Sunidhi Chauhan (born 14 August 1983) is an Indian playback singer. Born in Delhi, she began performing in local gatherings at the age of 5 and made her career debut at the age of 13, with the film Shastra (1996). During the year, she won the first singing reality show titled Meri Awaz Suno and rose to prominence after recording “Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi” from Mast (1999). It won her Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent and was nominated for the Best Female Playback Singer. She is known for her versatility as a vocalist.
Her second breakthrough was released in 2000, with the song “Mehboob Mere” from Fiza, for which she received another Filmfare nomination. Sunidhi received her third Filmfare nomination with the song “Dhoom Machale” from Dhoom (2004) followed by two more nominations during the next year for “Kaisi Paheli” and “Deedar De” from Parineeta and Dus (2005). In 2006, she was bestowed with her first Filmfare award for her rendition of the song “Beedi” from Omkara and further two nominations for “Soniye” from Aksar and “Aashiqui Main” from 36 China Town.
The following year, Chauhan recorded the title song of Aaja Nachle (2007) and “Sajnaaji Vaari”, both critically and commercially well received. Chauhan received her twelfth Filmfare nomination with “Chor Bazaari” of Love Aaj Kal (2009) preceded by “Dance Pe Chance” from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008). In 2010, she received her second Filmfare award with the item song “Sheila Ki Jawani” (2010) and was nominated for international styled carnival song “Udi” from Guzaarish (2010). The year marked her International singing debut, where she was featured in an alternate version of the song “Heartbeat” by Enrique Iglesias.
Apart from playback singing, Chauhan has appeared as a judge on several television reality shows and she also appears in music videos. Besides her career in music, she has also been involved in various charities and social causes. She has appeared four times in Forbes Celebrity 100 of India (2012–2015).
Sunidhi Chauhan was born on 14 August 1983, in New Delhi, India. Her father, Dushyant Kumar Chauhan, who is from Uttar Pradesh, is a theatre personality at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra. Her mother, a homemaker, influenced Chauhan to pursue a career in music. She also has a younger sister. At the age of four, Chauhan started performing at competitions and local gatherings, subsequently convinced by her father’s friends to take singing seriously. During that time, she was doing live shows and trained herself with “regular riyaaz by listening to cassettes and CDs of popular numbers”.
She did her studies from Greenway Modern School and used to stay with her family members in Dilshad Garden, Delhi. She discontinued her studies right after schooling to pursue a career in the music industry. She said: “I quit because I did not feel like studying. I made the decision to pursue my dream as a singer and I don’t regret it one bit”.
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When actress Tabassum spotted her, she made her sing live in her show Tabassum Hit Parade and asked her family to shift to Mumbai. She then introduced Chauhan to Kalyanji Virji Shah and Anandji Virji Shah. Upon meeting, Kalyanji changed her name from Nidhi to Sunidhi as he felt that it is a lucky name. When she was 11, her dad quit his job and brought her to Mumbai. Initially, the family had financial difficulties in adjusting life to the city. After that she worked in Kalyanji’s academy for few years and became the lead singer in his “Little Wonders” troupe. She was then offered with many shows, though her father insisted on singing for films.
In 2002, at the age of 18, Chauhan married director and choreographer Bobby Khan (brother of choreographer and director Ahmed Khan) after working on the music video, Pehla Nasha. It was reported that the couple married in a secretly arranged ceremony, attended only by very close friends. However, the marriage caused a rift between Sunidhi and her parents, who considered the union “unsuitable” and consequently disowned her. Despite that, she and Khan separated a year later, bringing about a reconciliation with her parents. She lived with actor Annu Kapoor and his wife Arunita during the separation, filed for divorce the same year, citing that she had realised that they “wanted different things from life”.
Later, Chauhan began a romantic relationship with the music composer Hitesh Sonik whom she was friends with, since the days she won Meri Awaz Suno. After dating for more than two years, they married on 24 April 2012, at a low profile wedding ceremony in Goa and had a grand reception in Mumbai, attended by many prominent Bollywood celebrities. On 1 January 2018, Chauhan gave birth to a boy whom she named Tegh.
Sunidhi Chauhan Age Boyfriend Husband Family Biography
|Real Name||Nidhi Chauhan|
|Profession(s)||Singer and Actress|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 160 cm
in meters– 1.60 m
in feet inches– 5’ 3”
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|Debut||Film (Actor, Cameo): Ehsaas: The Feeling (2001)
TV (Judge): Indian Idol Season 5 (2010)
Singer (Bollywood): “Ladki Deewani Ladka Deewana” of film ‘Shastra’ (1996)
Album (Singer): Aira Gaira Nathu Khaira (1998)
Marathi Film (Singer): “Kande Pohe” from the film “Sanai Choughade” (2008)
Punjabi Film (Singer): ‘Muqabla’ from the film “Pind Di Kudi” (2004)
Tamil Film (Singer): ‘Kundu Kundu’ from the film “Dhool” (2003)
Telugu Film (Singer): Mallika (D) (1999)
Kannada Film (Singer): ‘Aeeeyy Aeeyyii’ from the film “Hollywood ” (2003)
Pakistani Film (Singer): “Peehu Peehu” from the film ‘Pyar Hi Pyar Mein’ (2002)
• Filmfare RD Burman Award for the Most Promising Newcomer for her song “Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi” of the film, Mast (1999)
• Kelvinator GR8! FLO Women Award
• Indian Television Academy–GR8! Women Achiever Award for GR8! Women Achiever in Music
• Massal Award for Best International Female Vocalist Award
• Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Best Playback Singer (Female) in 2014
• Received Honorary Doctorate from Rai University in 2016
Note: Along with these, she has many other awards, honours, and achievements to her name.
|Date of Birth||14 August 1983 (Sunday)|
|Age (as of 2023)||40 Years|
|Birthplace||New Delhi, India|
|Hometown||New Delhi, India|
|School||Greenway Modern School, New Delhi|
|Educational Qualification||12th Standard|
|Address||2 B / 183, Winder Mayer, Andheri West, Mumbai|
|Hobbies||Dancing, Travelling, and Driving
|Controversy||After Amit Kumar, Kishore Kumar‘s son, revealed that he was compelled to praise the contestants of Indian Idol, a popular singing reality show in India, Sunidhi Chauhan also came forward and made similar revealtions. The Indian Express In an interview, she said, “Not exactly this that everyone had to do this, but yes, we all were told (to praise). That was the basic thing. And so, I couldn’t go on. I couldn’t do what they wanted and I had to part ways. Hence, today, I am not judging any reality show.”|
|Relationships & More|
|Affairs/Boyfriends||• Bobby Khan (Director/Choreographer)
• Hitesh Sonik (Music Composer)
|Marriage Date||• First Marriage: 2002
• Second Marriage: 24 April 2012
|Husband/Spouse||First Husband: Bobby Khan (Director/Choreographer; 2002-2003)
Second Husband: Hitesh Sonik (Music Composer)
|Children||Son– Tegh Sonik (born on 1 January 2018)|
|Parents||Father– Dushyant Kumar Chauhan (Theatre Artist at Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra)
Mother– Name Not Known (Homemaker)
|Siblings||Sister– Suneha Chauhan (Younger)|
|Actor(s)||Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan|
|Actress||Rekha, Madhuri Dixit|
|Singer(s)||Lata Mangeshkar, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Sukhwinder Singh, Shakira|
|Musician(s)||Mariah Carey, Beyoncé|
|Song||“Always Be My Baby” by Mariah Carey|
|Colour(s)||Red, Black, Yellow|
|Car Collection||• Maruti Suzuki Ritz Patrika
• Honda Accord
• Mitsubishi Pajero
• BMW X5
|Salary (approx.)||Rs 6-7 lakhs/song|
|Net Worth (approx.)||$10 million|
Sunidhi Chauhan is an Indian playback singer known for her powerful and versatile vocal abilities. She began her career at a young age, participating in various talent shows and singing for local events. In 1996, at the age of 13, she gained widespread recognition after winning the singing reality show “Meri Awaz Suno”.
Chauhan made her playback singing debut in Bollywood with the song “Ladki Deewani Dekho” in the film “Shastra” (1996). However, she rose to prominence in 2000 with the hit song “Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi” from the movie “Mast”. Since then, she has delivered countless chart-topping tracks and collaborated with several leading music directors.
Known for her diverse repertoire, Chauhan has sung songs in multiple genres, including romantic, peppy, dance numbers, and soulful melodies. Some of her notable songs include “Dhoom Machale” from the movie “Dhoom” (2004), “Sheila Ki Jawani” from “Tees Maar Khan” (2010), “Kamli” from “Dhoom 3” (2013), and “Navrai Majhi” from “English Vinglish” (2012).
Throughout her career, Sunidhi Chauhan has received widespread acclaim and numerous awards for her exceptional singing talent. She has also showcased her versatility by lending her voice to various regional language songs and international collaborations. With her powerful voice and impressive range, she continues to be one of the most celebrated playback singers in the Indian film industry.
Chauhan possesses a high octave vocal range, and has the ability to reach lower octaves and dropping notes with transition. The Indian Express described her as a soprano, though criticising her “high-pitched non-falsetto voice because of the “squeakiness it acquires while belting out those notes”. Lata Mangeshkar who described Chauhan’s vocals as “different” from her contemporary, mentioned that her voice will not suit musical style of lori. Lyricist Prasoon Joshi described Chauhan as an effervescent and soulful singer who can lend her voice to any situation. Director Ram Gopal Varma calling her an extraordinary talent, said “I think it’s the various facets of her personality, that is so full of life and energy, which come through in a musical way in her diverse songs”. Chauhan has the ability to change her tonal quality with a lot of ease and charisma. According to Rajani Kanikar, she has a “powerful” and “husky” voice which she attributes to her father. Music composer Amit Trivedi considers Chauhan to be the most versatile female singer after Asha Bhosle who is good with all the genres. She feels that her vocals structure suits on Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Kajol, Parineeti Chopra and Urmila Matondkar the most. According to The Daily Star, “be it a soft classical-like piece or an operatic pitch, Chauhan is spectacular with her vocals”. Though she has performs in high-pitched vocals songs, she is known for her “deeper pitched voice”, on which Ajay Gehlawat wrote: “Chauhan’s deeper timbre replaces Asha Bhosle’s higher pitched vocals” in the song “Yeh Mera Dil”, ensuring such “fuller female timbres become more commonplace’ to decidedly more forceful and sensual sounds”. Ganesh Anantharaman in his book Bollywood Melodies: A History of the Hindi Film Song wrote that Chauhan has a “good, expressive” voice but she crafted a particular image for herself as the singer of fast, racy songs.
The Times of India considered her voice as the “liveliest voice in Bollywood”. According to MensXP.com, “her voice is orgasmic and extremely fierce. While singing a certain stanza, she gets into the mood so deeply, her voice breaks into a passionate squeal as she strikes a high note”. In an interview, classical musician Rahul Sharma said, “Chauhan’s voice has an element of sensuality which also very versatile and I admire the quality of her voice and the kind of emotions she can bring out”.
Chauhan’s music contains elements of pop, hip hop and R&B. Music composer Sandeep Chowta while talking about the singer said “She is a brilliant singer with a wide range and an individual style. She does not copy anyone. She knows what she’s doing and is in total control. She’s not just a singer, she’s also a musician”. Chauhan has said that her audience feels more comfortable in hearing her singing item songs and she made her “name because of that genre”. The perception of singing only item songs was “broken” when Chauhan performed the romantic song, “Meri Zindagi Mein” for Anu Malik which was then followed by songs from Chameli and Fanaa. However, Chauhan declared that she “dislikes” tagging songs as item numbers and “they are treated specially, they have extra attention and they are picturised in a special way. So, I like being associated to any special song”.
Describing her singing style, Chauhan said; “I have no particular style; instead I only go with the music and the lyrics, and feel free to express my emotions through singing”. Though her singing style has a strong western influences, she has recorded some semi-classical songs in her career, including songs from Rang Rasiya. She has not performed any classical songs or a ghazal and has expressed her interest on releasing a ghazal album. Though known for her high pitch renditions, she personally prefers soft and soothing songs. Believing that singing all kinds of songs makes her grow as a musician she revealed that her “weakness remains for soft melodies”. “Even on live shows, I first sing my fast numbers to get the audience into the groove. But once they are happy with their favorite numbers, I switch on to slow scores”.
Chauhan’s live rendition of songs is praised by the viewers for her power and energy. A newspaper published in the United Arab Emirates, The National wrote: “From flitting between fast and slow songs, to playing with the tempos and notes of the songs she sang, she didn’t stick to the original format of any number”.
Chauhan was introduced to music by her father and credits her “powerful” voice to him. She acknowledges that western music had a huge impact in her singing and confessed that she likes to perform “songs that have a western flavour in them”. Believing that her voice has a “global appeal”, she feels that her exposure to international music has only “sharpened” her skills while she does not forcefully tries to imply a western feel to the song. She considers Lata Mangeshkar as her biggest inspiration, calling her “a temple of music”. She grew up listening to music by Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle and is equally influenced by singers like Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sadhana Sargam, K.S.Chithra, Alka Yagnik, Kishori Amonkar, Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey.
Sonu Nigam who helped her get her first break in the industry was named as one of the biggest influences in shaping her career along with her parents and she described him as a “catalyst to fuel my career”. She was mainly compared with her contemporary singer Shreya Ghoshal for which Chauhan stated, “I am contented to have my own area in the current music world. Likewise, Shreya Ghoshal has her own. I personally respect Shreya for her talents and nice songs, whom people consider as a threat to me”. Moreover, Chauhan’s versatility is compared with Bhosle, where she described Bhosle as a “singing institution”, whereas, Chauhan is like a “student to her”.
Chauhan has also been influenced by many artists outside the country like Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston. According to Chauhan, she started listening English songs after she turned 11, and she grew up listening to “Always Be My Baby” by Carey. Chauhan who admires the work of Shakira was keen to be part of the Indian version of The Voice, since she served as a coach on the American version of the show.
Known for experimenting with her style and image, Chauhan’s music and fashion sense are noted by the media. In 2010, while she appeared a judge in the Indian Idol (Season 5), her look was discussed in the media; Rediff.com considered her wardrobe sense a “real shame” considering that she is “young”, “slim” and “pretty”. However, Mid-Day praised her style in the show for “dressing in normal clothes” while compared to other judges, though they mentioned that “her hairstyle changes too often for our liking”. Prior to Indian Idol, Chauhan’s face was not so familiar with the public and according to her, people imagined her to be a “30 to 40 years old woman in a sari”, while she is “dressed casually in denims and a tee”. Reportedly, during a concert in Kolkata, the local people did not recognise her when she entered the venue, until the host introduced her to them.
After Chauhan got married in 2012, she had put on weight of about 20 kg. During the time, she was getting breathless on stage and wanted to get fit, as she had to perform at concerts and regular shows. Besides, she likes “glamorous” outfits which she feels uncomfortable wearing with too much weight. She then followed a strict diet and regularly went to gym or for jogging. She knocked off 12 kg by jogging and working out. Post a hairdo in 2014, she worked on her wardrobe and chose a trendy image to “open up” to the fashion. She appeared on The Voice after the weight loss, though clarified that “losing weight was not intentional. Neither was it for The Voice India. It’s just that one day I decided that I need to go to gym and eat a healthy diet”.
In 2012, Chauhan appeared in the Forbes Celebrity 100, a list based on income and popularity of India’s celebrities. She was listed at the seventy-second spot in 2012, fifty-eighth spot in 2013, fifty-sixth spot in 2014, sixtieth spot in 2015. In 2013, Chauhan appeared in the list of “World’s Sexiest Asian Woman” by FHM India at the twenty-eighth position, and was named the “Hottest Female Bollywood Lead Singer” by MensXP.com. Chauhan was selected in the list of “Top 5 Celeb100 Singers and Musicians” compiled by Forbes India. She was also voted as Bollywood’s most favourite Female Playback Singer in the “Vuclip Icons of the Year 2012” mobile survey. Apart from public appearances, Chauhan began to use social media to respond directly to her fans. She opened a Twitter account in 2010, and use a Facebook Fan page both manage by herself. She was included at the twenty-second position of the “50 Most Influential Indians on Social Media”, a list created by taking account of number of followers on Facebook and Twitter.
Impact and recognition
Sunidhi Chauhan, an eminent singer, has won high praise from various artists spanning multiple generations. Famous singer Lata Mangeshkar labeled her as the “Numero Uno” singer of the generation, highlighting her versatile voice and style appealing to the present generation. Other notable singers including Asha Bhosle, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, and Usha Uthup also endorsed Chauhan as one of the best female singers from her generation.
Many artists, like Manna Dey, Amjad Ali Khan, Bombay Jayashri, Kavita Seth, and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, appreciated Chauhan’s musical abilities. Her professionalism was noted by Shreya Ghoshal, her contemporary and fellow singer. British Indian rapper Hard Kaur admired Chauhan’s persona. Composer Shantanu Moitra felt that her artistry is timeless. Mika Singh saw Chauhan as an inspiration for young aspirants.
Various artists, such as Shalmali Kholgade, Shaan, Papon, Shibani Kashyap, Himani Kapoor, Monali Thakur, Vishal Bhardwaj, Prakriti Kakar, Aditi Singh Sharma, Aastha Gill, Neha Bhasin, and Shilpa Rao, among others, expressed their respect and admiration for Chauhan, viewing her as an idol, an inspiration, and a role model. Sonu Nigam jokingly referred to her as his female counterpart.
Aside from other artists, Shefali Alvares, Ankit Tiwari, Neha Kakkar, Richa Sharma, Amit Mishra, Jonita Gandhi, Vaishali Mhade, Sukhwinder Singh, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Pawni Pandey, Shashaa Tirupati, A. R. Rahman, Amit Trivedi, and Raghav Sachar have also commended her work.
Actors like Bipasha Basu, Amrita Rao, and Priyanka Chopra admire her singing, with Chopra considering Chauhan as one of the singers she looks up to. Farhan Akhtar named her as his favorite singer for her voice versatility, and Ram Gopal Varma confessed that he believes Chauhan to be the “greatest singer in the world.”
In addition to her musical accomplishments, Sunidhi Chauhan is well-known for her philanthropy and work towards various social causes. In addition to performing at charity events and making financial donations, Chauhan works for the benefit of underprivileged children.
In 2005, she participated in a project with sixteen other artists to record a single, “Zindagi Pukaarti Hai”, which raised money for the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. The proceeds garnered from the cassette and CD sales were directed to aid the victims.
In connection with other charities, Chauhan performed at a concert in Trafalgar Square to observe International Widows Day and initiate a charity targeting the education of impoverished children of Indian widows. She similarly contributed to an event in collaboration with Suresh Wadkar and KK, which gathered over ₹15 million (US$190,000) to create a home for elderly citizens of various castes and communities.
Chauhan collaborated on several global campaigns, including the “World of Betters” and the “Save Our Tigers” campaign. She used her influence to raise funds for eye donations and cancer awareness in October 2014 and the subsequent month, respectively.
She lent her voice to a music video of John Lennon’s “Imagine” as a part of UNICEF’s global campaign on the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In September 2015, she represented India at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, featuring an ambitious 17-point plan to end global poverty by 2030. This was followed by a fundraising concert focused on promoting research and awareness about breast and ovarian cancers. In 2017, she participated in a campaign spotlighting breast cancer awareness.
|2001||Ehsaas: The Feeling||Herself||Cameo appearance|
|2003||Bhoot||Herself||Special appearance in the promotional song “Bhoot Hoon Main”|
|2004||Uuf Kya Jaadoo Mohabbat Hai||Herself||Special appearance in the promotional song “Uuf Kya Jaadoo Mohabbat Hai”|
|2006||Bas Ek Pal||Herself||Special appearance in the promotional song “Dheeme Dheeme”|
|2012||Sons of Ram||Sita||Voice|
|2014||Hawaa Hawaai||Herself||Special appearance in the promotional song “Ghoom Gayi”|
|2014||Khoobsurat||Herself||Special appearance in the promotional song “Baal Khade”|
|2016||Playing Priya||Priya||Short film|
|2016||Rock on 2||Herself||special appearance as reality show judge|
|2010||Indian Idol 5||Judge|
|2012||Indian Idol 6||Judge|
|Dil Hai Hindustani season 2||Judge|