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Sunidhi Chauhan
Birth name Nidhi Chauhan
Born August 14, 1983 (1983-08-14) (age 26)
Genres playback singing, Indipop
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocalist
Years active 1996–present

Sunidhi Chauhan (Hindi: सुनिधि चौहान) (born Nidhi Chauhan[1], August 14, 1983) is an Indian playback singer, best known for her Bollywood film songs. She is credited with over 2000 songs.[2]

Chauhan began to sing at the age of four,[3] and was discovered by a local TV anchor.[4] She won recognition through a televised singing contest, Meri Awaz Suno, which she won, and made her entrance into playback singing with the Hindi film Shastra.[4]

Her breakthrough was Ram Gopal Varma's film - Mast, in which she sang the hit song, Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi.[4] Chauhan has since then gone on to work with some of the most prominent musicians, and has lent her voice to a large number of commercially successful films.

She has been nominated for twelve Filmfare Awards, winning it on three occasions. She has also won two Star Screen Awards, two IIFA Awards and one Zee Cine Award.


Early career

Chauhan started her singing career as a child, giving her first performance at the age of four, in a local temple in Delhi.[3] Thereafter, she began to participate in, and sing for, various competitions and local gatherings. When local TV anchor, Tabassum, spotted her talent, her family shifted to Mumbai in a bid to further develop the young singer's skills, and Chauhan became the lead singer in Kalyanji's 'Little Wonders' troupe.[4]

Recognition first met her in 1996, through the music show Meri Aawaz Suno - the first such televised contest in India - which was broadcast through the Indian national television channel, Doordarshan. She won the competition, and bagged the top prize of recording an album, Aira Ghaira Nathu Khaira, with HMV.[4]

Unluckily for Chauhan, Aira Ghaira Nathu Khaira was promoted as a children's album, and failed to get the recognition it deserved.[4] In 2002, Chauhan herself observed this in an interview:

"My first song and the contest did not help me much. Nothing happened for a while. But by then, I had made up my mind that I will pursue singing as a career."[5]

Chauhan stepped into the world of playback singing with the 1996 Bollywood film, Shastra,[2][4] after Aadesh Srivastava asked her to lend her voice to the song Larki Deewaani Dekho, Ladka Deewaana.[5] She followed it with work in films like Gang, Veergati, Dahek, Bade Dilwala, Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat and Samar. By the age of nineteen, Chauhan had already lent her voice to over 350 songs.[5]

Breakthrough, and later work

Chauhan's breakthrough was Ram Gopal Varma's Mast, in which she sang the hit song, Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi, alongside three other songs, including the title song itself.[4] In an interview, while speaking of Mast, she said:

"Whatever I am today, I owe to Mast. I met Sandeep Chowta through Sonu Nigam, and fifteen days later, Mast was in my lap. I was only thirteen then."[5]

After Mast there was no turning back. Chauhun went on to work with nationally and internationally acclaimed directors and composers.

Chauhan has worked with literally every music director of the new millennium's first decade, and is one of the most "played" voices on India's radio circuit. Hit singer Himesh Reshammiya, when asked to rate her in the popular talk show Koffee with Karan gave her a score of 9/10.

Chauhan's strength lies in her versatility - Having been labelled "genre-defying,"[3] she is perhaps the only Bollywood singer who can sing just about any genre, including rock, pop, classical, folk,[3] and semi-classical[3] .

In Feb 2007, as part of its marketing campaign and launch of Windows Vista in India, Microsoft hired Sunidhi Chauhan to sing the "Windows Vista Song"[2] titled Wow is Now. This song features English and Hindi lyrics proclaiming the many 'glamorous' features of the Windows Vista Operating System.

Chauhan also sung for the Hindi-dubbed version of Disney's movie, High School Musical[2] - songs which were sung by Vanessa Anne Hudgens in the English version. Moreover, she was the singer of the English language song "Reach Out" at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Asian Games at Doha, Qatar.[2]

2008 was a highly successful year for the young singer, as she went on to deliver a huge number of superhit songs like Chhaliya (Tashan), Rock Mahi, Lucky Boy, Desi Girl (Dostana), Dance Pe Chance (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), and Race Saanson Ki (Race), and which resulted in her winning the "Kelvinator GR8! FLO Women Award 2009" for her mind blowing contribution in Music.[6][7]


Chauhan has worked with almost all the leading singers, composers and lyricists of India. She has collaborated with Indian singers such as Alka Yagnik, Shaan, Udit Narayan, and is known for her popular pairing with Sukhwinder Singh (in films such as Omkara, Aaja Nachle). She is most often paired with highly acclaimed singer Sonu Nigam, and with the successful female playback singer Shreya Ghoshal, whom many view as a stiff competition for Chauhan.[8]

Renowned lyricists she has worked with include Gulzar, Sameer, Prasoon Joshi, Swanand Kirkire, the late Anand Bakshi and Javed Akhtar;[9] music directors include A. R. Rahman, Anu Malik, Jatin Lalit, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Pritam Chakraborty, Nadeem-Shravan, Vishal-Shekhar, Himesh Reshammiya and others.[5][9]

Chauhan is one of the few female singers of the present generation who have lent their voice for nearly every leading actress in the Indian entertainment industry, including Aishwarya Rai, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra and more. She has also sung for actresses of yesteryear cinema, such as Rekha.[10] She was the main singer who lent her voice for the comebacks of two leading Bollywood actresses, Kajol, in the movie Fanaa; and Madhuri Dixit, in the movie Aaja Nachle.[10]

Vocal ability

Chauhan's voice has been described as "powerful,"[11] "amazing,"[12] "husky ... [and] sensuous".[13] However, it has been noted that Chauhan can not hit high notes without losing some tonal quality,[14] and people have cited her voice more suited to fast and pop songs, as compared to slow ones.

In 2007, while discussing Chauhan's popular song Beedi Jailaile, actress Bipasha Basu (on whom the song was picturised) said, "Sunidhi is a goddess. Her singing is so powerful. She added another dimension to my dancing."[11]

Indian singing legend, Lata Mangeshkar has called Chauhan "one of the finest young singers."[10] Ironically, Chauhan's item numbers have been said to mark the end of the "squeaky Lata era",[14] a period in which Mangeshkar's style of soft voice and classical music were preferred over racy or fast pop songs.

Special appearances

In October 2008, Chauhan appeared on a special episode of the singing contest, Star Voice of India, alongside composer Ashu Dhruv, to promote their film, Drona.[15]

She was also a guest RJ for India's Radio City 91.1 FM's new morning show, Musical-e-Azam[16] where, over her week-long stint, she interviewed the likes of Kunal Ganjawala, Daler Mehendi, Sukhwindar, Adnan Sami and Gulzar (lyricist). i like sunidhi very much and I am very-2 crazy about sunidhi's voice and her singing style.i am the biggest fan of sunidhi in whole world her voice is super,amazing and her singing is so powerful.the energy level is also very high in sunidhi's songs.

Personal life

Chauhan, whose family basically hails from Uttar Pradesh,[17] was born in a Gujarati-speaking household in Delhi,[18]. Her father is a minor theatre personality who pushed her into the music industry from a young age. She has a younger sister, Suneha.[17]

She completed her schooling from Greenway Public School, Dilshad Garden. She has only studied up to grade tenth, admitting she "was never interested in studies."[5]

Chauhan, who believes herself to be "the most versatile singer today," attributes her success to her parents and Indian singer Sonu Nigam.[2] She has cited Sadma (Shock) as her favourite film; gymnastics and cricket as her favourite sports; and Akshaye Khanna and Madhuri Dixit as her favourite actor and actress, respectively.[19] Chauhan also loves western music, and cites Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson as her inspirations. She has noted that one of her ambitions is to achieve global fame like them.[4] She is also known for her admiration of international divas Celine Dion and Whitney Houston

Chauhan "changed" her image after making it big into Bollywood, upgrading her wardrobe and losing twelve kilos by jogging and working out.[5] In 2000, she revealed a "secret dream" of seeing herself as a Bollywood actress. In an interview, she said: "I have many acting offers too, but I don't want to rush it. Frankly, I would like to do just one or two films to fulfill that secret dream of seeing myself as an actress. But my life is singing and my aim is to keep singing better."[5]

Marriage, Disowning, and Divorce

In 2002, at the age of 18, Chauhan eloped with music video director and choreographer Bobby Khan, who came visibly close to her while working on the video of her hit song, Pehla Nasha.[20] It was reported that the couple married in a secretly arranged ceremony, attended only by very close friends, and vigilantly watched over by security,

Chauhan was initially happy with the marriage. In an interview, she said:

"My in-laws don't make me feel I am 'married'. I don't feel I have stepped into a new house. I am so comfortable. And Bobby is a darling. I am very, very happy."[5]

On the downside, the marriage caused a rift between the young singer and her parents, who considered the union unsuitable, and consequently disowned her.[21] However, Chauhan and Khan separated a year later, bringing about a reconciliation between the estranged parents and daughter.[22] Chauhan, who lived with mentor, actor and TV anchor, Annu Kapoor and his wife Arunita during the separation, filed for divorce the same year, citing that she had realized she and Khan "wanted different things from life."[23]


Chauhan has firm belief in God. On her official website, she is quoted as saying:

"God is my inner conscience; my intuition, my inner self, my guiding force and my angel who protects me. I have always had deep faith in the supreme power and it has never wavered at all."[24]

In another interview, she commented, "I believe God gives everyone an opportunity."[5]


  • Ehsaas - A Feeling (Released November 30, 2001) [Special Appearance]
  • Bas Ek Pal [Special Appearance in Promotional Song Dheeme Dheeme with singer K.K.]
  • Bhoot [Special Appearance in Promotional Song Bhoot Hoon Main]

Awards and honors

Year Category Song and Film Result
Filmfare Awards
2000 Best Playback Singer - Female "Ruki Ruki" (Mast) Nominated
2001 R. D. Burman Award for Most Promising Newcomer[25] Winner
Best Playback Singer - Female "Mehboob Mere" (Fiza) Nominated
2005 Best Playback Singer - Female "Dhoom Machale" (Dhoom) Nominated
2006 Best Playback Singer - Female "Kaisi Paheli" (Parineeta) Nominated
Best Playback Singer - Female "Deedar De" (Dus) Nominated
2007 Best Playback Singer - Female "Beedi" (Omakara) Winner
Best Playback Singer - Female "Soniye" (Aksar) Nominated
Best Playback Singer - Female "Aashiqui Main" (36 China Town) Nominated
2008 Best Playback Singer - Female "Aaja Nachle" (Aaja Nachle) Nominated
Best Playback Singer - Female "Sajnaji Vari Vari" (Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.) Nominated
2009 Best Playback Singer - Female "Dance Pe Chance" (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi) Nominated
Star Screen Awards
2001 Best Playback Singer - Female Bhumro for Mission Kashmir Nominated
2004 Best Playback Singer - Female "Meri Zindagi Mein Aaye Ho for Armaan Nominated
2004 Best Playback Singer - Female Sajna Ve Sajna for Chameli Winner
2005 Best Playback Singer - Female Dhoom Machale (Dhoom) Nominated
2006 Best Playback Singer - Female "Kaisi Paheli" (Parineeta) Nominated
2007 Best Playback Singer - Female Beedi Jalaile for Omkara Winner
2008 Best Playback Singer - Female Sajnaji Vaari for Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. Nominated
2009 Best Playback Singer - Female Dance Pe Chance for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Nominated
Awards of the International Indian Film Academy
2001 Best Female Playback Singer Mehboob Mere for Fiza Nominated
2005 Best Female Playback Singer] Dhoom Machale for Dhoom Winner
Best Female Playback Singer Sajna Ve for Chameli Nominated
2006 Best Female Playback Singer Kaisi Paheli for Parineeta Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer Deedar De for Dus Nominated
2007 Best Female Playback Singer Crazy Kiya Re for Dhoom 2 Nominated
Best Female Playback Singer Beedi Jalaile for Omkara Winner
2008 Best Female Playback Singer Aaja Nachle for Aaja Nachle Nominated
2009 Best Female Playback Singer Desi Girl for Dostana Nominated
Zee Cine Awards
2005 Best Female Playback Singer Dhoom Machale for Dhoom Winner
Best Female Playback Singer Kaise Paheli Zindagi for Parineeta Nominated
2007 Best Female Playback Singer Beedi Jalaile for Omkara Nominated
Apsara Awards
2005 Best Female Playback Singer Dhoom Machale for Dhoom Nominated
2008 Best Female Playback Singer Aaaja Nachle (Aaja Nachle) Nominated
Global Indian Film Awards
2006 Best Female Playback Singer Beedi (Omkara) Nominated
(Source: Bollywood Hungama)


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