Anuradha Paudwal is an Indian playback singer, who is known for her soft and euphonious melodies that tune with the heartbeats. She created her own peak in the Romantic genre and later strengthened the roots of her voice in the spiritual genre of music.
Anuradha Paudwal was born as Alka Nadakarni on 27 October 1954 (age 66 years; as in 2018) in Karwar, Bombay State (now Karnataka), India. She pursued her graduation from St. Xavier’s College situated in Mumbai, India. She claims never to have taken any training of music; her mother sent her to a local music school where she learned valuable lessons of singing. She also received training in various places but failed in the process. She took Lata Mangeshkar as her mentor and started practicing for hours, following Lata Ji’s notes. Her zodiac/Sun Sign is Scorpion.
Height: 5′ 5”
Weight: 70 kg
Eye Color: Dark Brown
Hair Color: Black
Family, Caste & Husband
She was born to a Konkani family in Uttara Kannada of Karnataka, India but was raised in Mumbai, India. She came from a family where singing was looked upon as a taboo. Her father was totally against her singing. However, her mother supported her talent and sent her to a local music school to learn singing. She married Late Arun Paudwal, who was a music composer.
They have a son named Aditya Paudwal
and a daughter named Kavita Paudwal, who is also a singer.
She had one more daughter who died a month later of her birth.
S. D Burman offered her a song in 1973 Hindi film, ‘Abhiman,’ which was a Shiv Shloka.
The same year, she made her first film debut with ‘Yashoda.’ In 1974, she released the record of Marathi songs “Bhav Geetan” that became very popular. She got her first break through the movie Kalicharan (1976).
Her first solo was in the film Aap Beati. She also sang for various composers like Rajesh Roshan, Jai-Dev, Kalyanji-Anandji and others. She is known in Bollywood for her songs in the movies Hero (1983), Meri Jung (1985), Batwara (1989), Nagina (1986), and Ram Lakhan (1989). After reaching the peak of her career in Bollywood, she declared that she would only sing for T-Series. She then started her career as a devotional singer earning much of her fame and popularity. She did return to sing for Bollywood again, but her comeback only received few audiences. She continued to sing devotional songs and release several Music Album, which has become her forte. She has also sung in other languages that include Kannada, Marwari, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Punjabi and many other languages.
- She once challenged the legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar and claimed to have recorded the maximum number of songs in a single day. She even challenged the monopoly of Mangeshkar Sisters in the film industry.
- She dubbed the songs of Alka Yagnik and further went to dub the song of Lata Mangeshkar, claiming that her voice suited more for the heroine.
Awards and Honors
- Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar in the year 2018 by Maharashtra Government
- Cultural Ambassador Of Devotional Music in the year 2018 by UNO
- Padma Shri in the year 2017 by Government of India
- D Litt. Award in the year 2016
- Mohammed Rafi Award in the year 2013 by Maharashtra Government
- Mother Teresa Award in the year 2011 for lifetime achievement
- Lata Mangeshkar Award in the year 2010 by Madhya Pradesh Government
- Mahakaal Award in the year 2004 by Madhya Pradesh Government
- Best Playback Singer (Female) for “He Ek Reshami” in the year 1989
- Best Female Playback Singer for “Mere Man Bajo Mridang” in the year 1986
- Best Female Playback Singer for “Nazar Ke Saamne” in the year 1991
- Best Female Playback Singer for “Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin” in the year 1992
- Best Female Playback Singer for “Dhak Dhak Karne Laga” in the year 1993
- Singers: Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar
- She says that her inclination towards music started when she heard a song by Lata Mangeshkar.
- Her career with the T-Series gave her the nickname “T-Series Queen.”
- She dreamt of Lata Ji’s voice live when she was 4.
- She once told that she originally had a husky voice.
- She once suffered from such a severe Pneumonia attack that she almost lost her voice completely. Being bed-ridden for more than a month, she took shelter in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar.
- In the hospital bed, she would listen to the “Bhagvat Geeta” in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar that one of her uncles had gifted her. After her recovery, her voice had completely changed. Later, she worked on toning her voice.
- She considered Lata Ji as her Guru (Mentor) crediting her all for her success. She said that she was trained by many mentors, but Lata Ji was her inspiration. “It’s like an Institution,” she says.
- She participated in many of her school and college functions and won several awards. The very first that she won was for Lata Ji’s Meera Bhajans.
- She even got rejected at one such school festival where she was remarked as, “Voice Unfit For Sugam Sangeet.”
- She fell in love with Arun Paudwal when she was a teen. Her father did not approve of their marriage initially because of Arun’s connection with the music industry. They considered show business as a taboo.
- She married when she was 17, with Arun Paudwal, who was ten years elder than her.
- Arun always encouraged her to sing. He was her close mentor and a critic.
- She says that it was difficult for her to get into industry even through connections. She was told that there was no room for Bhakti Songs in the market. This led her to create her first Marathi devotional album.
- Once, Arun got her one of the Lataji’s recordings. She listened to it very carefully that she presented in “Yuva Vani,” a very popular Gujarati programme, heard by many. Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Hridyanath Mangeshkar, and several top composers began a search to find the owner of the voice. It took them a while to find out that it was Alka Nadakarni (maiden name of Anuradha Paudwal). At last, it was S.D Burman to give her, her first break.
- When Abhiman was released, almost 25 to 30 of her family members went to Plaza Theatre just to see Anuradha’s name in the credits.
- Her first win of major film award was for the song “Mera Man Baje Mridang…” She’d been hoping the award for the song “Tu Mera Jaanu Hai” from the movie Hero.
- “Tu Mera Jaanoo Hai” from the movie Hero was initially signed with Lata Mangeshkar. She went into the studio to dub the song. The composers liked it so much that they kept her version of the track in the film.
- Anuradha Paudwal was the signatory singer in most of the Subhash Ghai’s films. The Gayatri Mantra sang by her is the part of Mukta Art Emblem even now.
- She has even sung a song with the legendary singer Kishore Kumar “Gumsum Si Khoi Khoi” of the movie Badaltey Rishte (1978).
- In the 1990s, she became the voice of Madhuri Dixit. The song “Bahut Pyaar Karte Hai Tumko Sanam” battled to be in the charts for a long time.
- She had a great bonding with T-series mogul Gulshan Kumar. When he was shot dead in August 1997, her attitude to success changed. She says “Today when I have a hit, it feels nice, but That’s it. “
- Death of her husband aspired his son to be the youngest music composers in the film industry. Her daughter Kavita is also a playback singer.
- She has a foundation made after the memory of her deceased husband Arun named “Suryauday.”
- Along with Gulshan Kumar, she was instrumental in getting several unknown playback singers to the fore including Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Kumar Sanu, and Abhijeet.
- When she started her journey as her singer, people predicted that she would replace Lata Mangeshkar. Even veteran composer O.P Nayyar commented that lata was finished and Anuradha has finished her. But she cleared this all by saying that she never aspired for the moon, she is satisfied with what her audience and music industry has given her. She always felt that it was better to retire from the pinnacle, “wrna log darwaza dikha dete hai (otherwise you are shown the doors)”
- When she left the film industry, a lot of people started questioning her decision. She has deep faith in Baba Mahakaal; so, she goes to her to ask him for a token whether she did the right thing. She says she was answered by being honored with Mahakaal Award, the very next month.
- She has a desire to record poetry. She says that people appreciate good poetries and many of the time it does not find its due place in the films. She wishes to record the works of Shankaracharya.
- She considers the recreation-of-the-old-song-culture going on in Bollywood as pathetic. She believes that the essence of the original song is destroyed because of that.