor. Though there were several new singers trying to break the mould, no one could come even slightly close to Alka’s place. With the coming of 21st century however, names like Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal gained popularity. But Alka kept striking back with gems like “Taal se Taal Mila…” (Taal), “O re chhori…” (Lagaan), and “Aisa hi hota hai…” (Ishq Vishq). Meanwhile, Alka Yagnik was still going strong as she had the best songs of the biggest films like Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Koi Mil Gaya (2003, Hum Tum (2004), Chalte Chalte (2003), Swades etc (2004).
With the end of 2005, the magic of Alka’s silken voice was somewhat replaced by the freshness of Shreya and Sunidhi. However, Alka’s rendition of the title track of Karan Johar’s Kabhi Alvida Na kehna (2006) proved that she may be down but her magic will never fade. Alka Yagnik was a judge for musical reality show in the search of Young Musical talents. Alka Yagnik has been awarded the prestigious Filmfare award on 6 occasions. Her first award was for “Ek do teen…” (Tezaab) in 1988, while she lastly won it for “Saanso ko saanso mein…” (Hum Tum) in 2004. She has also won a National award in 1993 for “Ghunghat ki aadh se…” (Hum Hai Rahi Pyaar Ke). Alka Yagnik holds a unique record of having all the 5 nominations for Filmfare Award for Playback singer in 1993.
Alka also cut an album with her brother Sameer Yagnik.