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Sandhya Mukhopadhyay
Native name সন্ধ্যা মুখোপাধ্যায়
Birth name Sandhya Mukhopadhyay
Born Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Genres Bengali and Hindi Playback
Occupation(s) Singer/Composer

Sandhya Mukhopadhyay (also Sandhya Mukherjee) is an Indian singer and musician, specialising in Bengali music. Born in Kolkata, India, she received Banga Vibhushan, the highest civilian honour in West Bengal in 2011[1] and National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for her songs in the films Jay Jayanti and Nishi Padma in the year 1970.[2]

Training and career[edit]

Sandhya started her music training under the direction of Pandit Santosh Kumar Basu, Professor A T Kannan and Professor Chinmoy Lahiri. However, her guru was Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and followed by his son Ustad Munavvar Ali Khan under whom she mastered Indian classical music.

Though classically trained, the bulk of her work consists of Bengali modern songs. She began her career in Mumbai singing Hindi songs, starting with a song in the film Anjan Garh at the age of 17. Following her marriage in 1966 to the Bengali poet Shyamal Gupta she settled in her home city of Kolkata. Gupta went on to write the lyrics for many of her songs.

Her best known collaboration is arguably with the Bengali singer Hemanta Mukherjee with whom she sang numerous duets, primarily as playback for Bengali films. Hemanta and Sandhya became known as the voices behind the pairings of the Bengali superstar Uttam Kumar and his numerous heroines, most notably being the actress Suchitra Sen, whose singing voice she became. Besides Hemanta Mukherjee's compositions, her largest body of work is with Robin Chattopadhyay and Nachiketa Ghosh. She has also sung notable songs under Salil Chowdhury, Kabir Suman, and Sudhin Dasgupta's baton.

During the Bangladesh Liberation War she joined the mass movement among Indian Bengali artistes to raise money for the millions of refugees who had poured into Kolkata and West Bengal to escape the fighting, and to raise global awareness for the cause of Bangladesh. She assisted Bangladeshi musician Samar Das as he set up the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra, the clandestine radio station broadcasting to Bangladesh and recorded several patriotic songs for him. On the occasion of the release of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the imprisoned leader of the new country of Bangladesh, she released a song Bangabandhu Tumi Phirey Ele. She later became one of the first foreign artistes to visit Dhaka, performing at an open-air concert in Paltan Maidan in Dhaka to celebrate the first Ekushey February after Bangladeshi independence in 1971. She also recorded several songs for Samar Das's film Dhirey Bohey Meghna and Salil Chowdhury's Raktakta Bangla.



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