When new female singers announced their arrival in 2006 ...

By Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM

imageWhen it

came to females crooning Bollywood numbers in 2006, it was clearly a

case of newcomers knocking hard on the doors of big league. While

'seniors' like Alka Yagnik, Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal were

sitting firmly at the top, relative new entrants like Tulsi Kumar,

Anushka, Kavita Seth, Shilpa Rao and Nihira showed that they too had in

them to make their presence felt in this industry that had

opportunities for one and all. Result? A happy music lover who got to

hear variety of voices and songs!

1. Sunidhi Chauhan

Sunidhi Chauhan enjoyed a BIG BANG in entire 2006 as she delivered

one quality song after another on a consistent note. Some became highly

popular while some didn't but the young lady proved that she had it in

her to take on the mightiest of challenge by singing sheer variety of

songs. So what if she feels shy of her 'Ye Mera Dil' [Don] in spite of

it being a hit, she has an original super-duper 'masala' song of the

year in the form of 'Beedi' [Omkara] to her credit. In the same vein

she also has some superb sentimental songs like 'Dheemey Dheemey' [Bas

Ek Pal], 'Humko Chhoone Paas Aayiye' [Zindaggi Rocks] and 'Yun Hota To

Kya Hota' [Yun Hota To Kya Hota] which met with varied degrees of

success but were high on quality quotient nonetheless. Sunidhi truly

rules from the top!

2. Shreya Ghoshal

It's a heartening sight to see yet another young female singer

taking such big strides in the Bollywood playback singing scene. Her

journey to the top has followed almost similar pattern as that of

Sunidhi Chauhan. In quick time, she has caught fancy of top composers

and boasts of beautiful songs like 'Pal Pal' [Lage Raho Munnabhai],

'Barso Re' [Guru], 'Jaaneman' [Aryan] and 'Aa Paas Aa' [Ankahee], each

of which comes with different shades.

3. Alka Yagnik

Class was apparent yet again as veteran Alka Yagnik got all her

years of experience into force as the voice of 'Umrao Jaan'! She was

flawless in 'Salaam', 'Pehle Pehle' and 'Jhute Ilzam' which were some

of the best sung but sadly ignored songs from this Anu Malik

soundtrack. Still, she had a big song to her credit as the title song

for 'Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna' which turned out to be chart topper.

4. Alisha Chinoy/Mahalaxmi Iyer

Together, the duo of Alisha Chinoy & Mahalaxmi Iyer got the night on

fire with an erotic-n-thrilling 'Aaj Ki Raat'! Sensuality hadn't been

brought to fore in such sheer magnificence as was in the case of this

lounge number from 'Don'. She may have been on the music scene for

decades now but Alisha Chinoy continues to rule when it comes to songs

with sensual undertones. This was evident when she crooned for 20

something Sophia Chaudhary, a highly erotic song - 'Bad Boy' [Pyaar Ke

Side Effects].

5. Anushka Manchanda

Wanna have some fun and hit the dance floor? Or you just want to

have some great time with babes on the beach? Then hop on to the hip-

hop number 'Golmaal' [Golmaal] that was sung with aplomb by VIVA singer

Anushka Manchanda! A Hinglish song that was rendered seamlessly by

young Anushka, it became hit around the time the film released but went

on to be chartbuster as months passed by. Today, it is one of the most

enjoyed urban songs due to its funky rhythm and an excellent rendition.

Then came ‘Zindaggi Rocks’ which lent Sushmita Sen a true blue rock

star image thanks to Anushka’s lively rendition of the title track.

Anushka rocks in the song!

6. Tulsi Kumar

She may as well be yet another singer to make news in the New Year.

First to come was Anu Malik's title song version of 'Humko Deewana Kar

Gaye' which was all sugar-n-saccharine in true Bollywood ishtyle! She

came across as a very good singer for someone who had just started her

playback career a few months back. Later when Himesh Reshammiya version

of the title song came [a bigger hit], she even featured in its music

video and soon became a household name. 'Sarfaroshi' [Tom Dick and

Harry] was yet another popular number to her credit in a few weeks time

and it started becoming clearer that Tulsi Kumar would certainly be

enjoying a good run in Bollywood.

7. Rekha Bharadwaj

She just had one song in the year and she was superlative in her

rendition. Rekha Bharadwaj who has sung exclusively only for her

husband till date (musician-filmmaker Vishal Bharadwaj), sang ‘Namak

Issak Ka’ in ‘Omkara’. Think of an item number and Sunidhi Chauhan

strikes your mind. But Rekha redefined item singing in Bollywood with

her intentional rustic rendition of the song, perfectly justifying the

setting and ambience of the film. Though the song was not as popular as

the other item number in the film (Beedi Jalaile), it was an aural

delight and a rare gem in its own way. Rekha perfected the avadhi

dialect and got all the nuances correct. Her vocals just made Bipasha

Basu all the more sensual in the item song.

8. Kavita Seth

In spite of being situational, 'Mujhe Mat Roko' made such a stunning

impact in the Gangster that one went back to the album to check it out

again. The name Kavita Seth flashed and one knew that it marked the

arrival of a talented singer who could do wonders if tried in different

genres. A song set in the film's climax that could move any

viewer/listener into tears, 'Mujhe Mat Roko' was a cry into the arms of

someone you love! Not many might be aware that Kavita made her debut in

2005 with a less-known but extremely well-sung and mesmerizing song

‘Maula’ in Vaada.

9. Shilpa Rao

Just like Kavita Seth, Shipa Rao too made a powerful impact in

Bollywood on the basis of a solitary number. 'Tose Naina Lage' from

'Anwar' has been her claim to fame and composer Mithoon promises that

this classically trained singer can come up with a Western pop number

with as much aplomb as a melody fused in Indian classical music. Watch

out for her in 2007!

10. Nihira

Nihira is the third relative newcomer after Kavita and Shilpa to

have made composers sit up and take notice of her talent in the year

gone by. In a star studded affair called 'Salaam-E-Ishq', she got an

opportunity to sing a duet with Shaan, 'Mera Dil', and made quite an

impression in this peppy melodious song. Unlike Kavita and Shilpa, she

may not have had to prove her mettle with classical based songs but a

popular number like 'Mera Dil' means she has arrived in the big