Usha Uthup Iyer was born on 7 November 1947 in Mumbai in a Tamil Iyer family, her father was a resident of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Usha’s schooling took place in Mumbai, where she was thrown out of class by the music teacher for not fitting her voice. Usha’s parents used to listen to a variety of songs from western classics on the radio, then Usha also used to sit with them and listen to songs. A friend living in the neighborhood advised him to learn Hindi and go towards Indian classical singing. With the help of this, a different Indian pop was made in the 70s.
sang for the first time at the age of 9
When Usha was 9 years old, she sang for the first time in front of the public. His sister was also struggling to make a career in music. He was the one who introduced Usha to Ameen Sayani, who was a famous personality of radio at that time. Usha started her music career in 1989. He started singing in small nightclubs. After this, she started performing in big hotels in many cities, from Mumbai to Kolkata. Then he got his first salary – Rs 750. Later he got 1500 rupees a month for singing in nightclubs. At that time no one used to get so much money for singing in nightclubs. Similarly, Dev Anand visited a nightclub in Delhi and gave Usha a chance to sing in the movie. This is where his Bollywood career started. He sang English numbers for ‘Bombay Talkies’. Although he was supposed to sing ‘Dum Maro Dum’ with Asha Bhosle, but something happened that this opportunity was snatched from him. He got a chance to sing only the English version.
sung with giants
Wearing a large bindi on her forehead, jewelery with beads around her neck and a Kanjeevaram saree, Usha’s popularity gradually increased. He recorded pop songs in English, which was well received in the Indian market. He also initially spent some time in London. In the 70s and 80s, Usha sang many songs with RD Burman and Bappi Lahiri. She has also been a judge of the reality show ‘Bharat Ki Shaan: Singing Star Season 2’ (2012). He has also sung the title song of the first season of the famous TV show ‘Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai’.
Do you know that apart from singing, Usha has also acted. In 2006, he acted in the Malayalam movie Pothan Vava. She was seen in a cameo role in ‘Bombay to Goa’. She also played the role of a maid in Vishal Bhardwaj’s ‘7 Khoon Maaf’.
Interesting anecdote from Kerala
Usha had told in an interview to Hindustan Times that she had a show in Kerala. A huge crowd had gathered to watch the show. When she reached there sitting in the ambassador car, the policeman stopped her from going inside. He told his name and said that he is the singer, but the policeman could not believe it. After this he lowered the glass of the car and showed his bindi-bracelet, when he got entry. This story was very funny.
first and last scandal
Usha was deeply in love with her husband Jani. She herself told that she was very romantic at the age of 22. She used to be happy just seeing Jani’s eyes. He had told that Jani was the first and last scandal of his life, which he got married. Usha and Jani met at a nightclub where Usha used to perform.
Usha’s house is in Kolkata
Usha was last seen on TV in ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ in the year 2019. He sang for the Bengali movie Phire Takao in the same year. She lives in Kolkata only.