Shreya Ghoshal (born 12 March 1984) is an Indian playback singer. She has received four National Film Awards, six Filmfare
Awards including five for Best Female Playback Singer, nine Filmfare Awards South, three Kerala State Film Awards, two
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards and many other awards. She has recorded songs for film music and albums in various Indian
languages and has established herself as a leading playback singer of Indian cinema.
Ghoshal aspired to become a playback singer from an early age. At the age of four, she started learning music. At the age of
six, she started her formal training in classical music. At the age of sixteen, she was noticed by film-maker Sanjay Leela
Bhansali when she entered and won the television singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. Following that, she made her
Bollywood playback singing debut with Bhansali’s romantic drama Devdas (2002) for which she received a National Film
Award, a Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer and a Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent.
Apart from playback singing, Ghoshal has appeared as a judge on several television reality shows and she also appears in
music videos. She performs in musical concerts around the world. She has been honored by United States state of Ohio,
where Gov. Ted Strickland declared 26 June 2010 as “Shreya Ghoshal Day”. In April 2013, she was honoured in London by the
selected members of House of Commons of the United Kingdom. She also featured five times in the Forbes list of the top 100
celebrities from India. In 2017, Ghoshal became the first Indian singer to have her wax figurene in Madame Tussauds Museum
Early and personal life
Shreya Ghoshal was born on 12 March 1984 to a Bengali Hindu family in Baharampur, Murshidabad district, West Bengal. She
grew up in Rawatbhata, a small town near Kota in Rajasthan. Her father, Bishwajit Ghoshal is an electrical engineer and works
for the Nuclear Power Corporation of India, and her mother, Sarmistha Ghoshal, is a literature post-graduate. She has a
younger brother, Soumyadeep Ghoshal. At the age of four, she started learning music.
Shreya Ghoshal completed her schooling up to eighth grade at the Atomic Energy Central School in Rawatbhata. In 1995, she
won the All India Light Vocal Music Competition, New Delhi, organised by Sangam Kala Group, in Light Vocal group in sub-
junior level. In 1997, when her father was transferred to the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, she was relocated to Mumbai,
with her family and studied at the Atomic Energy Central School in Anushakti Nagar.She joined the Atomic Energy Junior
College to study science. She withdrew from the junior college and enrolled at the SIES College of Arts, Science, and
Commerce in Mumbai, where she took up arts with English as her major.
Her mother used to help her in her rehearsals and she accompanied her on the Tanpura and started practicing mostly Bengali
songs. At the age of six, Ghoshal started with her formal training in classical music. She acquired training from Late Kalyanji
Bhai for 18 months and continued her classical music training with Late Mukta Bhide in Mumbai. Her first stage performance
was made at a club’s annual function. When she turned six, she started her lessons in Hindustani classical music. In 2000, at
the age of sixteen, she participated and won the television music reality show Sa Re Ga Ma (now Sa Re Ga Ma Pa) on the
channel Zee TV.
On 5 February 2015, Ghoshal married her childhood friend Shiladitya Mukhopadhyaya in a traditional Bengali
ceremony.Before getting married, Ghoshal dated him for almost 10 years. According to Ghoshal, apart from being a singer she
loves to travel and read books but it’s cooking that has a healing effect on her.
Her first ever recorded song was “Ganraj Rangi Nachato” which is a cover version of a Marathi song originally sung by Lata
Mangeshkar. Her first studio album was Bendhechhi Beena, which was released on 1 January 1998, with 14 tracks. Some of
her earlier albums are O Tota Pakhi Re, Ekti Katha (1999), and Mukhor Porag (2000). Ghoshal recorded Bengali studio album
Rupasi Raate (2002). Ghoshal recorded devotional songs in albums like Banomali Re (2002),and later, Krishna Bina Ache Ke
Bollywood debut (2002–04)
Ghoshal caught the attention of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali when she participated in the 75th children’s special episode of
Sa Re Ga Ma. Bhansali’s mother was watching the show and during Ghoshal’s performance, she called him to watch her
performance, after which he decided to give her a chance in his next film. According to Bhansali, Ghoshal’s voice had the
innocence needed for the character of Paro in Devdas (2002).
In 2000, Bhansali and music director Ismail Darbar offered her the opportunity to be the voice of Paro, the lead female
character of Devdas, who was portrayed by Aishwarya Rai. Ghoshal sang five songs in the film, namely, “Silsila Ye Chaahat
Ka”, “Bairi Piya”, “Chalak Chalak”, “Morey Piya”, and “Dola Re Dola”, with established singers such as Kavita Krishnamurthy,
Udit Narayan, Vinod Rathod, KK, and Jaspinder Narula. She was sixteen when she recorded the first song for the film, “Bairi
Piya” with Udit Narayan. Her Higher Secondary Examinations were nearing that time and she would take her books and
notebooks to the studio in order to study during downtime. “Bairi Piya” was an instant success and topped the charts. The film
garnered her first Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for “Dola Re” (shared with Kavita Krishnamurthy and a
National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for “Bairi Piya”.
Her performance also won her the Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent.
“ I remember I was asked to rehearse the song once before finally recording it. I simply closed my eyes and sang
without a break. When I opened my eyes, I noticed a lot of excitement and chaos outside the recording room. Then Sanjayji
told me I had sung the song so well that they had recorded it at one go. ”
— Ghoshal sharing her experience of recording “Bairi Piya”
She was an immediate success and was called by various regional film industries for recording songs in her voice. Ghoshal
was next heard in Darbar-composed Desh Devi, where she performed three tracks for the film.
After rendering traditional semi-classical songs for her previous ventures, Ghoshal performed two seductive numbers for M. M.
Kreem’s Jism, which prevented her from being stereotyped. According to Ghoshal, “Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai” and “Chalo Tumko
Lekar Chale” from the film “made everyone look at [her] in a new light”, opening the doors to a “versatile image”. She was
awarded with another Filmfare trophy for Best Female Playback Singer for the song “Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai”. She thereupon
worked with Anu Malik, where she performed the female version of “Aye Meri Zindagi”, “Seena Pada” and “Aai Jo Teri Yaad”,
along with the bhajan-styled “Har Taraf” In spite of providing vocals for “Har Taraf”, Ghoshal also made her first on-screen
appearance in Saaya.Apart from Inteha, Ghoshal provided vocals for Malik in two other films, Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and LOC
Kargil, where she recorded the song “Chann Chann” for the former and “Pyaar Bhara Geet” for the latter, along with Sonu
Nigam. Besides, Ghoshal made her first collaboration with Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy by performing the female version of the song
“Tu Hi Bata Zindagi”. Calling her sing “effortless” in the song, The Hindu mentioned that she was “able to impart the required
emotions” for the song.
In 2004, Ghoshal contributed to the soundtrack album of Thoda Tum Badlo Thoda Hum by performing four tracks, which were
labelled with an “average” tag by Joginder Tuteja from Bollywood Hungama. However, he was “impressed” with Ghoshal’s
rendition from her songs in Khakee, where he affirmed that Ghoshal’s voice suits Aishwarya Rai to the “core” and she “lends
credibility to the entire song” in “Wada Raha”. Besides, the two duets with Nigam; “Dil Dooba” and “Youn Hi Tum Mujhse”,
were equally favored by music critics. Further complimenting her vocals in the song “Hum Tumko Nigahon Mein” and “Soniye”
from Garv, Tuteja asserted that Ghoshal’s “vocals have started to suit the current breed of actresses better and better with each
passing day”. Apart from Dil Bechara Pyaar Ka Maara, Ghoshal worked with Nikhil–Vinay in other projects, by recording
“Betab Dil Hai” from Phir Milenge, and “Woh Ho Tum” from Muskaan.[
During the time, Nadeem–Shravan composed Tumsa Nahin Dekha: A Love Story was considered to be the biggest album for
Ghoshal, as she sang all the numbers with an exception of one song. She performed a wide variety of songs—from a jazzy
number to soft romantic tunes—in the album. According to Ghoshal, the album allowed her to “experiment with the entire range”
of her “singing capabilities” Besides, Ghoshal lent her voice for Malik, where she sang “Tumhe Jo Maine Dekha” and “Gori
Gori” for Main Hoon Na apart from the title track—which received the maximum praise from critics. Mid Day affirmed that
Ghoshal provided “perfect accompaniment” for the track, while Rediff.com was “impressed with her rendition”. The year marks
her first collaboration with Rajesh Roshan and Daboo Malik by singing the melodious track for the former composed “Saansein
Ghulne Lagi” from Aetbaar and performing the track “Shikdum” from Dhoom, for the latter.
Ghoshal at “Carvaan-E-Ghazal” celebrations
Ghoshal was bestowed with her second National Film Award for her rendition of “Dheere Jalna” in Paheli. As claimed by Daily
News and Analysis, the song “treads the fine balance between the classical and popular genre of Hindi film music”. Barring the
song “Dheere Jalna”, Ghoshal was heard in two other tracks “Kangna Re” and “Minnat Kare”, composed by M.M. Kreem. She
provided vocals for Kreem in one of his another compositions: “Guzar Na Jaye” from Rog. With the film Parineeta, she made
her first collaboration with Shantanu Moitra. She performed four tracks from the film alongside Nigam, which includes “Piyu
Bole”, “Kasto Mazza” and “Soona Man Ka Aangan”. Thereupon, the duo worked for the soundtrack album of Yahaan,
performing a soulful track “Naam Adaa Likhna”, “Urzu Urzu Durkut” and a Punjabi track “Mele Chaliyan”. Ghoshal’s work in both
the films was widely acclaimed, subsequently being nominated for the Filmfare Awards with the song “Piyu Bole”. Reportedly,
Ghoshal was selected to sing the female rendition of the track after being auditioned by many other artistes. In an interview,
Moitra stated; “Pradeep wanted a little trill of laughter in the middle of the song and she did it effortlessly”.