Three Big Khans of Bollywood in the role of playback singers

The three big Khans of Bollywood fully dominated the scene since mid-1990s, and with the second half of 1990s, all the three experimented with their singing talents as well. It’s not a big surprise all these songs got noticed as well. How often have three big Khans rendered their voice for a Bollywood song? Let us see. Also read: Top 15 songs sung by leading Bollywood stars.

Aamir – The first one to step into the shoes of playback singer through ‘Khandala’ song

Aati Kya Khandala from Ghulam

Actors’ voices have been incorporated into songs at many occasions since the talkies. As far as I know, among the three Khans, the first one who set into the scene as a full-fledged playback singer was Aamir Khan with the sensational ‘Aati Kya Khandala’ from 1998 film – Ghulam. The song was a huge chartbuster, and became the anthem of the year, particularly noted for the phrases – ‘E Kya Bolti Tu‘ and ‘Aati Kya Khandala’. Very soon the rest two Khans too stepped into the shoes of Aamir. Salman Khan marked his singing debut the following year with the song, Chandi Ki Daal Par. Quite coincidence, both these songs were duets, Alka Yagnik played the female part and most surprising part is that Rani Mukerji played the female role on screen as well.

Shah Rukh Khan – the last one to step into the shoes of a playback singer marked his singing debut the following year with the song, Apun Bola for the movie, Josh (2000). Aishwarya Rai and Priya Gill shared screen space with Khan for this beautiful song, and the female voice was rendered by Hema Sardesai.

Bollywood songs sung by Aamir Khan till now

Aati Kya Khandala’ marked Aamir Khan’s debut as a playback singer, and he won a Filmfare nomination for the same. The following year, he rendered his voice for the ’millennium’ song, “Dekho 2000 Zamana Aa Gaya” for the movie, Mela (1999). He sang the song aside Lesle Lewis and Hariharan. But the song couldn’t replicate the success of ‘Khandala’ magic though it was expected to be. It was meant to be a welcome song for the next millennium.

Same year his voice was used for the popular song of Sarfarosh aside Alka Yagnik – Is Deewane Ladke Ko. Though Aamir’s voice was not used as a full-fledged singer, his recital of shayari and dialogues played a significant role to make the song a chartbuster. His voice was also used for “Bum Bum Bole” song aside Shaan for Taare Zameen Par.

Most recently, as a full-fledged singer Aamir Khan experimented with his voice for the movie, Dangal and the song is “Dhaakad”. This promotional song was widely accepted by movie buffs. The song also had another version sung by rapper Raftaar.

Apun Bola – Still remains the only song of SRK as a full-fledged singer

Apun Bola from Josh

Josh happened in 2000. After that Shah Rukh has never attempted as a singer. In fact he recited one poem – “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” for his film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan in 2012. In between he recorded a song in his own voice for his IPL music video for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the year 2008 – Run Just Run.

Most recently SRK revealed that he can’t attempt to sing a song again. After the recording of his first song, ‘Apun Bola Tu Mera Laila’ itself, the actor realized that singing is not his cup of tea. In fact ‘Apun Bola’ composed by Anu Malik was cut into several pieces, and later strung together and yet the actor found it challenging to hold the tune.

When Salman Khan surprised everyone with Mein Tera Hero song

salman khan songs

Mein Tera Hero song

Salman Khan marked his singing debut in 1999 with the song, Chandi Ki Daal Par. Salman’s presence as a playback singer couldn’t guarantee the success of the film, and the movie received heavy blow at box office. After that Salman has groomed for a few peppy numbers in Bollywood.

In 2014 he sang a few peppy numbers for his blockbuster hit – Kick. His voice was used for the second version of – Jumme Ki Raat, Hang Over and Tu Hi Tu. But the promotional song of Mein Tera Hero was indeed very beautiful, and Salman was also featured in the song. It was for the first time Salman really did ‘playback singing’, and the movie starred Aditya Pancholi and Athiya Shetty.

Other leading actors/actresses who played the role of a seasonal singer

Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin from Meri Pyari Bindu

Ashok Kumar started off as a singing star with the new era of talkies and later moved to character roles. After a long break, he gave Bollywood its first rap song through 1969 film, Aashirvaad. Rail Gaadi song is still loved by kids and was very popular when it got released too. Big B has proved his versatility as a playback singer in the very popular “Mere Angane Mein” and “Rang Barse” in the early 1980s. During his second innings too he has sung for many movies, but got greatly appreciated for Mein Yahaan Tu Wahan from Baghban. He has sung quite a few times earlier too. 

Sridevi sang the title track of Chandini aside Jolly Mukherji and the song was a smash hit. Madhuri Dixits voice was used for one song in Devdas. Sanjay Dutt and Abhishek Bachchan are two leading names belonging to this genre. Abhishek Bachchan’s Right Here Right Now for the movie, Bluff Master was indeed popular. Alia Bhatt is currently hogging in limelight. Farhan Akhtar and Priyanka Chopra are a few more among the list of A-grade actors known for their singing skills as well. Ajay Devgn‘s voice was used for a couple of songs of Bol Bachchan

The most popular – Senorita song from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara had the voices of its lead actors – Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol and Farhan Akhtar and was an instant chartbuster. Saif Ali Khan’s voice has also been used for quite a few occasions for movies such as Tashan, Go Goa Gone, Hum Saath Saath Hain etc, though not as a full-fledged singer. Same is the case of Kareena Kapoor too. Shradha Kapoor has rendered her voice for some of the popular songs such as Galiyan (Unplugged) from Ek Villain, Do Jahaan from Haider, Bezhubaan from ABCD 2 and Sab Tera from Baaghi. Most recently Parineeti Chopra made her singing debut through Maana Ke Hum Yaar Nahin from Meri Pyari Bindu.

Let us mention a few songs of big names belonging to this category

Sanjay Dutt and ‘E Shivani’ song – In the 1990s, it became a trend for leading actors to sing songs, Sanjay Dutt started off with ‘E Shivani’ song from Khoobsurat in 1999. The song was a chartbuster. Same year, his voice was used for ‘I Love You Bol Daal’ song for the movie, Haseena Maan Jaayegi. Both these peppy numbers didn’t express Sanjay’s versatility as a playback singer, and both these were ‘dialogue-type’ songs rather than melodies. Govinda’s voice was also heard in the song. Later his voice was used for the songs – Rama Re for Kaante, Chaha Tha Rumhe for Hathyar, a couple of songs for Munna Bhai MBBS, Aim Kaim of Plan, Tez Dhaar and Rabba of Musafir, and a few more.

Alia Bhatt who sings a promotional song for every film – Now one of the top actresses of B’Town is in limelight for her sensational promotional songs she sings for every film. All the songs belonging to unplugged versions are well received by social media and youtube viewers as well. The trend started in 2014 with the films, Highway and Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya. “Sooha Saaha” of Highway and the soulful female version of “Samjhawan” were recorded in Alia’s voice, and the later went on to become an instant chartbuster. “Ikk Kudi” of Udta Punjab, “Love You Zindagi (Club Mix)” and “Ae Zindagi Gale Laga Le” of Dear Zindagi and “Humsafar” of Badrinath Ki Dulhania are the songs recorded in her voice later.

Ik Kudi from Udta Punjab

If I have missed any popular song sung by Khans of Bollywood, leave as reply.

Also read: 15 songs sung by leading stars of Bollywood


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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