Jan 6, 2007

Bollywood Playback Singers

Lata Mangeshkar

Bollywood film music is called filmi music (from Hindi, meaning "of films").

Songs from Bollywood movies are generally pre-recorded by professional playback singers, with the actors then lip synching the words to the song on-screen, often while dancing. While most actors, especially today, are excellent dancers, few are also singers. One notable exception was Kishore Kumar, who starred in several major films in the 1950s while also having a stellar career as a playback singer. K. L. Saigal, Suraiyya, and Noor Jehan were also known as both singers and actors.

Playback singers are prominently featured in the opening credits and have their own fans who will go to an otherwise lacklustre movie just to hear their favourites. One of the most recorded of these playback singers is Lata Mangeshkar who, through the course of a career spanning over six decades, has recorded thousands of songs for Indian movies. Many of the female songs in films from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s were sung by Lata or by her sister Asha Bhosle. Some of the famous male playback singers were Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, and Kishore Kumar. The composers of film music, known as music directors, are also well-known. Their songs can make or break a film and usually do. Remixing of filmi songs with modern beats and rhythms is a common occurrence today, and producers may even release remixed versions of some of their films' songs along with the films' regular soundtrack albums.