Suresh Wadkar was born in Kolhapur in 1954. He started his formal training in music at the age of 10, under the tutelage of Pandit Jialal Vasant.
Under the aegis of his guru, Wadkar entered the Sur – Shringar Samsad which proved to be his entrance ticket to films. Wadkar won the competition which was judged, among others, by Jaidev . Jaidev gave him his first break with ‘Seene Mein Jalan’ in Gaman. Though connoisseurs admire the song to this day, the art film failed to give him general exposure. This was followed by the film Paheli in which Ravindra Jain composed the hit Wadkar – Hemlata duet ‘Bishti Kare Tipur Tipar’. Suresh Wadkar impressed Lata Mangeshkar so greatly that she openly recommended his voice to music directors like Laxmikant, Kalyanji and Khayyam. Laxmikant – Pyarelal too were impressed and soon recorded a duet with Lata ‘Chal Chameli Bagh Mein’ for Krodhi (1981), and soon after gave him hit songs in Hum Paanch, Pyasa Sawan (‘Megha re Megha Re’). Wadkars major breakthrough came with RK Films Prem Rog, where he sang all the 4 songs for the hero, Rishi Kapoor. Among Kalyanji – Anandji’s songs, the Vidhaata number ‘Hathon Ki Chand Lakeeron Ka’ was a big hit. He sings non – filmi albums in Hindi and Marathi and sings in Marathi films too. Wadkar was a frontline singer in the 80s and early 90s. He sang for the topmost music directors including Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kalyanji Anandji, R.D. Burman, Ravindra Jain, Bappi Lahiri, Khaiyyaam, Usha Khanna, Anu Malik, Shanker, Ravi, Chitragupta, Jaidev, Hridaynath Mangeshkar and also for the most coveted banners like RK Films, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra, G.P.Sippy. Inspite of this he was unluckily branded as a semi – classical singer (despite singing so many light songs in Hindi).
Wadkar has received many a coveted award, including 9 for Maharashtra, 3 for Gujarat, 2 for Punjab State Best Male Playback Singer awards. His maiden venture ‘Ashi Hi Dnyaneshwari’ won him the Best Music Director Award of Maharashtra Government. Wadkar has ventured into the filed of teaching music and has started his own academy where talented children receive scientific training in Indian Classical Music. The Trust – Acharya Jialal Vasant Sangeet Niketan runs an academic school from Nursery to the SSC with Junior College of Commerce attached to it. The Niketan has its own Voice Culture Studio, where students receive their professional training.