Usha Khanna: Life story of third female music director of Hindi cinema

Usha Khanna

Usha Khanna: Biography & Life story of an Indian Music Director in Hindi Cinema

Usha Khanna is an Indian music director in Hindi cinema. After Jaddan Bai & Saraswati Devi, she is the third female music director of Hindi cinema.

She is one of the most successful music director to enter the male dominated industry. She is well known for her songs like “maine rakha hai mohabbat”, “Hum tum say juda ho ke”, “gaa deewane jhoom ke”, “Chhodo kal ki baatein”, “Shaayad meri shaadi ka khayal”, and “tu is tarah Se meri zindagi”.

She became active from 1960s to 1980s. Still she is active in making music for movies & television serials.

She debuted in 1959 as a music director in movie Dil Deke Dekho. In 1983, she received nomination in Filmfare Award for composing the songs of movie Sautan.

Early & Personal life of Usha Khanna:

Usha was born on 7th October 1941in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India. Her father Manohar Khanna was singer & lyricist.

He was working as Assistant Superintendent in the Water Works Department in the then Gwalior State. In 1946 by chance he met Jaddanbai – mother of popular hindi film actress Nargis Dutt.

On her request he started writing gazals for Hindi films as Jaaved Anwar. At that time his monthly salary was of Rs. 250 in Gwalior State and Jaddanabi offered him Rs. 800 for 3 gazals. He wrote for Jaddanbai’s Nargis Art Productions film, Romeo Juliet.

Music director O. P. Nayyar introduced Usha to Shashadhar Mukherjee. In 1959, he signed Khanna for Dil Deke Dekho.

That was a debut movie for Asha Parekh also. Later in 1061, she signed another movie with O. P. Nayyer named Hum Hindustani. After composing music for Hindi movies, Usha struggled to establish herself as a music director, despite producing many hit songs.

She also collaborated with Asha Bhosle, she referred Khanna as her daughter. This trio of usha, Asha & Rafi produced many hit songs. Many of songs sung by Mohammed Rafi under composition of Usha Khanna are still very popular like Dil Deke Dekho, Saajan Ki Saheli, Aap To Aise Na The etc.

She married to director, producer, lyricist Sawan Kumar Tak. Later on they were separated.
Saawan Kumar was the lyricist for Usha Khanna.

He wrote most of the lyrics for her songs. He directed and produced eleven movies she scored the music for. She remained quite active as a composer. In 2003, she gave music to a movie Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya with her ex-husband Sawan Kumar.

Music Career of Usha Khanna:

She often took inspiration from Arabic music. She liked it very much. She claimed that she never lifted any song directly, but that she composed something along the lines. She also sang a few songs as a playback singer.

Following are the popular songs of Usha Khanna. Spome of them are composed for movies like ‘Shabnam’, ‘Aankh Micholi’, Saajan Bina Suhagan, ‘Souten’, ‘Sajan ki Saheli’, ‘Ab Kya Hoga’, ‘Lal Bungla’, ‘Dada’, ‘Do Khiladi’, ‘Hanste Khelte’ etc.

K. J. Yesudas received Filmfare award for her song Dil ke tukde tukde for the film Dada in 1979.
She also gave music to non-Hindi movies.

In 1969, the Malayalam movie Modal Manju’s songs are still popular. Some of her Malayalam songs are ‘Nee Madhu Pakaroo’ by K. J. Yesudas and ‘Maanasa Mani veenayil’ by S.Janaki.

Later she did another Malayalam movie like Agni nilavu and Puthooram Puthri Unniyarcha. As she knew how difficult it was for her to establish herself in industry, she often gives chance to new singers.

Some of the singers are Anupama Deshpande, Pankaj Udhas, Hemlata, Mohammed Aziz, Roop Kumar Rathod, Shabbir Kumar, and Sonu Nigam. Many of them are well known singers now.
Recently she is living in Mumbai.

Are you an Entrepreneur or Startup?
Do you have a Success Story to Share?
SugerMint would like to share your success story.
We cover entrepreneur Stories, Startup News, Women entrepreneur stories, and Startup stories

Read more Biography and Life Stories of famous people of India at SugerMint. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn