Kavita Krishnamurthy: She created magic by working with most leading music composers of her time - Anand-Milind, A. R. Rahman, Nadeem-Shravan and Jatin Lalit, Viju Shah and of course with R. D. Burman in 1942: A Love Story.
Popular songs: Aaj Main Upar Aasman Neeche, Mera Piya Ghar Aaya, Pyaar Hua Chupke Se, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and many more
Anuradha Paudwal: If Alka Yagnik ruled the roost in the 90s, Paudwal gave her tough competition. Her 'Dhak Dhak' song from 'Beta' (1992) remains an all-time favourite. Following a few controversies, she shifted focus to devotional songs. Paudwal gave playback singing a second shot a few years late, but couldn't win back her audience.
Popular songs: Nazar Ke Saamne, Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahi, Chaha Hai Tujhko, Tu Pyar Hai Kisi Aur Ka, Pyar Kiya Toh Nibhana, Adayein Bhi Hai Mohabbat Bhi Hai, Maiyya Yashoda
Udit Narayan: He rendered his voice to innumerable super hits, and sung for every big star of his era. In the 90's he was the most sought after male playback singer.
Popular songs: Pehla Nasha, Jaadu Teri Nazar, Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast, Dil To Pagal Hai, Mehndi Lagake Rakhna, Pardesi Pardesi, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Chand Chupa Badal Mein (the list is endless...)
Kumar Sanu: The singer who took Bollywood by storm with 'Aashiqui' went on to give tough competition to Narayan. His pairing with composers like Nadeem Shravan, Jatin Lalit and Anu Malik was well-received.
Popular songs: Ab Tere Bin Jee Lenge Hum, Mera Dil Bhi Kitna Pagal Hai, Sochenge Tumhe Pyaar, Yeh Kaali Kaali Aankhen, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh, Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jaana Sanam
Alka Yagnik: Unarguably, the most successful female playback singer of the 90s, there was a time when Yagnik took home the awards at all major functions year after year.
Popular songs: Dekha Hai Pehli Baar, Aisi Deewangi, Waada Raha Sanam, Choli Ke Peeche, Baazigar O Baazigar, Tip Tip Barsa Paani, Poocho Zara Poocho Mujhe Kya Hua Hain, Bahon Ke Darmiyan and many more
Sonu Nigam: He's still around but doesn't have the same influence that he did two decades ago. Sonu became a household name after singing Accha Sila Diya from the film Bewafa Sanam (1995) and went on to deliver numerous hit numbers.
Popular songs: Sandese Aate Hain, Ishq Bina Kya Jeena Yaara, Panchhi Nadiyaan, Yeh Dil Deewana, Saathiya and Kal Ho Na Ho. His pop songs Mujhe Raat Din, Bijoria, Mein Hoon Deewana Tera did equally well
Shaan: The singer won over the hearts of the youth with his funky albums Roop Tera Mastana and Loveology, which was followed by the more intense Tanha Dil, which was equally popular. In Bollywood, he sang Musu Musu Hasi and Wo Pehli Baar from Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi (1999) and had a steady run for a few years.
Popular songs: Tune Mujhe Pehchaana Nahin, Woh Ladki Hai Kahan, O Humdum Suniyo Re, Kuch To Hua Hai
Krishnakumar Kunnath (KK): His debut album Pal (1999) is an all-time classic, and he continues to belt out a few hits even now, but for the kind of talent that KK possesses, Bollywood doesn't offer him enough.
Popular songs: Yaaro Dosti Badi Hi Haseen Hain, Chhod Aaye Hum Who Galiyan, Tadap Tadap Ke Iss Dil Se, Awarapan Banjarapan, Aankhon Mein Teri Ajab Si, Dus Bahane Kar Ke Le Gaya Dil
Abhijeet Bhattacharya: He came to prominence with the Ole Ole song in 1994, and went on to sing for most actors of that time, his melodious voice becoming quite a rage.
Popular songs: Main Koi Aisa Geet Gaaon, Yeh Teri Aankhen Jhuki Jhuki, Wada Raha Sanam, Badi Mushkil Hai Khoya Mera Dil Hain, Aankhon Main Base Ho Tum, Chaand Taare Tod Lau, Mere Khyaloon Ki Malika
Lucky Ali: Son of late comedian Mehmood, he stormed onto the pop scene with his debut album 'Sunoh' (1996), which is still considered among the best in the genre. The song Sanam from the album remains fresh even today. He made it big in playback singing as well with Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai (2000) before stepping away from the competition.
Popular songs: Anjaani Raahon Mein Tu Kya, Teri Yaadein, Dekha Hai Aise, Kabhi Aisa Lagta Hai, Na Tum Jaano Na Hum, Ek Pal Ka Jeena
Vinod Rathod: In recent times, the only work of note to his credit is singing the title track of the two Munnabhai films. Till a decade and a half back though he was much in demand for his soothing voice.
Popular songs: Romeo Naam Mera Chori Hain Kaam Mera, Aisi Deewangi Dekhi Nahi Kahi, Koi Na Koi Chahiye Pyar Karne Wala, Nayak Nahin Khalnayak Hoon Main, Ae Mere Humsafar, Kitabein Bahut Si, Chupana Bhi Nahin Aata
Baba Sehgal: He rocked the singing scene with his rap. There was a time in the 90s when all music channels used to play his songs repeatedly in a day. His popularity even landed him a leading role in a film Miss 420 (1998).
Popular songs: Thanda Thanda Paani and Dil Dhadke (album 'Thanda Thanda Pani'), Manjula (album Dr Dhingra)
Sadhana Sargam: The National Award-winning singer has been more popular down south in recent years. At her peak in Bollywood, she was among the most sought after female playbacks.
Popular songs: Humne Ghar Choda Hai, Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaaye, Pehla Nasha, Teri Umeed Tera Intezar Karte Hain, Subah Se Lekar Shaam Tak, Saawan Barse Tarse Dil, Chupke Se
Bali Brahmbhatt: Remember the man (right) who sang Amma Dekh Tera Munda Bigda Jaaye? A popular singer back then, he even came up with his own album Tere Bin Jeena Nahi, the title track of which was well received. Like Baba Sehgal, he too faded into oblivion as the 'video album' era lost its charm
Hema Sardesai: She was in top form from the mid-'90s and early 2000s, working with leading composers like Anu Malik, A. R. Rahman, Rajesh Roshan and Nadeem-Shravan.
Popular songs: Awaara Bhavaren, Ishq Chandi Hai Ishq Sona Hain, Sona Sona Ye Na Hona, Chali Chali Phir Chali Chali and Badal Pe Paon Hai
Sapna Mukherjee: Like most other names of the list, she also worked with leading composers of the '90s like Nadeem-Shravan, Jatin Lalit, Anand-Milind, Rajesh Roshan and Anu Malik. The Tirchi Topi Wale number in Tridev (1989) made her a name to reckon with.
Popular songs: Tera Saath Hai Kitna Pyara, Khud Ko Kya Samajhta Hai, Tere Ishq Mein Nachenge, Dil Le Gayi Teri Bindiya, Sundara Sundara, Pyaar Pyaar Karte Karte and Love Rap
Raageshwari: One of the prominent female pop singers, Raageshwari was having a good run when she was diagnosed with Bell's palsy in 2000. She made a comeback in 2006, but could not regain her popularity.
Popular songs: Ta Ta Ra Ri Ra Ra (album Duniya), Pyaar Ka Rang (album Pyaar Ka Rang), Y2K: Saal Do Hazaar (album Y2K: Saal Do Hazaar)
Suneeta Rao: Another product of the pop generation, Rao is known as the Paree singer more than two decades after her song Paree Hoon Main took the nation by storm. She continued to find work after that, but could not sustain her popularity.
On Kavita Krishnamurthy's birthday, we look at singers who ruled the decade before the advent of reality singing shows and how a paradigm shift in Bollywood's priorities changed the equation forever
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