Playback Singers

Any type of singer, who’s singing has been previously recorded for the purpose of use in either films, audio tapes or than kind of media is known as a playback singer. Generally, playback singers sing for movies and their songs are often lip synched by the actor or actress who appear on the screen. The playback singing industry thrives in South Asian regions like India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh as many of their films have a number of songs. On the other hand when it comes to Hollywood, singing is not very common in films apart from in musical films. Hence the Hollywood industry does not provide many opportunities for playback singers, unless they are making musical films. Playback singers play a crucial and important role in films as their songs make a great impact on the failure or success of a movie. Playback singers in the 21st century enjoy a celebrity status and are often in the media glare. They hold an established status in the society and are recognized as prominent figures. Discover, learn and explore more about many of the world’s most famous playback singers with a collection of their biographies that include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.
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This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Carroll O’Connor

Carroll O’Connor
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States
Died: June 21, 2001

Carroll O'Connor was an American actor, director, and producer. In a TV career that spanned 40 years, O'Connor popularized several fictional characters, including Archie Bunker from the sitcom All in the Family, for which he received four Emmy Awards. In 1996, he was ranked 38th on the 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list published by TV Guide.

 2 Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Indore
Died: February 6, 2022

One of the most respected and best-known playback singers in India, Lata Mangeshkar is popularly known as the Nightingale of India. She had a long career of more than 60 years and was honoured with India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna..

 3 Neha Kakkar

Neha Kakkar
12
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Starting her training in singing at age 4, Neha Kakkar later participated in Indian Idol but was eliminated before she could make her mark on the show. She later soared to fame with the track Second Hand Jawaani from Cocktail and never looked back. She has also performed in minor roles.

 4 Holly Robinson Peete

Holly Robinson Peete
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 18, 1964
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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 5 Kishore Kumar

Kishore Kumar
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Famous As: Indian playback singer
Birthdate: August 4, 1929
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Khandwas, India
Died: October 13, 1987

A man of many talents, Kishore Kumar was an Indian actor, filmmaker, writer, music director, lyricist, and playback singer. One of the most popular Indian singers of his generation, Kishore Kumar sang in different genres and multiple Indian languages. In 1997, the Kishore Kumar Award was initiated for his contributions to Hindi cinema. Despite marrying four times, he remained a loner.

 6 Olivia Olson

Olivia Olson
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 21, 1992
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles

Olivia Olson is an American singer-songwriter and actress. She made her film debut at the age of 10, playing Joanna Anderson in the film, Love Actually, in which she was seen singing All I Want for Christmas Is You; her skills as a singer was praised and Olson landed several voice roles in TV series, such as Phineas and Ferb.

 7 S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 4, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nellore, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died: September 25, 2020

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam was an Indian playback singer, music director, actor, television presenter, film producer, and voice-over artist. Widely regarded as one of the most gifted singers of his generation, Balasubrahmanyam received six National Film Awards in an illustrious singing career that spanned more than five decades. He was posthumously honored with the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian award.

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 8 James Darren

James Darren
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 8, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

James Darren is an American actor, singer, and television director. He is well-known for his singing abilities; Darren's version of Goodbye Cruel World peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961. He has also released several albums like This One's from the Heart and Because of You.

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 9 Dhee

Dhee
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 26, 1998
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka

 10 Donald O'Connor

Donald O'Connor
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Died: September 27, 2003
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 11 Asha Bhosle

Asha Bhosle
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Famous As: Indian playback singer
Birthdate: September 8, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sangli, Maharashtra
Legendary Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle holds the Guinness record for the most recorded artist. The Padma Vibhushan-winning singer had initially started singing along with sister Lata Mangeshkar, another iconic singer, to make ends meet. Bhosle, a versatile artist, has sung in 20 languages and experimented with almost all genres.

 12 Aubrey Peeples

Aubrey Peeples
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 27, 1993
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lake Mary, Florida, USA

 13 Udit Narayan

Udit Narayan
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Famous As: Playback Singer
Birthdate: December 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Baradah, Saptary, Nepal

Known for ruling the Bollywood playback scene in the 1990s, Udit Narayan has 4 National Awards in his kitty. Initially a singer on a Kathmandu radio station, he later moved to Mumbai. He soared to fame with the track Papa Kehte Hain and later scored many hits with singer Alka Yagnik.

 14 Mohammed Rafi

Mohammed Rafi
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 24, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Amritsar, Punjab, India
Died: July 31, 1980
Legendary Indian playback singer Mohammed Rafi was known for his versatility. The winner of one National Film Award and four Filmfare awards, Rafi often collaborated with ace composer S.D. Burman. He also received the Padma Shri and sang in countless Indian and foreign languages, including Arabic, Persian, and Dutch.
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 15 Neeti Mohan

Neeti Mohan
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Famous As: Singer, known for her time as a member of the group Aasma, a position she earned after winning the show Popstars in 2003
Birthdate: November 18, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Delhi, India

 16 Yuvan Shankar Raja

Yuvan Shankar Raja
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 31, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chennai, India

Yuvan Shankar Raja is a music composer and singer-songwriter. He is credited with introducing hip-hop to the Tamil music industry and became one of the most sought-after Tamil composers in 2000s. In 2006, he won the Cyprus International Film Festival Award, becoming the first Indian composer to win the award. He has also won other awards like Filmfare Awards South.

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 17 Liz Torres

Liz Torres
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 27, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA

 18 Sid Sriram

Sid Sriram
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Famous As: Playback singer
Birthdate: May 19, 1990
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chennai district Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Born in Chennai, to a Carnatic music teacher mother, Sid Sriram later moved to the US with his family. The talented singer-songwriter is a Berklee College of Music alumnus and is known for his skills mixing pop/soul and Indian classical elements. His Indian playback credits include Adiye from the film Kadal.

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 19 Sunidhi Chauhan

Sunidhi Chauhan
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Famous As: Singer, Actor
Birthdate: August 14, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

A musical prodigy, Sunidhi Chauhan had started performing at events at age 4. Discovered by actor Tabassum, she quit school and plunged into a full-fledged music career, winning several reality shows. She then soared to fame with her playback singing in Mast and now has three Filmfare awards in her kitty.

 20 Ed Ames

Ed Ames
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 9, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Malden, Massachusetts, USA
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 21 Padmini Kolhapure

Padmini Kolhapure
3
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 1, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Maharashtra, India

Padmini Kolhapure was 15 when she won a Filmfare for Insaf Ka Tarazu. Born to a musician father, she had begun acting and singing in films since childhood and later soared to fame with films such as Prem Rog. She was dragged into a controversy for kissing Prince Charles on the cheeks.

 22 Monali Thakur

Monali Thakur
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 3, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Calcutta, West Bengal, India

National Award- and Filmfare-winning singer Monali Thakur is best known for her hit tracks such as Moh Moh Ke Dhaage and Sawaar Loon. She first gained fame with Indian Idol 2 and later also acted in movies such as Lakshmi. She later secretly married a Swiss restaurateur she met on a trip.

 23 Kavya Madhavan

Kavya Madhavan
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Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 19, 1984
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kasargod, Kerala, India

Kavya Madhavan made her film debut with Malayalam film Chandranudikkunna Dikhil as a ninth-grader. The Kerala State Film Award-winning actor later soared to fame with films such as Gaddama. She owns a charitable foundation and a textile shop. She has also released a collection of memoirs.

 24 Shashaa Tirupati

Shashaa Tirupati
0
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: December 21, 1989
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India
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 25 K. S. Chithra

K. S. Chithra
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Famous As: Playback singer
Birthdate: July 27, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Thiruvananthapuram

Padma Shri- and Padma Bhushan-winning legendary Indian singer K. S. Chithra is also a 6-time National Award winner. Trained in Carnatic music, she earned a government music scholarship. A star in the South Indian music scene, she also gained recognition with her Hindi tracks such as Kehna Hi Kya.  

 26 Tulsi Kumar

Tulsi Kumar
2
Famous As: Playback Singer
Birthdate: 1986 AD
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

The daughter of music magnate Gulshan Kumar, who launched T-Series, Tulsi Kumar began her playback singing career with the movie Aksar. She later gained fame with hit tracks such as Sanam Re and Soch Na Sake. She is now married to a Delhi businessman and has a son.

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 27 K. J. Yesudas

K. J. Yesudas
3
Famous As: Playback singer
Birthdate: January 10, 1940
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Kochi, Kerala, India

Fort Kochi-born K.J. Yesudas is a major figure of Indian Malyali music. Known as Dasettan to his followers, the singer is an eight-time National Award winner and has the prestigious Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan in his kitty. He has also acted in a few regional films.

 28 Jon Secada

Jon Secada
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 4, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Havana, Cuba

Jon Secada is a singer, voice actor, and songwriter. Having sold more than 15 million records, Secada is often counted among the best-selling Latin music artists. Apart from recording his own songs, he has also contributed as a songwriter for songs recorded by artists like Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, and Gloria Estefan. Secada has received two Grammy Awards so far.
 

 29 Vyjayanthimala

Vyjayanthimala
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Famous As: Film actress, Politician
Birthdate: August 13, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Triplicane, Chennai, India

Vyjayanthimala is an Indian actress and dancer who played a major role in the Hindi film industry during the 1950s and 1960s. One of the most popular actresses of all time, Vyjayanthimala is also known for her contribution to South Indian movies. She is the recipient of several awards, including Filmfare Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards at International film festivals.   

 30 Nazia Hassan

Nazia Hassan
0
Famous As: Singer, Guitarist
Birthdate: April 3, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
Died: August 13, 2000

 31 Chinmayi Sripada

Chinmayi Sripada
3
Famous As: Playback singer, working mainly for the South Indian film industry
Birthdate: September 10, 1984
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Chinmayi Sripada is an Indian singer, voice actor, radio jockey, and TV presenter who works predominantly in the South Indian film and TV industry. Chinmayi is also credited with founding Blue Elephant, a translation services company, for which she serves as the CEO. Also known for her activism, Chinmayi Sripada has been an important figure in India's Me Too movement.

 32 Ali Zafar

Ali Zafar
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 18, 1980
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan

 33 Amit Kumar

Amit Kumar
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: July 3, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sitamarhi, Bihar, India

Amit Kumar is an Indian music composer, playback singer, and actor. Amit Kumar, who has organized several live orchestra shows, is also credited with establishing a music production company called Kumar Brothers Music. Amit Kumar is also renowned for his association with one of the greatest composers of the Indian film industry, R. D. Burman.

 34 Kalabhavan Mani

Kalabhavan Mani
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chalakudy, Kerala, India
Died: March 6, 2016

National Award-winning actor and singer Kalabhavan Mani was born into a family with modest means and later quit school after tenth grade. He once even worked as a autorickshaw driver and later began his entertainment career as a mimicry artist. Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum remains his most-loved film.

 35 Mukesh

Mukesh
3
Famous As: Singer who won National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for his song "Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai" from the film Rajnigandha
Birthdate: July 22, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Delhi, India
Died: August 27, 1976

 36 Remya Nambeesan

Remya Nambeesan
2
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 1, 1986
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chottanikkara, India

Born to a theater artiste, Remya Nambeesan began her career as a child artist in films. As she grew up, she was typecast in roles of the village belle but turned around with the film Traffic. She has also gained fame for her singing in films such as Ivan Megharoopan and Bachelor Party.

 37 Dinesh Lal Yadav

Dinesh Lal Yadav
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 2, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh, India

Dinesh Lal Yadav, also known as Nirahua, is one of the most popular Bhojpuri actors ever. He soared to fame with the movie Nirahua Rikshawala and once delivered 5 hits in a year. He later joined the BJP and contested against the former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav.

 38 Mika Singh

Mika Singh
2
Famous As: Vocalist known for popular bhangra and pop songs such as "Dhinka Chika," "Dhanno," and "Singh Is King."
Birthdate: June 10, 1977
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Durgapur, West Bengal, India

Mika Singh is an Indian singer, rapper, and performer. Apart from contributing to the soundtrack of many popular films like Singh Is Kinng and Jab We Met, Singh has released many solo albums as well. He has also performed live at popular venues like The O2 Arena.

 39 Manoj Tiwari

Manoj Tiwari
2
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: February 1, 1971
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Atarwalia, Bihar, India

One of Bihar’s greatest superstars, Manoj Tiwari had begun his career as a singer in the temples of Varanasi. The BHU alumnus has sung hits such as Jiya Ho Bihar Ke Lala. He later joined the BJP and became a Lok Sabha MP. He had also been the president of Delhi state BJP.

 40 Pritam Chakraborty

Pritam Chakraborty
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: June 14, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Known for blending Indian classical music with contemporary undertones, Indian music director, composer, and record producer, Pritam Chakraborty is also a well-known singer and instrumentalist.  Beginning his career with ad jingles, he later partnered with Jeet Ganguly to compose music for Hindi films before going solo. He has won numerous awards for his work, concurrently helping budding musicians through his organization JAM8.

 41 Venkat Prabhu

Venkat Prabhu
1
Famous As: Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Playback singer
Birthdate: November 7, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chennai

 42 Uttam Kumar

Uttam Kumar
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: September 3, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Calcutta, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died: July 24, 1980

Known to Bengali audiences as Mahanayak, legendary actor Uttam Kumar ruled the Bengali film industry in the 1950s and the 1960s with superhits such as Harano Sur and Saptapadi. Loved for his on-screen chemistry with Suchitra Sen, he later died of a heart attack while shooting for Ogo Bodhu Shundori.

 43 Swathi Reddy

Swathi Reddy
2
Famous As: Svetlana Reddy
Birthdate: April 19, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Far Eastern Federal District, Russia

Born to an Indian Navy officer in the Soviet Union, Swathi Reddy was initially named Svetlana but changed her name later. Starting her career as a TV host at 17, she later stepped into acting and eventually won a Filmfare for her role in the Telugu film Ashta Chamma.

 44 Imran Abbas

Imran Abbas
2
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 15, 1982
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Islamabad, Pakistan

 45 Neha Bhasin

Neha Bhasin
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 18, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

Neha Bhasin first gained the spotlight when she became one of the five winners of the Channel V show Popstars, thus becoming part of India’s first all-girl pop band, Viva. She is also an avid dancer and is known for her Bollywood tracks such as Kuch Khaas Hai from Fashion.

 46 Alisha Chinai

Alisha Chinai
2
Famous As: Playback singer, Singer
Birthdate: March 18, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ahmedabad

Known as the Queen of Indipop and India's Madonna, Alisha Chinai rocked the 1990s with her chartbusting hit Made in India. She also made headlines when she accused music director Anu Malik of sexual harassment. Kaate Nahin Katthe from the film Mr. India was one of her other big hits.

 47 Sadhana Sargam

Sadhana Sargam
2
Famous As: Playback singer who got immense popularity after her song 'Saat Samundar Paar' in the film Vishwatma
Birthdate: March 7, 1969
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dabhol, Maharashtra, India

Sadhana Sargam is an Indian playback singer best known for recording nearly 15,000 songs in 34 Indian languages. In 2002, Sadhana Sargam became the first non-South Indian singer to receive the National Award for a song composed by a South Indian. She has also won other prestigious awards like Maharashtra State Film Awards, Lata Mangeshkar Award, and Gujarath State Film Award.

 48 Shweta Mohan

Shweta Mohan
1
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: November 19, 1985
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

 49 Sangeetha Krish

Sangeetha Krish
1
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 21, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

 50 Sona Mohapatra

Sona Mohapatra
2
Famous As: Singer who first entered the public consciousness with her performances on the show Satyamev Jayate
Birthdate: June 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cuttack, India

Sona Mohapatra is an Indian music composer, singer, and lyricist. She is best known for recording remixes of popular songs by famous artists like David Bowie and INXS. Although she is known for her musical career, Sona Mohapatra achieved national recognition when she appeared in a TV show titled Satyamev Jayate, which was hosted by popular Bollywood actor Aamir Khan.