Meet singer who began career in nightclub, has no training, still sings in 17 Indian, 8 foreign languages, is now…

by biolushskincare

Bollywood

Usha Uthup began her career at the age of 19, singing at nightclubs. Despite having no formal training in music, Usha can sing in 17 Indian, 8 foreign languages

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Simran Singh

Updated : Apr 02, 2024, 02:12 PM IST | Edited by : Simran Singh

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The singer who can sing in 17 Indian, and 8 foreign languages (Image source: Instagram)

When it comes to singing and acting, an artiste has to sharpen his natural talent gifted by God. However, here we are discussing a veteran singer, who never had formal training in singing. This artiste has worldwide popularity and enjoys a loyal fandom. Her followers love her voice, but there was a moment in her life when she was thrown out for her vocals. 

Meet Usha Uthup

Born on November 8, 1947, in Bombay, in a Brahmin Tamil family, Usha is a veteran Indian pop, filmi, jazz, and playback singer, who has working since 19. Since 1969, Usha has sung in 17 Indian languages and eight foreign languages. 

Usha Uthup was thrown out for her voice? 

Usha’s husky voice has millions of followers, but there was a time when the same voice also led to her being thrown out of music classes at her school once. She recalled the same incident in a recent Filmfare interview, in which she said, “I was once thrown out of class because my music teacher, Ms Davidson, believed my voice didn’t suit the choir. But realising I had musical talent, she gave me the triangle and clappers to play.” 

Usha Uthup took no formal training in music

It’s a surprise to know that a singer, who is so versatile in the art, has never taken formal training. In an interview with Hinduonnet, Usha revealed that she grew up in a musical background, “I am not trained in classical music. My parents used to listen to Kishori Amonkar and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan on the radio and I used to join them. Slowly, it became a passion.” 

Usha Uthup started her career by singing in nightclubs

Usha started her music career by singing in a small nightclub called Nine Gems, Chennai in 1969. Usha’s performance was so well received that the owner of the nightclub asked her to stay on for a week. After this, she began singing in Calcutta at nightclubs such as Trincas, where she met her future husband Uthup. She still performs at Trincas. During the same time, Usha also sang at Mumbai’s (then Bombay’s) Not Just Jazz by the Bay. After Trincas, her next engagement took her to Delhi where she sang at the Oberoi hotels. 

Usha Uthup’s Bollywood Calling moment

When Usha was once invited to sing at Oberoi in Delhi, Vijay Anand, Dev Anand, RD Burman, Sanjay Khan and Shashi Kapoor especially arrived to watch her performance. Shashi Kapoor was so impressed by her talent that he offered her to sing in his next film Bombay Talkie (1970), which was being made under the Merchant Ivory Productions. Usha sang two English songs, Good Times and Bad Times and Hari Om Tat Sat. Since then Usha has been active in Bollywood as well, but her major source of income comes from concerts. Usha has also acted in several Bollywood and regional films, including Bombay To Goa, Melnaattu Marumagal, Pothan Vava, 7 Khoon Maaf, and If Not for You.

Usha Uthup on Bollywood not giving her enough opportunities

In the interaction with Hinduonnet, Usha said that her main source of income is concerts and live performances only because the’ film industry still thinks that heroine can’t sing in a husky, heavy voice’. Usha said, “There have been heroines like Zeenat Aman, Tanuja and now Rani Mukherjee for whom I can easily lend my voice but they think if it’s for heroine it has to be sweet. I ask them to give me just one song, as that’s enough to give me at least 60 concerts, a number of them are for charity.” Usha has also appeared as a judge and mentor on several music reality shows. Recently, Usha performed at Trincas, and the videos of her performance, singing Miley Cirus’ Flowers, went viral on the internet. 

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