Many female singers in Bollywood have tried to topple the Melody Queen Lata Mangeshkar but none could even dare to come close or even match the versatility of Lata Mangeshkar. But in the '90s, the female playback singer who challenged the mighty Lata Mangeshkar was none other than Anuradha Paudwal!
After creating a sensation by winning a hat-trick of Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Awards for three consecutive years with hit songs like Nazar Ke Saamne (Aashiqui -1991), Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin" (Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin -1992) and Dhak Dhak Karne Laga Beta -1993) Anuradha Paudwal became the number one singer of Bollywood! What's amazing is that top filmmakers like Subhash Ghai replaced Lata Mangeshkar with Anuradha Paudwal in his films like Hero, Ram Lakhan, etc. O.P. Nayyar, the stalwart music composer and a stiff rival of Lata Mangeshkar even wrote –With the arrival of Anuradha Paudwal, Lata Mangeshkar is Finished!!
Anuradha Paudwal reached the zenith of success and won 4 Filmfare Award and a National Film Award. Even the government of India saluted Anuradha Paudwal's talent by awarding her Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian award, by the Government of India in 2017. But she ended her career abruptly, which unfortunately shattered her dream to match the success and versatility of Lata Mangeshkar!!!
St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, India
Sugam Sangeet rejected her as Voice Unfit for singing!
As a child, Anuradha Paudwal was passionate about music and singing. She used to learn music from Arun Paudwal, who was a music arranger for S.D Burman. During her school days, she would take part in singing competitions and win several awards. She was a huge hit in schools and college. However, readers would be surprised to know that Anuradha in her First Competition for Sugam Sangeet was discarded when she sang the Lata Mangeshkar's Meera bhajans. The judges remarked - Voice Unfit for singing! Instead of crying and lamenting, Anuradha took the rejection positively and then never in her life was rejected. Interestingly, when she became a star singer, she was honored by the same Sugam Sangeet who had earlier rejected her voice!!!
Anuradha Paudwal married Arun Paudwal, her Music Guru. Both the families were close but still, Arun Paudwal was hesitant to marry Anuradha as there was a huge age gap of 10 years between the duos. Anuradha Paudwal was 17 years and Arun Paudwal was 27. But Arun Paudwal's father was keen on his son marrying Anuradha hence the two got married. The marriage proved successful. The couple has a daughter named Kavita Paudwal, who is a singer, and a son, Aditya Paudwal, who is also into music industry.
Anuradha Paudwal and Gulshan Kumar controversy
Anuradha Paudwal's career saw an amazing bloom after she met Gulshan Kumar, owner of T-Series Cassettes. The two created history with a string of hit films like Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, Aashiqui , Jeena teri gali mein and Meera ka Mohan to name a few. However, their rumored romance and the decision of Anuradha Paudwal to solely sing for T-Series curtailed her flourishing career.
Anuradha Paudwal first won the attention of Music director through Radio
During a recording of a Lata Mangeshkar Bhajan,
After winning hearts with his brilliant performance in ‘Welcome Home’, Marathi star Subodh Bhave, announced his upcoming movie Vijeta’s shoot commencement. He took to his social media account and shared a picture with the film’s team including Bollywood filmmaker Subhas Ghai, who has produced the film. The film is directed by Amol Shetge.
Vijeta is a sports drama, which also features actors Neha Mahajan, Madhav Deochakke and Pooja Sawant. Producer Subhas Ghai has also produced Marathi film ‘Sanai Choughade’ previously in 2008, which also features actor Subodh Bhave, Shreyas Talpade and Sai Tamhankar. Vijeta is also produced by Rahul Puri and will be out soon.
accompanied Arun Paudwal. Watching Lata sing the song with so devotionally, Anuradha Paudwal was bowled over. She stood dumbfounded and the impact of the song on little Anuradha Paudwal was that she memorized the song within minutes! Later she sang the song Live on the Radio show Yuva Vani, a popular Marathi musical program that was heard by top music directors too!
After listening to this song many music directors like Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and several top composers called the radio station to find out who had sung the song. Later the Radio Station informed it was sung by Anuradha Paudwal, wife of Arun Paudwal. Soon she was flooded by offers but she declined the offers.
Anuradha Paudwal made debut with S.D.Burman's film Abimaan
Readers would be surprised to know that Anuradha Paudwal made her debut with the legendary music director S.D.Burman in the movie Abimaan in 1973. Recalling her first encounter with S.D.Burman, Anuradha Paudwal in an interview said, "My husband Arun Paudwal was a music arranger for S.D Burman. One day Arunji recorded a Shiv Sholka in my voice because of S.D.Burman wished to have the opening sequence of Abimaan with a Shiv Sholka. Since Lata Mangeshkar was out of the country for an important assignment hence Arunji insisted Burmanda listen to my voice. After, listening to my voice Burmanda was bowled over and gave me a chance. The Sholka gave me much recognition because listeners felt it was sung by Lataji."
Laxmikant-Pyarelal gave Anuradha Paudwal her First Solo Song
Anuradha Paudwal started her career with a Non-film Marathi songs or ‘Bhav Geeten'. The success of the album fetched her singing assignments. Kalyanji-Anandji gave her a duet Ek Bata Do Do Bate Char….. in the film Kalicharan(1976). The song was hit. Later Laxmikant-Pyarelal gave her a solo song ‘Hum To Garib Hai…'Aap Beeti, (1976). Soon other composers like Rajesh Roshan (Des Pardes), Jaidev (Dooriyan, Laila Majnu), Kalyanji-Anandji (Kalaakar, Vidhataa), and Usha Khanna (Souten, Sajan Bina Suhagan) started offering her signing assignments. She also sang in several Marathi movies including the memorable "Disate Majalaa" (Ashtavinayak), "Raja Lalakaari", and "Kaalyaa Maatita Maatitaa".
Anuradha Paudwal won popular success with Subhash Ghai's film Hero
Anuradha gained recognition with her popular numbers for the movie, Hero (1983). The super hit song 'Tu mera janoo hai...was originally planned to be recorded by Lata Mangeshkar. Anuradha in an interview said, "For the shooting purpose the song was dubbed by me and strictly clarified that it was Lataji's song and would be rerecorded when she has time. Nevertheless, after my recording, Subhash Ghai liked my version and the song became popular. The song was nominated for Filmfare Awards. Later Anuradha had a good relation with Laxmikant Pyarelal and she gave many hit songs Meri Jung, Nagina Tezaab, etc. Few of her hit songs in the '80s were Mere Jeevan Saathi...(Ek Duuje Ke Liye); Jawani Ke Rail Kahin...(Coolie ), Tere Naam Liya (Ram Lakhan), Keh Do Ke Tum.. (Tezaab) etc.
Anuradha Paudwal wins her Best Female Playback Singer Filmfare Award
Anuradha Paudwal was expecting to win her First Filmfare Award as Best Female Playback Singer from the song "Tu Mera Hero Hain" (Hero) but to her utter shock, she has declined the honor. Nevertheless, three years later, to her pleasant surprise, she won the Best Female Playback Singer for the lesser-known song Mere Man Bajo Mridang (Utsav – 1986).
Anuradha Paudwal hit a hat-trick winning Best Female Playback Singer Filmfare Award
In the '90s Anuradha Paudwal hit a hat-trick winning Best Female Playback Singer Filmfare Award in a row Nazar Ke Saamne" (Aashiqui -1991); Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin" (Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin -1992) and Dhak Dhak Karne Laga" (Beta -1993)
Anuradha Paudwal also has the distinction of winning a National Award for Best Playback Singer (Female) for the Marathi song "He Ek Reshami" Kalat Nakalat (1989).
Few super hit songs of Anuradha Paudwal in the 90's are Koyal Si Teri Boli.....(Beta), Tumhein Apna Banane Ki Kasam Khai Hai (Sadak), Dum Duma Dum.. (Dil), Jeeye To Jeeye Kaise (Sajaan) etc.
Anuradha Paudwal association with Gulshan Kumar made her a Star!
Anuradha Paudwal confesses that meeting Gulshan Kumar had been the turning point of her career. In an interview, Anuradha confides, "I met Gulshan Kumar at a point where I had been singing for the past 12 years and still struggling. I was not getting the kind of top quality songs that I felt I should be singing but the top recording companies were still loyal to Lataji and Ashaji."
Her meeting with Gulshan Kumar ended her long struggle as she reaped rich dividends with successful movies like Aashiqui, Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka. She sang for new music composers like Nadeem-Shravan, Anu Malik, Nikhil Vinay, and Amar Utpal all collaborated with T-Series (Gulshan Kumar's music label) and started a new era of melody in Bollywood.
Anuradha Paudwal ended her career abruptly
When Anuradha Paudwal was at the top of her career she suddenly took an unconventional decision to limit her singing assignments to T-Series banner. Due to this other singer like Alka Yagnik and Kavita Krishnamurthy took a huge leap and went ahead of Anuradha Paudwal, while Anuradha Paudwal gradually went into oblivion.
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