Shilpa Rao

Shilpa Rao

Shilpa Rao

She was born on 11 April 1984 in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. Her father, S. V. Rao, who held a degree in music, introduced her to music. For her education, she went to Little Flower School, Jamshedpur.


The playback singer Hariharan arranged for Rao to study under his music teacher, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. After performing with Shankar Mahadevan in concert, she moved to Mumbai on his advice.

Although she started her career singing advertising jingles, Rao soon moved on to film music. In 2006 she recorded the song “Tosey Naina Lagey” for the movieAnwar and “Saiyaan Re” for the film Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love. She went on to perform songs in films like One Two Three (“Gupchup”)’, The Train’ ‘(“Woh Ajnabee”), Aamir (“Ek Lau”), Dev D (“Dhol Yaara Dhol”, “Ranjhana”), Gulal (“Aisi Saaza”).[2] She has sung one Tamil song in Naan Mahaan Alla(“Oru Maalai Neram”) for Yuvan Shankar Raja.She recently appeared on Star World’s popular TV series “The Dewarists” in collaboration with “Agnee” and “Parikrama”. She has also sung some Bengali songs mostly with Jeet Ganguly. She also Sung a Song Bekaboo from the Serial Navya.

An article published in the Hindustan Times in 2009 described her as one of the most prominent singers in the “wave” of “young, little-known singers” then sweeping through Bollywood.[3] She is also a part of band, Band Called Nine, with lyricist Neelesh Misra and composer Amartya Rahut, working with traditional Indian craft ofQissa Goi (storytelling).[4] In 2011, the band released its debut album, Rewind, consisting of songs and storytelling, put together with a narrative.[5][6]

In 2012, Rao sang ‘Yaariyaan’ for Cocktail.The song got critical success and went on to became a chart-buster eventually.She ended the year 2012 by working with academy award winner A. R. Rahman for the song ‘Ishq Shava’ in Yash Chopra’s last film Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The song was received well by the critics and public. In 2013, Rao sang ‘Malang’ – Dhoom 3 which gave her critical success. The song went on to become a rage and then a chart-buster.


Year Film Song Name Composer Notes
2005 Ek Ajnabee Stranger On The Prowl Amar Mohile  
2007 Anwar Javeda Zindagi (Tose Naina Laage) Mithoon  
Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love Saiyaan Re Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy  
The Train Woh Ajnabee
Teri Tamanna
Gandhi My Father Pain (Raghupati Raghav)
Gandhi’s Favourite
Piyush Kanojia  
2008 Aamir Ek Lau Amit Trivedi  
Bachna Ae Haseeno Khuda Jaane Vishal-Shekhar Won – Screen Award for Best Female Playback
Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer
Nominated – IIFA Award for Best Female Playback
Hijack Koi Na Jaane Justin-Uday  
2009 Gulaal Aisi Sazaa Piyush Mishra  
Aagey Se Right Mahiya Ram Sampath  
Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam Egire Egire
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Telegu Film
Sikandar Manzaraat Justin-Uday  
Dev.D Dhol Yaara Dhol
Amit Trivedi  
Puthiya Mukham Rahasyamay Deepak Dev Malayalam Film
Paa Mudhi Mudhi Ittefaq Se
Udhi Udhi Ittefaq Se
2010 Toh Baat Pakki! Dil Le Jaa Pritam  
Admissions Open Aasman Ke Paar    
Lahore Rang De
O Re Bande
M.M Kreem  
Naan Mahaan Alla Oru Maalai Neram Yuvan Shankar Raja Tamil Film
Lafangey Parindey Nain Parindey R. Anandh  
Anjaana Anjaani Anjaana Anjaani
I Feel Good
Memories in March Kaisi Azeeb Dawat    
2011 No One Killed Jessica Yeh Pal Amit Trivedi  
That Girl in Yellow Boots Ladkhadaaya Naren Chandavarkar & Benedict Taylor  
Yeh Saali Zindagi Dil Dar-Ba-Dar
Yeh Saali Zindagi
Yeh Saali Zindagi
Nishat Khan  
Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge Uh-Oh Uh-Oh Raghu Dixit  
Ladies vs Ricky Bahl Jazba Salim-Sulaiman  
Pappu Can’t Dance Saala Lamha
Desi Boyz Allah Maaf Kare Pritam  
2012 Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu Aahatein
Kar Chalna Shuru Tu
Amit Trivedi  
Jodi Breakers Jab Main Tumhare Saath Hun Salim-Sulaiman  
Cocktail Yaariyaan Pritam  
English Vinglish English Vinglish
Gustakh Dil
Amit Trivedi Hindi, Tamil, Telugu
Jab Tak Hai Jaan Ishq Shava A.R. Rahman  
Awara Moner Radio Jeet Ganguly Bengali Film
2013 Lootera Manmarziyan Amit Trivedi  
3G Khalbali Mithoon  
Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Subhanallah Pritam  
Dhoom 3 Malang Pritam  
2014 Gulaab Gang Gulaabi Soumik Sen  


  • Teri Aakhein – Saiyaan
  • Navya..Naye Dhadkan Naye Sawaal – “Bekaboo”
  • Band Called Nine (Shilpa Rao, Neelesh Misra, Amartya Rahut) – Rewind
  • The Dewarists (Season One) – I Believe
  • MTV Unplugged (Season One)
  • Coke Studio @ MTV Season 2 – Hallelujah, Shedding Skin


Shilpa won the Best Female Playback Singer at the Star Screen Awards, 2008 for the song “Khuda Jaane” from the movie Bachna Ae Haseeno. The song was also adjudged the Song of the Year. She also has won Best Singer award at Indian Television Academy Awards for Navya..Naye Dhadkan Naye Sawaal

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