Alka Yagnik was born in Kolkata on 20 March 1966 to Dharmendra Shankar and Shubha. At the age six, she started singing for Akashvani (All India Radio), Calcutta. Though, she was a bright student, she hated studies. She is one of the leading female playback singers of all time.
In 1980, she marked her debut as a singer with the film Payal Ki Jhankaar, followed by Laawaris (1981) with the song “Mere Angane Mein”, and the film Hamari Bahu Alka (1982). Her career started taking off with the song “Ek Do Teen” from the film Tezaab (1988). She rose to fame with her collaboration with Bollywood’s biggest music directors. Her collaboration with Laxmikant- Pyarelal rendered hit songs for the films like Khuda Gawah, Hum, Agneepath, Khalnayak among several others. Her collaboration with Nadeem- Shravan rendered hit songs for the films like Phool Aur Kaante Saajan, Deewana Raja, Dilwale, Kasoor, Raja Hindustani and Andaaz among others. Her successful songs include Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai, Chamma Chamma, Taal Se Taal Mila and many more. Yagnik has been the recipient of several music awards for best female playback such as Filmfare Awards, National Awards, Lata Mangeshkar Award, Bollywood Movie Awards, IIFA Awards, Star Screen Awards, Zee Cine Awards, etc. She holds the record for winning seven Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer from a record of 36 nominations. She won the National Film Award twice.
Some of her notable songs include:
Kabhi Bhoola Kabhi Yaad Kiya
Tu Mile Dil Khile
Bahon Ke Darmiyan
Kuch To Hua Hai
Yagnik tied the knot with Shillong-based businessman Neeraj Kapoor in 1989. The couple is blessed with a daughter named Syesha Kapoor. The couple got separated for some years, but they later reunited. She has lent her vocals to 20,000 plus songs in over 1000 films. She is positioned 3rd as the top female playback singer after Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle who has sung maximum number of female solos in her Bollywood career. She appeared as a guest in many singing reality shows. In 2019, she appeared as the judge in Superstar Singer in Sony TV.