Monali Thakur (born 3rd November 1985 in Kolkata, India) is an Indian playback singer who sings mainly in Bollywood movies. Monali comes from a musical family, as her father is Bengali singer and actor Shakti Thakur and her sister Mehuli Thakur-Goswami is also a professional playback singer. Being a child, she has also appeared in a Bengali television soap, Aalokito ek Indu, in the lead role as Indu.
Monali got her start by singing in school and college competitions and performing at local functions, and then rose to popularity after placing ninth in Indian Idol 2, the Indian version of Pop Idol. She was never in the Bottom 3 until her elimination, and immediately after she was eliminated, judge Anu Malik offered to help her find a future singing opportunity, which turned out to be a playback song in the movie Jaan-e-Maan. This led in turn to the opportunity to sing two songs for the hit movie Race in 2008 - "Khwab Dekhe (Sexy lady)" and "Zara Zara Touch Me". These songs were offered to her by composer Pritam. She was originally scheduled for only one song, but her first recording impressed the film's directors Abbas and Mustan enough for them to book her a second. "Zara Zara Touch Me" was enormously successful, becoming the fourth-most-played song on Indian radio during the first half of 2008. It also spawned a lawsuit by Taiwanese-American singer Leehom Wang, however, with Lee-hom claiming that "Zara Zara Touch Me" was too similar to the song "Deep in the Bamboo Grove" from his album The Sun and Moon in My Heart, which had been released in December 2004.
She also sang in the movies Golmaal Returns and the forthcoming Mr. Bhatti on Chutti and Dulha Mil Gaya, and is working on her first solo album. As of June 2008, Thakur claimed that the album included a planned nine tracks, of which six had already been written by Thakur and Sachin Gupta, and would be in a blend of rock and classical styles. She has also sung a song "Khudaya Khair" in the recent film Billu Barber starring Shahrukh Khan. She also got nominated for best singer in IIFA Awards for the song "Zara Zara Touch Me".