Sadhana Sargam (born 7 March 1969) is an Indian singer known for playback career in Indian cinema. She is a recipient of the National Film Award and Filmfare Awards South. She has also won five Maharashtra State Film awards, four Gujarat State Film Awards and has also been awarded the 'Lata Mangeshkar Award' from the Government of Madhya Prades
Sargam was born to a family of musicians at Dabhol, the seaport town in Ratnagiri District of Maharashtra. Her mother Neela Ghanekar was a classical singer and music teacher and knew arranger–composer Anil Mohile, who was then arranging music for Kalyanji-Anandji. He introduced Sargam to them, and she was in the children's chorus in "Pam Pararampam, Bole Jeevan Ki Sargam" sung by Kishore Kumar in G. P. Sippy's Trishna (1978). Sargam performed at music festival Sawai Gandharva at the age of 4. She sang popular song Sooraj Ek Chanda Ek Taare Anek for Doordarshan at the age 6. The song was composed by veteran Vasant Desai.
She won a Central Government scholarship at the age of 10 and this led to a 7-year learning stint under Pandit Jasraj. From childhood she was also learning and performing with Vasant Desai for his documentaries, children's films and stage shows. Desai advised her mother that Sargam was competent enough to handle both classical and light music and should remain in touch with both, as her mother wanted her to take up light singing. In fact, it was Desai who recommended that she learn under Pandit Jasraj.
Sargam has sung 1938 Hindi songs in 1546 films and 1711 Tamil songs in 500 films. She has sung 2500 Bengali songs from 1994-2015. She has sung 3467 songs in Marathi. She has sung about 6000 songs in Malayalam. She has sung 15,000 songs in 34 Indian languages. She has won all topmost awards in India. She is the only playback singer who actively participated and sings meditation songs for spiritual foundations like Prajapita Brahmkumari Vishwavidyalaya and Satya Saibaba.Sargam has sung in 34 Indian languages for films, television serials, devotionals and pop music albums. She holds a record for being the first non South Indian to have won the National Award for a South Indian song. She is also a trained Hindustani classical singer. Beginning her career in the early 1980s, Sargam has recorded her voice in various Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Meitei, Marathi, Odia, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Nepali and many others.
1982–1990: Early career
Sargam made her playback debut in Kanku Pagli, a Gujarati film. Her first Hindi song was the solo "Door Nahin Rehna" from the film Rustom. However, Rustom was delayed and was released only in 1985, and Sargam ’s first released film was Subhash Ghai’s Vidhaata (1982) in which she sang the song "Saat Saheliyan" for actress Padmini Kolhapure. The song, composed by Kalyanji-Anandji, also had the voices of Kishore Kumar and Alka Yagnik.
Sargam continued to sing in films like Taqdeer, Pighalta Aasmaan, Raj Tilak, Karishma Kudrat Ka (in which she was the only female singer), but it was only with "Har Kisiko Nahin Milta" (Janbaaz 1986) that she was noticed.
Khudgarz was followed by Khoon Bhari Maang (1988) and Sargam also began to sing for other composers like Anu Malik, R. D. Burman, Anand Milind and sparingly under Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Her main hits continued to be with Rajesh Roshan, which included 'Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye' / Jurm, 'Radha Bina Hai' / Kishan Kanhaiya, and songs in Dariya Dil, Aasmaan Se Ooncha and Jaisi Karni Waisi Bharni.
She got a boost from Tridev (Kalyanji – Anandji – Viju Shah) in 1989 in which she worked on "Main Teri Mohabbat Mein" and "Gajar Ne Kiya Hai Ishara".
1990–2000: Fame and migration to South Indian films
In the early 1990s, Sargam emerged as one of the most sought-after female singers, along with Kavita Krishnamurthy, Alka Yagnik, and Anuradha Paudwal. She sang for composers like Anand–Milind, Nadeem–Shravan, Anu Malik, Jatin – Lalit, Bappi Lahiri, Viju Shah and Dilip Sen – Sameer Sen.
For the 1992 film Vishwatma, she sang "Saat Samundar Paar" which became a hit. She is the only playback singer from India who currently sings in 27 regional languages. She won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the song "Pattu Solli" from Thankar Bachan's cult classic movie Azhagi; the music was by maestro Ilaiyaraaja, whom she has praised for "giving her such a wonderful song, and making her eligible for the National Award". Her most critically acclaimed songs were in the film Water, composed by A. R. Rahman, in which she sang three songs: "Aayo Re Sakhi", "Piya Ho" and "Naina Neer". Her other notable songs in Hindi with the same composer include "Aahista Aahista" from Swades, "Chupke Se" and "Naina Milaike" from Saathiya, "Chanda Re" from Sapney, "O Palanhare" from Lagaan, "Jhulaa Bahon Ka" from Doli Saja Ke Rakhna, and "Banno Rani" from 1947: Earth. Her other notable rhapsodic hits in Hindi are "Neele Neele Ambar Par" from Kalakaar, "Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye" from Jurm, "Pehla Nasha" from Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, "Teri Umeed Tera Intezar" from Deewana, "Na Kajre Ki Dhar" from Mohra, "Aashiqui Mein Har Aashiq" from Dil Ka Kya Kasoor, "Tere Dar Pe Sanam" from Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee, "Jhinimini" from Maqbool and "Aao Na" from Kyun! Ho Gaya Na....
Sargam won her first Star Screen award for "Chupke se Lag Ja Gale" from Saathiya. She also won Filmfare, IIFA, Star Screen, GIFA, Apsara awards, Zee Cine Award, Star Screen Award and Stardust Best Playback Singer Female award nomination for "Aao Na" from " Kyon Ho Gaya Na..!" She received prestigious Zee Cine Award at Dubai for "Halki Halki Mulaqate Thi" from Kuch Na Kaho in 2003.
Sargam has sung more than 170 songs in Tamil, including "Snehithane" from Alaipayuthey, "Mukundha Mukundha" from Dasavathaaram, "Akkam Pakkam" from Kireedam, "Konjum Mainakkale" from Kandukondain Kandukondain and "Swasame" from Thenali. She also sang "Om Zaarare" from Kuselan, along with Daler Mehndi and K. S. Chithra.
Sargam sang her first song in the year 1992 film called Daan Pratidan, music composed by Ajoy Das. The following year Bappi Lahiri approached her to sing in the film Tomar Rakte Amar Sohag. She sang in films like Sagar Kinare, Kotha Chilo, Phiriye Dao and Dhushar Godhuli. She has sung the song "Holo Dhonno Jibon" along with Sonu Nigam in the film Bandhan (2004) which has been remade in Hindi as superhit "Hum Mar Jaayenge", sung by Arijit Singh and Tulsi Kumar. Further, she also sang "Akashe Batase Chal Sathi Ure Jai" with Kavita Krishnamurthy in Moner Majhe Tumi (2003), but the film's title track, her duet with Udit Narayan, "Premi O Premi" became immensely hit.
Sargam sang several songs in Hindi and Odia for music director Kajol-Saroj. She has also sung the Tamil version of "Mann Mohana" from the Hindi film Jodhaa Akbar. Another notable recent solo Tamil song is "Sutri Varum Bhoomi" from the Vidhyasagar-composed Jeyamkondaan and "En Nenjil" from Baana Kaathadi. She also sang for the Hindi-dubbed version of Chandramukhi in 2008. "Rara are tu aja.. " from Hindi-dubbed version of Chandramukhiand the Kannada song Marali Mareyagi from the movie Savaari.
The recent Ilaiyaraaja-composed Tamil film Naan Kadavul had a song titled "Amma Un Pillai" featuring her voice. In 2011, Sargam made a contribution to the spiritual music world by singing an album: Mahalaxmi Mukti Samvad, MMS i.e. Mahalaxmi's Dialogues of Salvation. The lyrics are written by Dr. Pradeep Wagh. This album was released at the hands of spiritual Guru Vidyavachaspati Dr. Shankar Abhyankar.
In 2013 Sargam sang romantic duet songs with Udit Narayan,"Ek dil toota idhar bhi, koi apna rootha udhar bhi" and "Ek dil mein mohabbat idhar bhi "penned by Raghvendra Singh in music direction of Navin Manish for Rajshri Productions TV show " Jhilmil Sitaaron Ka Aangan Hoga "on Sahara One channel.
In 2014 Sargam has sung a bhajan, "O kaanha kaa tohe arpan karun " penned by Raghvendra Singh in music direction of Navin Manish for Rajshri Productions upcoming TV show Mere Rang mein Rangne Waali on Life Ok channel.
Sadhana Sargam has sung a romantic song, "Abhi Sawalon Me Aaye" in "Teen Tilange" upcoming Bollywood film, written & produced by pawan pandit and directed by shashank dandotiya. Marathi Feature Film Majha naav shivaji (2016) Produced by Chakraborty and Pranita Pawar, Directed by Pranita Pawar. She has also sung a song for a 15 year old Music Composer Shourya Kumar Lal, which will release soon.
Sargam has recorded songs for the veteran composer Ilayaraja in Tamil and Telugu movies such as Azhagi, En Mana Vaanil, Oru Naal Oru Kanavu, Naan Kadavul, Ramanaa, Ninuchudaka Nenundalenu, Manasellam, Ayyan, Anumanaspadam and Rudramadevi.
A. R. Rahman
Sargam has recorded songs for the Academy Award winning composer A. R. Rahman in Tamil, Hindi and Telugu movies such as Jeans, Minsara Kanavu, Ratchagan, Alaipayuthey, Kandukonden Kandukonden, 1947 Earth, Thenali, New, Anbe Aaruyire, Boys, Saathiya, Parthale Paravasam, Water, Alli Arjuna, Udhaya, Naani, Warriors of Heaven and Earth, Enthiran, and Kochadaiiyaan.
With composer Vidyasagar, she has sung melodies in movies such as Coimbatore Mappillai, Poovellam Un Vasam, Abhiyum Naanum, Anbe Sivam, Jeyam Kondaan and others. Also. she sang songs in the Hindi-dubbed version of Tamil movie Chandramukhi, in which music was given by Vidyasagar and she sang 4 songs in it, including "Aaja Are Tu Aja(Rara)".
Popularity in South India
Post mid 1990s, Sargam has worked in Tamil films. She was first introduced to Tamil songs by acclaimed music director Vidyasagar in the film Coimbatore Mappillai. She went to record songs for composers such as Ilayaraaja, A. R. Rahman, Deva, Guru kiran, Manikanth Kadri, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Karthik Raja, Manisharma, Bharathwaj and Harris Jayaraj. Her duet songs with singer Hariharan proved to be most successful. Her melodious Kannada song "Marali mareyagi" from the movie Savari became huge hit.
Among all the Bollywood singers (male/female), Sargam has sung the most songs in Tamil, followed by Shreya Ghoshal (178 songs). 184 songs from 141 films of Sargam are listed as of 2015.
In an interview in May 2007 while touring in the US, composer A. R. Rahman, complimented Sargam, calling her one of the few Indian singers who could surpass his expectations in her renditions of his songs.
Awards and nominations
National Film Awards
2002 – National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer – "Paattu Cholli" (Azhagi), Tamil film.
1988 -Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer – "Main Teri Hu Janam" ("Khoon Bhari Maang ") Hindi film
2004 -Nominated- Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer -- " Aao Na" ("Kyon Ho Gaya Na") "Hindi film
Filmfare Awards South
2007 – Best Female Playback Singer (Tamil) – "Akkam Pakkam" (Kireedam)
2007 – Best Female Playback Singer (Telugu) – "Manasa" (Munna)
Zee Cine Awards
2004 – Zee Cine Award for Best Playback Singer – Female – "Kuch Naa Kaho" (Kuch Naa Kaho)
Maharashtra State Film Awards
1993 - State Award for Best Singer - Female - Saarech Sajjan
1994 - State Award for Best Singer - Female - Mayechi Sawli
2000 – State Award for Best Singer – Female – "Kshitijavaril Tara" (Jodidar)
2002 – State Award for Best Singer – Female – Aadhar
2005 – State Award for Best Singer – Female – "Saanjh Jhali Tari" (Sarivar Sari)
Orissa State Film Awards
1994 - Best Playback Singer (Female)- Sagar Ganga
Zee Gaurav Puraskar
2000 – Award for Best Female Singer – Jodidar
2002 – Award for Best Female Singer – Aadhar
2004 – Award for Best Female Singer – Ek Hoti Wadi
2005 – Award for Best Female Singer – Sarivar Sari
2006 – Award for Best Female Singer – Aaishappath
2007 – Award for Best Female Singer – Aevdhasa Aabhal
Star Screen Awards
2003 – Star Screen Award for Best Female Playback – "Chupke Se" (Saathiya)
Uninor South Radio Mirchi Awards
2009 - Best Playback Singer Female -Kannada- "Marali Mareyaagi" (Savaari)
2009 - Song Of The Year - "Marali Mareyaagi" (Savaari ; along with Composer Manikanth Kadri)
2009 - Best Kannada Song Listener's Choice - "Marali Mareeyaagi" (Savaari)
Other awards and recognitions
'Lata Mangeshkar Award' from the Government of Madhya Pradesh
Konkan Sahyadri Swar Ratna Award for Invaluable contribution in Indian Music
2000 – Dinakaran Award for Best Female Singer – "Snegithane" (Alaipayuthey)
2002 – Dinakaran Award for Best Female Singer – "Paattu Cholli" (Azhagi)
2004 – Kalakar Award for Best Female Playback
2005 – Vitusco Award for Best Female singer – "Oru Vaarthai" (Ayya)
2005 & 2008 – Bhojpuri Film Award for Best Singer – Female
2005, 2006 & 2007 – Sanskruthi Kaladarpan Awards
2006 – Gujrath State Film Award for Best Singer – Female
2008 – Chitrapathi V. Shantaram Award for Best Female singer – "Tu Aevdhasa Aabhal"