Early Life of Usha Uthup
Usha Uthup hails from the culturally and traditionally rich states of Chennaiand Kerala. She was born in Bombay on 8th November 1947. The police commissioner of Mumbai, Sami Iyer is her father. She did her schooling from St. Agnes High School. Uthup has three sisters namely, Uma Pocha, Indira Srinivasan and Maya Sami. All of them are established singers. Earlier Usha was married to late Ramu Iyer. Presently, Usha is married to Jani Uthup and has two children Anjali and Sunny.
Career of Usha Uthup
In the year 1968, on an EP- Scotch and Soda, Usha Uthup recorded covers of two pop songs in English for 'Jambalaya' and the 'Kingston Trio's Greenback Dollar'. The songs captured the Indian market very well. Apart from solo singing, she has lent her voice for Hindi films alike. She rose to fame by singing Bollywood numbers during 1970s and 1980s. Most of her major hits were under the music direction of RD Burman and Bappi Lahiri. Some of the R.D. Burman songs recapitulated by her, which were also sung by other singers including- 'Mehbooba Mehbooba' and 'Dum Maro Dum'. And these songs touched the heights of popularity amongst every generation.
Some of the illustrious songs sung by her are, 'Kabhi Pa Liya Tho Kabhi Kho Diya' from the movie 'Jogger's Park' in the year 2003; 'Din Hai Na Ye Raat' from the movie 'Bhoot' in the year 2003; 'Vande Mataram' from the movie 'Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham' in the year 2001; 'Raja Ki Kahani' from the film 'Godmother' in the year 1999; 'Daud' from the film 'Daud' in the year 1998; 'Vegam Vegam Pogum Pogum' from the movie 'Anjali' in the year 1991; 'Koi Yahan Aha Nache Nache' from the film 'Disco Dancer' in the year 1983; 'Ramba Ho' from the movie 'Arman' in the year 1981; 'Hari Om Hari' from the movie 'Pyaara Dushman' in the year 1980; 'Doston Se Pyar Kiya' from the movie 'Shaan' in the year 1980; 'Shaan Se...' from the movie 'Shaan' in the year 1980; 'Ek Do Cha Cha Cha' from the film 'Shalimar' in the year 1978. Usha Uthup has also worked with famous music directors apart from RD Burman and Bappi Lahiri, like, Ilaiyaraaja, A. R. Rahman, Vishal Bharadwaj, Jatin-Lalit, Salim-Suleiman, Tabun etc.
Usha Uthup also attempted to release a Hindi version of Michael Jackson’s 'Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough', titled '"Chhupke Kaon Aya". The song is from the album Tom Middleton - The Trip, which was released in the year 2004. A cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is another Tom Middleton album, Cosmosonica - Tom Middleton Presents Crazy Covers Vol. 1 (2005). With the Indian Rock Band Parikrama, Usha Uthup has recorded a song called "Rhythm and Blues". Apart from her singing career, she has also acted in few movies. In 2006, she acted in "Pothen Vava" a Malayalam movie with Mammootty in the lead. She played the role of Mammootty's mother. She had a cameo role in the movie 'Bombay to Goa' with Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinhain 1972. In 2007, she appeared in 'Bow Barracks Forever' directed by Anjun Duttand in Hattrick music video as herself. She also acted in Vishal Bhardwaj's ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ as a maid and sang a song in the film starring Priyanka Chopra.
Awards and Honours of Usha Uthup
Acknowledging her talent, Uthup was nominated for awards and won couple of them. Some of them are, Filmfare Nomination as Best Female Playback Singer for the song "One Two Cha Cha Cha" from 'Shalimar' (film) in the year 1978; Filmfare Nomination as Best Female Playback Singer for the song "Hari Om Hari" from 'Pyare Dushman' in the year 1980; Filmfare Nomination as Best Female Playback Singer for the song "Rambha Ho" from 'Armaan' (1981 film) in the year 1981. She was bestowed with the prestigious Padma Shri by Government of India.