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16 songs that prove why Shreya Ghoshal is the modern queen of melody — birthday special

As the singer turns 33 today (12 March), we revisit some of her popular songs down the years.

Mayur Lookhar

A find of reality television, Shreya Ghoshal is ranked amongst the top female playback singers in Hindi cinema. The versatile songstress has to her credit dozens of mellifluous tracks. As the singer turns 33 today (12 March), we tune into some of the finest melodies by the young achiever.

1 & 2. Bairi Piya and Dola Re – Devdas (2002)


Reality shows promise the world to the winners, but it’s not too often that they’ve delivered on it. However, at 19, Ghoshal had the maturity of a seasoned campaigner. So impressed was filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali with Ghoshal's performance in the singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma that he chose her to be the voice of Paro in his magnum opus Devdas. Each track was a hit. The ones that stood out though was 'Bairi Piya' and 'Dola Re'. Ghoshal bagged the Filmfare Award for the latter.

3. Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai – Jism (2003)

Words are short to wax lyrical about this song and Ghoshal’s singing — it's plain magic. The sexiness of Bipasha Basu is incomplete without the sexy voice of Ghoshal. 'Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai' had the nation intoxicated. Ghoshal bagged her second Filmfare Award for this track from Jism.

4. Agar Tum Mil Jao – Zeher (2005)

The lyrics and the music brought back memories of the Nadeem-Shravan, Jatin-Lalit 1990s era, but Ghoshal’s voice helped sell this track to the youth in the new millenia. With such a sweet and pure song, you wonder why the film was called Zeher.

5. Piyu Bole – Parineeta (2005)

Ghoshal was always a brilliant singer, but she outdid herself in Parineeta. The 'Piyu Bole' track, a duet with Sonu Nigam, was the best of the lot from this romantic drama.

6. Janemann – Aryan: Unbreakable (2006)

A film with Sohail Khan did not merit much attention, but this track was the sole bright spot in Aryan. Ghoshal and Sonu Nigam created magic each time they came together.

7. Pal Pal Har Pal – Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006)

A rhythmic track from Lage Raho Munna Bhai, 'Pal Pal Har Pal' was filled with varied emotions, sung effectively by Sonu Nigam and Ghoshal.

8. Barso Se – Guru (2007)

The beauty of Aishwarya Rai and the magical voice of Ghoshal came together, and even the heavens had to open once 'Barso Re' reverberated through nature. This was yet another fine AR Rahman composition.

9. Yeh Ishq Haye – Jab We Met (2007)

This was a breakthrough year for Kareena Kapoor as she bagged her maiden Filmfare Award for Best Actress for Jab We Met. Pritam produced his best composition. Geet's impulsive character was captured well by Ghoshal in this only track she sung in the movie.

10. Teri Ore – Singh is Kinng (2008)

Pritam delivered another fine soundtrack in Singh is Kinng. With 'Tere Ore', Ghoshal only proved why she was the undisputed queen of playback singing. Like its lyrics, there's something magnetic about Ghoshal's voice that pulls you to her.

11. Saibo – Shor in the City (2011)

An off-beat film with unheralded stars, Shor in the City made noise for its intriguing plot and this soothing number. From its music to lyrics, the 'Saibo' track came as a breath of fresh air. Connoisseurs of music will vouch for the fact how difficult it is to sing this song. Ghoshal brought out a new facet to her singing with this romantic number.

12. Saans – Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)

'Saans main teri, saans mili toh muhje saans aayi, muhje saans aayi' — if these words don't breathe new life in you, then nothing will. This melody was penned by living legend Gulzar.

13. Chikni Chameli – Agneepath (2012)

The Agneepath remake saw Katrina Kaif return to item numbers as Chikni Chameli. This was a rare item number for Ghoshal, but if Kaif brought her electric dance moves, Ghoshal brought her soul to 'Chikni Chameli'.

14. Nagada Sang Dhol Baje – Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela (2013)

Ghoshal reunited with her mentor Sanjay Leela Bhansali and she also paid tribute to Kavita Krishnamurthy with whom she won her first Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer (female) for the duet 'Dola Re'. Some called ‘Nagada Sang’ as a remake of 'Dholi Taro' from Devdas (2002), which was crooned by Krishnamurthy. 

15. Manwa Laage – Happy New Year (2014)

For all the criticism against Happy New Year, there was no ambiguity over 'Manwa Lage' being an outstanding romantic track from Shah Rukh Khan's film. Ghoshal's voice literally romances the tambourine (dafli). It was a maiden hit duet by Ghoshal and Arijit Singh.

16. Main Tenu Samjhawan Ki – Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania (2014)

Ghoshal comes only in the latter half of 'Main Tenu Samjhawan Ki', but makes her mark. It seems like she struggled with a few Punjabi words, and couldn't match up to the brilliance of co-singer Arijit Singh. All said and done, 'Main Tenu Samjhawan Ki', would still be incomplete without Ghoshal.