Usha Uthup
Profiles of Cine Play Back Singers

Usha Uthup is an Indian playback singer and was very popular in the sixties, seventies and eighties. She started her career as a singer in Bollywood by singing the son Dum Maro Dum in the film Hare Rama Hare Krishna.

 She was born on 8th November 1947 in a Tamil speaking Brahmin family in Mumbai. Her father was Sami Iyer. She has three sisters and two brothers, Uma Pocha, Indira Srinivasan, Maya Sami and Shyam. She spent her younger days at police quarters at Lovelane in Byculla in Bombay and studied at a local school. She was thrown out of music class when at school on claims of poor performance.

 She married late Ramu Iyer and then married Jani Chacko Uthup of Kottayam and has a daughter Anjali and son Sunny. She is living in Kolkatta with her husband. She gave her first public singing when she was nine years old and the musician Ameen Sayani gave her an opportunity to sing on the Ovaltine Music Hour of Radio Ceylon.

 She started singing at the Nine Gems nightclub and then at Oberai hotels. Her two pop songs Jambalaya and The Kingston Trio and both of them sold well. She also gave her performance at BBC Radio London. She sang for the music directors R D Burman and Bappi Lahiri.

 Some of her famous songs include Darling, Wicket Bacha, Teri Meri Merry Christmas, Kabhi Pa Liya Tho Kabhi Kho Diya, Vande Mataram, Daud, Vegam Vegam Pogum Pogum, Ek Do Cha Cha, Doston Se Pyar Kiya, Hari Om Hari, Ramba Ho, Koi Yahan Aha Nache Nache, etc.

 She has given stage performance all over the world. She is also an actress and has acted in few films like Pothen Vava in Malayalam, Bombay to Goa, Hattrick in Hindi and Manmadhan Ambu in Tamil. Her big bindi and flowers on her head and silk sari are her trademarks.

Awards & Titles

She was given Padma Shri award by Government of India. She was nominated three times for Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Award for the songs, One Two Cha Chacha, Hari Om Hari, and Rambha Ho. She also received Rajiv Gandhi Purashkar award for National Integration for quality music, Channel V award and Mahila Shiromani Purashkar award for international peace.