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Apart from playback singing, Ghoshal has appeared as a judge on several television reality shows and she also appears in music videos. She performs in musical concerts around the world. She has been honored by the United States state of Ohio, where Gov. Ted Strickland declared 26 June 2010 as "Shreya Ghoshal Day". In April 2013, she was honoured in London by the selected members of House of Commons of the United Kingdom. She also featured five times in the Forbes list of the top 100 celebrities from India. In 2017, Ghoshal became the first Indian singer to have her wax figurine in Madame Tussauds Museum.
Her mother used to help her in her rehearsals and she accompanied her on the Tanpura and started practicing mostly Bengali songs. At the age of six, Ghoshal started with her formal training in classical music. She acquired training from Late Kalyanji Bhai for 18 months and continued her classical music training with Late Mukta Bhide in Mumbai. Her first stage performance was made at a club's annual function. When she turned six, she started her lessons in Hindustani classical music. In 2000, at the age of sixteen, she participated and won the television music reality show Sa Re Ga Ma (now Sa Re Ga Ma Pa) on the channel Zee TV.
On 5 February 2015, Ghoshal married her childhood friend Shiladitya Mukhopadhyaya in a traditional Bengali ceremony. Before getting married, Ghoshal dated him for almost 10 years. According to Ghoshal, apart from being a singer, she, loves to travel and read books but it's cooking that has a healing effect on her.
Ghoshal caught the attention of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali when she participated in the 75th children's special episode of Sa Re Ga Ma. Bhansali's mother was watching the show and during Ghoshal's performance, she called him to watch her performance, after which he decided to give her a chance in his next film. According to Bhansali, Ghoshal's voice had the innocence needed for the character of Paro in Devdas (2002).
I remember I was asked to rehearse the song once before finally recording it. I simply closed my eyes and sang without a break. When I opened my eyes, I noticed a lot of excitement and chaos outside the recording room. Then Sanjayji told me I had sung the song so well that they had recorded it at one go.
-- Ghoshal sharing her experience of recording "Bairi Piya"
She was an immediate success and was called by various regional film industries for recording songs in her voice. Ghoshal was next heard in Darbar-composed Desh Devi, where she performed three tracks for the film.
After rendering traditional semi-classical songs for her previous ventures, Ghoshal performed two seductive numbers for M. M. Kreem's Jism, which prevented her from being stereotyped. According to Ghoshal, "Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai" and "Chalo Tumko Lekar Chale" from the film "made everyone look at [her] in a new light", opening the doors to a "versatile image". She was awarded with another Filmfare trophy for Best Female Playback Singer for the song "Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai". She thereupon worked with Anu Malik, where she performed the female version of "Aye Meri Zindagi", "Seena Pada" and "Aai Jo Teri Yaad", along with the bhajan-styled "Har Taraf". In spite of providing vocals for "Har Taraf", Ghoshal also made her first on-screen appearance in Saaya. Apart from Inteha, Ghoshal provided vocals for Malik in two other films, Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. and LOC Kargil, where she recorded the song "Chann Chann" for the former and "Pyaar Bhara Geet" for the latter, along with Sonu Nigam. Besides, Ghoshal made her first collaboration with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy by performing the female version of the song "Tu Hi Bata Zindagi". Calling her singing "effortless" in the song, The Hindu mentioned that she was "able to impart the required emotions" for the song.
In 2004, Ghoshal contributed to the soundtrack album of Thoda Tum Badlo Thoda Hum by performing four tracks, which were labelled with an "average" tag by Joginder Tuteja from Bollywood Hungama. However, he was "impressed" with Ghoshal's rendition from her songs in Khakee, where he affirmed that Ghoshal's voice suits Aishwarya Rai to the "core" and she "lends credibility to the entire song" in "Wada Raha". Besides, the two duets with Nigam; "Dil Dooba" and "Youn Hi Tum Mujhse", were equally favored by music critics. Further complimenting her vocals in the song "Hum Tumko Nigahon Mein" and "Soniye" from Garv, Tuteja asserted that Ghoshal's "vocals have started to suit the current breed of actresses better and better with each passing day". Apart from Dil Bechara Pyaar Ka Maara, Ghoshal worked with Nikhil-Vinay in other projects, by recording "Betab Dil Hai" from Phir Milenge, and "Woh Ho Tum" from Muskaan.
During the time, Nadeem-Shravan composed Tumsa Nahin Dekha: A Love Story was considered to be the biggest album for Ghoshal, as she sang all the numbers with an exception of one song. She performed a wide variety of songs--from a jazzy number to soft romantic tunes--in the album. According to Ghoshal, the album allowed her to "experiment with the entire range" of her "singing capabilities". Besides, Ghoshal lent her voice for Malik, where she sang "Tumhe Jo Maine Dekha" and "Gori Gori" for Main Hoon Na apart from the title track--which received the maximum praise from critics.Mid Day affirmed that Ghoshal provided "perfect accompaniment" for the track, while Rediff.com was "impressed with her rendition". The year marks her first collaboration with Rajesh Roshan and Daboo Malik by singing the melodious track for the former composed "Saansein Ghulne Lagi" from Aetbaar and performing the track "Shikdum" from Dhoom, for the latter.
Ghoshal at "Carvaan-E-Ghazal" celebrations
Ghoshal was bestowed with her second National Film Award for her rendition of "Dheere Jalna" in Paheli. As claimed by Daily News and Analysis, the song "treads the fine balance between the classical and popular genre of Hindi film music". Barring the song "Dheere Jalna", Ghoshal was heard in two other tracks "Kangna Re" and "Minnat Kare", composed by M.M. Kreem. She provided vocals for Kreem in one of his another compositions: "Guzar Na Jaye" from Rog. With the film Parineeta, she made her first collaboration with Shantanu Moitra. She performed four tracks from the film alongside Nigam, which includes "Piyu Bole", "Kasto Mazza" and "Soona Man Ka Aangan". Thereupon, the duo worked for the soundtrack album of Yahaan, performing a soulful track "Naam Adaa Likhna", "Urzu Urzu Durkut" and a Punjabi track "Mele Chaliyan". Ghoshal's work in both the films was widely acclaimed, subsequently being nominated for the Filmfare Awards with the song "Piyu Bole". Reportedly, Ghoshal was selected to sing the female rendition of the track after being auditioned by many other artistes. In an interview, Moitra stated; "Pradeep wanted a little trill of laughter in the middle of the song and she did it effortlessly".
Along with "Piyu Bole", Ghoshal received another Filmfare nomination for her rendition of the song "Agar Tum Mil Jao" from Zeher. The song along with "Jaane Ja Jaane Ja" from the same film was acclaimed by music critics. Apart from providing supporting vocals for Himesh Reshammiya's "Aashiq Banaya Aapne", Ghoshal's voice had been used in some of his other compositions released during the year. However, while reviewing Malik-composed "Pehle Se", Bollywood Hungama wrote: "Ghoshal sings in a mature manner and does well once again to prove herself as a dependable playback singer". Similar sentiments were echoed for the song "Bolo To" from Shabd which was composed by Vishal-Shekhar.
2006 marks Ghoshal's first collaboration with Ravindra Jain in film Vivah, where she performed three duets with Narayan titled "Mujhe Haq Hai", "Do Anjaane Ajnabi" and "Milan Abhi Aadha Adhura Hai". For the album, she also recorded "Hamari Shaadi Mein" with Babul Supriyo and two sisters conversation song "O Jiji" with Pamela Jain, along with a bhajan performed with Jain. Ghoshal's "obsessive" vocals were appraised in Roop Kumar Rathod's composition, "So Jaoon Main" from Woh Lamhe. Despite the length, the version was particularly acclaimed from the album. During the year, Ghoshal performed her first ever duet with Sunidhi Chauhan--though they have contributed in multi-singer songs together--with the Salim-Sulaiman's composition, "Imaan Ka Asar" from Dor. In spite of providing backing vocals for Lage Raho Munna Bhais "Bande Mein Tha Dum", Ghoshal and Nigam performed a romantic duet titled "Pal Pal", a composition by Moitra. For the song, she received a Best Female Playback Singer nomination at the 52nd Filmfare Awards. She was next heard with Vishal Bhardwaj in the song "O Saathi Re", which exudes the feeling of intimacy and deep love. Ghoshal's low pitch rendition in the song was positively noted by critics.
In 2006, Ghoshal sang "Pyaar Ki Ek Kahani", "Koi Tumsa Nahin" and "Chori Chori Chupke Chupke" for Rajesh Roshan-composed Krrish which were also favored by the critics. Reviewing the album, Bollywood Hungama wrote: "Ghoshal is extremely competent and justifies her continued presence in the big league". They also mentioned that Ghoshal has reached to a similar level of Alka Yagnik in terms of "class, quality and style".
In 2007, Ghoshal recorded a thumri in the mujra style for Khoya Khoya Chand. Titled "Chale Aao Saiyan" and composed by Moitra, the song was particularly praised for Ghoshal's "different" vocal structure. She even lent her voice for two other songs for the album; "Sakhi Piya" and "Thirak Thirak". She reunited with Moitra for Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, where she performed "Hum To Aise Hain" along with Chauhan which also had Swanand Kirkire and Pranab Biswas lending supporting vocals.Raja Sen found "Kachchi Kaliyaan" song from the film less appealing with its "bad remix background" though praised Ghoshal, Chauhan, KK and Nigam for giving the song "the vim it requires". Apart from providing background alaap in Monty Sharma's composition "Masha-Allah", Ghoshal was heard in the classically oriented numbers "Jaan-E-Jaan" and "Sawar Gayi", included in the album Saawariya. She also recorded her first track in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali's composition, "Thode Badmaash" for the same album, providing a "feminine quality" to her "temperate nuances".
The duo also worked with the classical track "Mere Dholna" for Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007), performed beside M. G. Sreekumar, which was acclaimed with special mention to the taan towards the "climax of the song". Ghoshal also lent her voice for Vishal-Shekhar with few of his compositions and was particularly praised for the theme song of Ta Ra Rum Pum along with the romantic song "Main Agar Kahoon" and the dance song "Dhoom Taana" from film Om Shanti Om, where some critics compared her singing style of the latter with S. Janaki. In the year, Ghoshal worked with Ilaiyaraaja for the album Cheeni Kum.
In 2011, Ghoshal recorded hit duet song "Saibo" in film Shor in the City with Tochi Raina, a composition by Sachin-Jigar. Satyajit from Glamsham reported, "Sweetly toned and mesmerized with mellifluous flows of Shreya Ghoshal singing, the first outing "Saibo" is a smoothening surprise that extols the feel of romanticism to perfection". Later that year, Ghoshal sang the duet "Teri Meri" in film Bodyguard with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. A Himesh Reshamiya composition, the song received positive to mixed reviews.NDTV labelled the song as "moderately paced and average". Ghoshal later collaborated with Bappi Lahiri in the duet "Ooh La La" from film The Dirty Picture. Abid from Glamsham stated that Shreya Ghoshal manage to keep up the fun tempo with an improvised and highly entertaining and excellent renditions. Ghoshal received further two nominations that year at Filmfare Awards for songs "Saibo" and "Teri Meri.
In 2012, Ghoshal rendered her voice for popular item song, "Chikni Chameli" from film Agneepath. The song was composed by Ajay-Atul and was a remake of their own Marathi song "Kombdi Palali" from film Jatra. Joginder Tuteja of Bollywood Hungama stated, "A special word for Shreya Ghoshal too who changes her singing style in a big way and comes up trumps. She gets the kind of rustic flavour that was the need of the hour and is superb in her rendition." Ghoshal received her one of the two Filmfare nominations of the year for the song. Later, she revealed that she "wasn't very comfortable" singing the song because of its vulgar lyrics and requested the makers to change few words in it. The same year, she performed four songs, all composed by Sajid-Wajid for film Rowdy Rathore which received mixed reviews from critics. For the duet song "Dhadang Dhang Dhang" performed by Ghoshal alongside Sajid, Devesh Sharma of Filmfare remarked, "Shreya Ghoshal puts the '90s ka tadka' in her rendition" and for lullaby song "Chandaniya" he said, "Shreya Ghoshal sounds uncannily like Alka Yagnik and proves that she is a singer for all occasions". Joginder Tuteja from Bollywood Hungama stated in relation to "Chandaniya", "Shreya Ghoshal can fit into any mode as per the demand of the situation". The song "Tera Ishq Bada Teekha" received mixed reviews from music critics. Ghoshal then lent her voice in a Four-part harmony song, "Radha" from Student of the Year alongside Udit Narayan, Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani which garnered critical appreciation. In the same year, she again collaborated with A.R. Rahman for a duet song "Saans" from film Jab Tak Hai Jaan along with Mohit Chauhan. The song received positive to mixed reviews by critics. At the poll conducted by Indiatimes, the song Saans won the title of "Most Romantic Song of the year 2012". The song earned Ghoshal second of her two Filmfare nominations of the year.
2015 started with Ghoshal's another collaboration with A.R. Rahman in Tamil film I. Besides rendering vocals for original Tamil duet "Pookkalae Sattru Oyivedungal" alongside Haricharan, she also dubbed its Hindi version "Tu Chale" alongside Arijit Singh and Telugu version "Poolane Kunukeyamantaa" alongside Haricharan. The original Tamil version song "Pookkalae Sattru Oyivedungal" was met with positive reviews by critics, with most critics praising the vocals of Ghoshal. Nicy V.P. from International Business Times commented on Tamil version, "Haricharan's crystal clear voice, Shreya's Hindustani driven singing lead to a chart-buster, here. With regards to Shreya Ghoshal, we have to dig deep the dictionary to come up with some new adjectives to praise her singing." Later that year, Ghoshal sang the female version of song "Hasi" from film Hamari Adhuri Kahani composed by Ami Mishra which got critical precedence over male version sung by Ami Mishra himself. Devesh Sharma from Filmfare remarked, "The female version of Hasi, sung by Shreya Ghoshal, works better than the male version, sung by guest composer Ami Mishra himself. Ghoshal elevates it with her superb effort and the softer arrangement works better for it overall." Ghoshal also performed the female version of the song "Gaaye Jaa" for the film Brothers composed by Ajay-Atul which received positive reviews from music critics. The Times of India stated, "Shreya Ghoshal scores brownie points for her rendition". Glamsham praised Ghoshal's vocals labelling them "sugary sweet and superbly controlled". Bollywood Life commented, "Shreya Ghoshal amazes the listener by making this situational song such a great listen and just for her lovely voice, one has to put this song on a loop" The same year saw Ghoshal again collaborating with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Bajirao Mastani.
In early 2016, Ghoshal provided vocals for duet "Tere Bin" from film Wazir alongside Sonu Nigam. Composed by Shantanu Moitra and written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, the song opened to positive reviews by critics. Labelling the song as "a beautiful start for the film", critics from Bollywood Hungama commented, "Though the sound of song is quite classical for a film which is set in the current times, one can well expect that it would fit in well into the narrative." Ghoshal was next heard in song "Tum Bin Jiya" in film Sanam Re, composed by Jeet Ganguly. It was a recreation of a song with same title from 2001 film Tum Bin sung by K.S. Chitra and composed by Nikhil-Vinay. The song received positive to negative reviews. Ghoshal sang the songs "Mere Aankhon Se Nikle Aansoo" and "Ishq Ki Baarish" written by Sameer and composed by Nadeem Saifi in the film Ishq Forever for which critics compared Ghoshal singing style to veteran singer Alka Yagnik. For the song "Mere Aankhon Se Nikle Aansoo", The Times of India commented, "Shreya create magic in [the song], which is straight from the heart. Ghoshal provided vocals for song "Aatach Baya Ka Baavarla" in Marathi film Sairat composed by Ajay-Atul which was well received by critics. Ghoshal's collaboration with Ankit Tiwari in song "Jab Tum Hote Ho" from film Rustom was critically well received. Devesh Sharma of Filmfare labelled the song "sombre" and praised use of Ghoshal's "melodious" voice in the song. Ghoshal was next heard in Tamil film Devi in which she rendered her vocals for song "Rang Rang Rangoli". Ghoshal also dubbed Hindi version of the song titled "Ranga Re" as the film was released along with Tamil in Hindi and Telugu as well with Telugu version "Rang Rang Rangare" being sung by Swetha Mohan. India West praised the Hindi version by quoting, "Ghoshal proves that she can tread Sunidhi Chauhan terrain effortlessly in parts of the song, and her strong vocals once again put up a strong case for playback singers (females)". The Tamil version of song also opened to positive reviews.
In early 2017, Ghoshal rendered "Aashiq Surrender Hua" duet along with co-singer and composer Amaal Mallik from the film Badrinath Ki Dulhania. the song in itself was much appreciated for its quirky lyrics which were penned down by lyricist: Shabbir Ahmed. "Aashiq Surrender Hua" was one of the rare songs in which Ghoshal was heard in a lower register than what she usually sings in. As Swetha Ramakrishnan from Firstpost reiterated, "The best thing about the song is Shreya Ghoshal singing in a lower pitch; something one rarely gets to hear." In regards to the singers, Gaurang Chauhan from Bollywood Life stated, "Both are a unique choice for such a song and they nail it." Ghoshal was next heard in "Rozana" from the film Naam Shabana for which Ghoshal's vocals were specifically met with critically positive reviews. Shriram Iyengar from Cinestaan mentioned, "Ghoshal's voice brings a mesmerising touch to the song, with a perfect balance of happiness and contentment." Praising Ghoshal's vocals in "Rozana", India West commented, "To say that she makes the best out of this increasingly rare occasion in film music is superfluous." Apart from rendering vocals for A R Rahman composed 'Do Dilon Ke' duet along with Hariharan in the Hindi dubbed version of the film: Viceroy's House, Ghoshal also lent her voice for duet 'Hans Mat Pagli 'in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha alongside Sonu Nigam. Both songs were critically acclaimed. Joginder Tuteja from Bollywood Hungama stated that "The combination of Sonu-Shreya takes the song to a different altogether and worthy of repeat hear."
In 2017, Ghoshal also sang "Thodi Der" duet with co-singer and music director Farhan Saeed for the film Half Girlfriend. She received a Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer nomination for the song. Komoi stated, "Ghoshal's voice as sweet as honey mesmerizes the listener in Thodi Der". Glamsham reported, "Ghoshal is simply fantastic and [song] can be put on repeat mode". In the same year, Ghoshal sang two songs in fifth episode of Mixtape, a web series launched by T-Series for which she received positive response. Ghoshal's four Kannada songs were included in The Times of India list of "10 Best Romantic Songs of 2017", which are "Usire Usire" from Hebbuli, "Ondu Malebillu" from Chakravarthy, "Ninna Snehadinda" from Mugulu Nage and "Chippinolagade" from Maasthi Gudi. Her Telgu song "Blockbuster" from Sarrainodu was voted as number one in 10 Best Party Songs of 2017 by the same.
2018 started for Ghoshal collaborating with S. Thaman for the song "Mandhaara" from Bhaagamathie. She later provided her rendition for "Allasani Vaari" from Tholi Prema. She also lent her voice to four songs for the delayed film Phir Se... (2018). Ghoshal continued with song Ghoomar from the period drama Padmaavat, along with Swaroop Khan. Composed by film's director Sanjay Leela Bhansali himself, it was based on the traditional music and dance forms performed by the Rajput queens of Rajasthan. The song was well received, with critics praising Ghoshal for her rendition. Gaurang Chauhan from Times Now noted, "Sung by ever dependable Shreya Ghoshal and legendary Rajasthani folk singer Swaroop Khan, Ghoomer is appealing and will be, if not already, a favourite among dance performers across India." The song was viewed over 10 million times in a single day. Ghoshal was next heard in the recreated version of "Ek Do Teen" from Tezaab (1988) in Baaghi 2 and the title track of Dhadak (2018).
One of Ghoshal's earliest musical memories is listening to her mother, Sarmistha Ghoshal, singing classical Bengali songs at clubs. As a very young child, she was introduced to music by her mother, whom she refers as her first "guru". She states that her mother is her best critic.
Ghoshal has performed songs with a lower vocal range. Her voice has been described as "sweet" with "slight huskiness". In an interview, Ghoshal noted that her voice has transformed from the "girlish tenor" of the earlier days to a more matured texture. Her voice is characterized in the media for being most suitable for higher-pitched renditions, although some critics have said that her voice tends to screech when she reaches a higher note of scale. Similarly, in the book Confession of a Coward -- an Indian Adventure, it was stated that Ghoshal's high-pitched vocals are interesting and impressive, but "certainly take some time getting used to it". Ghoshal has voiced against correcting pitch with Auto-Tune. About her singing and rehearsing style, she has said, "I have a special way of writing the lyrics when it is dictated to me. No matter what the language of the song, even if it is Bengali, I write it in Hindi. I have certain notations and markings to indicate the way it should be pronounced. I feel the Devanagari script is the closest to the phonetics of the language. English letters are not very good for that purpose. Moreover, I listen carefully and try to grasp as much as possible when the lyrics are read to me".
What makes Ghoshal remarkable among her contemporaries, according to The Indian Express is, the "serenity in her voice" and the "enviable range". Further complimenting her versatile vocal range, they noted: "The honey-dipped inflection of [her voice], which once put in the recording studio, can turn into naughty, sensuous, serious, sad, comic and pure classical, depending on the requirement of the job". Naming her as the "most versatile singer of this generation", India West remarked the smoothness of her voice when flowing from "lower registers to higher notes". According to The Times of India, Ghoshal maintains the "touch of versatility" with her music by singing different style of songs from classical to pure commercial music. In 2003, Ghoshal admitted that she modulates her voice well, hence "none of the music directors have yet been able to label me".
Ghoshal took vocal lessons and did workshops with Kalyanji Virji Shah, where she learnt the technique about "throw of voice, straight notes, vibratos". She considers classical music training as an asset in playback since it "keeps one's voice fit and fresh". Music director Shekhar Ravjiani praised Ghoshal for her singing versatility. According to Sonu Nigam, the best quality about Ghoshal is that the expressions come perfectly along with mannerisms. Music director and singer M. Jayachandran praised Ghoshal by saying, "It is amazing how she writes down the lyrics in Hindi and then gives her signature nuanced expressions to Malayalam words". During her interviews, Ghoshal mentioned, "I cannot sing double meaning songs or the songs which have vulgar lyrics".
In 2012, Ghoshal appeared in the Forbes Celebrity 100, a list based on income and popularity of India's celebrities. She remained in the top fifty spots for five consecutive years, listed at the forty-second spot in 2012-13, the twenty-eighth spot in 2014, the thirty-third spot in 2015 and the twenty-eighth spot in 2016. In 2013, Forbes India placed her in their "Top 5 Celeb100 Singers and Musicians" list. She is the only Indian singer to include in the list of Verve's 50 Power Women Of 2016" list.
Ghoshal is also known for her style and fashion sense. Ghoshal has said that she has been offered acting roles which she has declined, citing her lack of interest in it. In 2013, the UK-based newspaper Eastern Eye placed her forty-third in their "50 Sexiest Asian Women" list. In 2015, it placed her seventh in their "Greatest 20 Bollywood Playback Singers" list. She was listed third among the "Top Ten Hottest Female Bollywood Lead Singers" by MensXP.com, an Indian lifestyle website for men.
Ghoshal is active on social media. She is the sixth most liked Indian personality on Facebook and 47th most followed Indian personality on Twitter, according to the statistics of Socialbakers. She is among the top ten most searched Indian singers on Google Search. In March 2017, she became the first Indian singer to have a wax figure of her made for the display in Indian wing of Madame Tussauds Museum in Delhi.