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Birthday special: 12 songs by Kavita Krishnamurthy for every heroine of her time

From perennial favourite Manisha Koirala to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kavita Krishnamurthy has managed to play the voice of some of the most iconic actresses of their generations. On her 59th birthday today (25 January), we look back at some of the best songs for each actress, in Kavita Krishnamurthy's voice. 

Shriram Iyengar

A singer par excellence, Kavita Krishnamurthy was hailed as the voice to replace Lata Mangeshkar. A mellifluous singer, she went on to deliver some memorable songs from the 80s till today. Surprisingly, Krishnamurthi's discography reveals her versatility to be able to sing for every leading heroine of the time. Here's a look at the songs that make the best compilation.

1. Hawa Hawaai - Mr India  

What the 'paan' song was to Don, 'Hawa Hawaai' was to Mr India. Few other singers could have managed to convey the mischief, seduction, and confidence through the song like Kavita Krishnamurthy did. With the song being featured on Sridevi, it was difficult for it to not have made this list. 

2. Chandni Raat Hai - Baaghi: A Rebel for Love

Nagma might not be as iconic an actress as Sridevi, but there was a time when she was hailed as the next big thing. Kavita Krishnamurthy delivered this magical number filmed on Nagma, and a very young Salman Khan, in the 90s hit, Baaghi. Composed by Anand-Milind, the song became one of the big hits of the year. 

5. Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast - Mohra

Any talk on songs in the 90s decade will eventually veer to this Viju Shah number. Picturised on the dynamite pair of Akshay Kumar and Raveena Tandon, it remains an iconic dance number. Of course, the voices belonged to another inimitable pair, Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurthy. 

6. Pyaar Ye Jaane Kaisa Hai - Rangeela

In this song, Urmila Matondkar is seen burning the screen up with her sensuality, Jackie Shroff being mysterious, and Aamir Khan in one of his most radically different roles. Rangeela was a film that had everything, superimposed with the beautiful compositions of AR Rahman. This particular number in Kavita Krishnamurthy's voice is an example of her ability to convey the deepest emotions in the lightest of voices. 

7. Mera Piya Ghar Aaya - Yaarana

You can't go wrong with a dance number filmed on Madhuri Dixit, and sung by Kavita Krishnamurthy. The song continues to be a popular number among fans and can be heard at garba celebrations every year. That is one way to leave a mark! 

8. Aaj Main Upar - Khamoshi: The Musical

One of Kavita Krishnamurthy's finest moments as a singer was for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's debut, Khamoshi: The Musical. 'Aaj Main Upar' won her the Filmfare Award for Best Singer, and with good reason. Her high flying, melodious voice carried the positive spirit of Bhansali's optimistic film. It was also her pairing with Manisha Koirala, who she also voiced memorably in Bombay (1995). 

9. Nimbooda - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Although Kavita Krishnamurthy had previously played the voice of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in her debut, Jeans (1998), it was another Sanjay Leela Bhansali musical, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, that really stands out. This song went on to be a huge hit and convinced Bhansali to cast Kavita Krishnamurthy as the voice of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan for his next, Devdas (2002). 

10. Ae Dil Laaya Hai Bahaar - Kya Kehna

While she was one of the most popular heroines of the early 2000s, Preity Zinta's greatest hits came with Alka Yagnik. However, Kavita Krishnamurthy did sing for her in Kya Kehna (2001). A reworking of the classic 'Oh Carol!' by Neil Sedaka, the song is memorable for its hummable quality enhanced by Krishnamurthy's voice. 

11. Kay Sera Sera - Pukar 

Prabhu Deva and Madhuri Dixit in a dance competition. Enough said. For Rajkumar Santoshi's Pukar (2000), Kavita Krishnamurthy and Shankar Mahadevan combined to deadly effect in this AR Rahman composition. Plus, that scintillating choreography on screen. Enough said!

12. Dheeme Dheeme - Zubeidaa

While she can belt out the occasional fast paced dance number, it is the melodious ballads that really exemplify Kavita Krishnamurthy's strength. A beautiful ballad, this number from Shyam Benegal's Zubeidaa stands out for its scenic beauty, as well as AR Rahman's compositional versatility.