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Anuradha Paudwal – A Fine Bollywood Singer Lost and Found

Anuradha Paudwal may have started singing with movie Abhiman under S.D. Burman’s direction and received one after another three awards for her playback singing in Bollywood movies in the 90s, however, for many years Anuradha remained lost and forgotten! Anuradha is back now, and her sweet voice has slowly started to catch people’s attention once again.
Anuradha neither came from a musical family, nor she had a musical voice from childhood. As a matter of fact, there was not even a radio in her house – that’s how unfilmi and non-musical her upbringing was!
The fact that Anuradha did not have a musical family or did not have a good singing voice from childhood, did not hold Anuradha from humming and singing when she was little. She loved to sing and would often receive criticism from bystanders and overhearers for her bad voice! Once at the age of 8, Anuradha was traveling in a bus with her mother. Anuradha started singing and the lady standing next to her made a comment that the poor girl (meaning Anuradha) had such a pretty face, yet such a hoarse voice! Surprisingly, Anuradha Paudwal’s voice changed after she recovered from pneumonia when she was in fourth grade.
Anuradha, a native of Bombay, while attending Saint Xaviers College, participated in many college stage programs. Her music career began after she was married to Arun Paudwal, music Director S.D. Burman’s music arranger. S.D. Burman wanted to record a Shiv Shloka to open the movie Abhiman. Arun Paudwal had wife Anuradha sing the song as a demo (which was to be later sung by Lata Mangeshkar) and took it to S.D. Burman. S.D. Burman liked the voice so much that he decided to leave the shloka in Anuradha’s voice. Thus, Amitabh bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri’s Abhiman became Anuradha Paudwal’s first movie of her Bollywood career.
In 1976, Anuradha recorded songs for the movie Kalicharan which became popular. Her first solo number was for the film Aap Beeti starring Hema Malini and Shashi Kapoor and music by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Anuradha’s singing career took off when she collaborated with T Series Gulshan Kumar and sang for movies such as Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka, Tezaab, Ashiqui, Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin, etc. She received three consecutive Filmfare Awards for beautiful playback singing in Dil Hai Ke Manta Nahin (1990), Ashiqui (1991), and Beta (1992).
Just as Anuradha’s popularity was soaring, a wrong decision of hers threw her career and popularity off. She made the announcement that she would be recording songs only for T Series. Anuradha slowly started to be forgotten as other aspiring singers such as Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthi, and Sadhana Sargam took her place in Bollywood singing.
After almost more than five years, Anuradha has surfaced in Bollywood movie songs again.

There are a few questions lurking in people’s minds. Is it too late for Anuradha to make it to the top again? Does Anuradha sing better now or worse than before?
Well, take a listen to Anuradha renditions from the past and the present on and answer the questions for yourself!

Listen to Anuradha Paudwal Hits

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