Sunidhi Chauhan is an Indian playback singer, best known for her Hindi film songs in Bollywood. She is credited with over 2000 songs. Chauhan began to sing at the age of four, and was discovered by a local TV anchor. She won recognition through a televised singing contest, Meri Awaz Suno, which she won, and made her entrance into playback singing with the Hindi film Shastra. Her breakthrough was Ram Gopal Varma's film - Mast, in which she sang the hit song, Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi. She has been nominated for twelve Filmfare Awards, winning it on three occasions. She has also won two Star Screen Awards, two IIFA Awards and one Zee Cine Award.
Chauhan started her singing career as a child, giving her first performance at the age of four, in a local temple in Delhi. Thereafter, she began to participate in, and sing for, various competitions and local gatherings. When local TV anchor, Tabassum, spotted her talent, her family shifted to Mumbai in a bid to further develop the young singer's skills, and Chauhan became the lead singer in Kalyanji's 'Little Wonders' troupe. Recognition first met her in 1996, through the music show Meri Aawaz Suno - the first such televised contest in India - which was broadcast through the Indian national television channel, Doordarshan. She won the competition, and bagged the top prize of recording an album, Aira Ghaira Nathu Khaira, with HMV. Unluckily for Chauhan, Aira Ghaira Nathu Khaira was promoted as a children's album, and failed to get the recognition it deserved.
In 2002, Chauhan herself observed this in an interview: "My first song and the contest did not help me much. Nothing happened for a while. But by then, I had made up my mind that I will pursue singing as a career." Chauhan stepped into the world of playback singing with the 1996 Bollywood film, Shastra, after Aadesh Srivastava asked her to lend her voice to the song Larki Deewaani Dekho, Ladka Deewaana. She followed it with work in films like Gang, Veergati, Dahek, Bade Dilwala, Raja Ki Aayegi Baraat and Samar. By the age of nineteen, Chauhan had already lent her voice to over 350 songs. In Feb 2007, as part of its marketing campaign and launch of Windows Vista in India, Microsoft hired Sunidhi Chauhan to sing the "Windows Vista Song" titled Wow is Now. This song features English and Hindi lyrics proclaiming the many 'glamorous' features of the Windows Vista Operating System. Chauhan also sung for the Hindi-dubbed version of Disney's movie, High School Musical - songs which were sung by Vanessa Anne Hudgens in the English version. Moreover, she was the singer of the English language song "Reach Out" at the opening ceremony of the 2006 Asian Games at Doha, Qatar. 2008 was a highly successful year for the young singer, as she went on to deliver a huge number of superhit songs like Chhaliya (Tashan), Rock Mahi, Lucky Boy, Desi Girl (Dostana), Dance Pe Chance (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi), and Race Saanson Ki (Race), and which resulted in her winning the "Kelvinator GR8! FLO Women Award 2009" for her mind blowing contribution in Music.
In April 2010, Chauhan joined Anu Malik and Salim Merchant as a judge on the fifth season of the immensely popular singing talent show, Indian Idol 5. Chauhan has collaborated with Indian singers such as Alka Yagnik, Shaan, Udit Narayan, and is known for her popular pairing with Sukhwinder Singh (in films such as Omkara, Aaja Nachle). She is most often paired with singer Sonu Nigam, and with the successful female playback singer Shreya Ghoshal, whom many view as a stiff competition for Chauhan. Chauhan is one of the few female singers of the present generation who have lent their voice for nearly every leading actress in the Indian entertainment industry, including Aishwarya Rai, Preity Zinta, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Bipasha Basu, Priyanka Chopra, Konkona Sen Sharma and more. She has also sung for actresses of yesteryear cinema, such as Rekha. She was the main singer who lent her voice for the comebacks of two leading Bollywood actresses, Kajol, in the movie Fanaa; and Madhuri Dixit, in the movie Aaja Nachle. In 2007, while discussing Chauhan's popular song Beedi Jailaile, actress Bipasha Basu (on whom the song was picturised) said, "Sunidhi is a goddess. Her singing is so powerful. She added another dimension to my dancing." Indian singer, Lata Mangeshkar has called Chauhan "one of the finest young singers." Ironically, Chauhan's item numbers have been said to mark the end of the "squeaky Lata era",a period in which Mangeshkar's style of soft voice and classical music were preferred over racy or fast pop songs.
In October 2008, Chauhan appeared on a special episode of the singing contest, Star Voice of India, alongside composer Ashu Dhruv, to promote their film, Drona. She was also a guest RJ for India's Radio City 91.1 FM's new morning show, Musical-e-Azamwhere, over her week-long stint, she interviewed the likes of Kunal Ganjawala, Daler Mehendi, Sukhwindar, Adnan Sami and Gulzar (lyricist). Chauhan was born in Delhi. Her father is a minor theatre personality who pushed her into the music industry from a young age. She has a younger sister, Suneha She completed her schooling from Greenway Modern School, Dilshad Garden. Chauhan, who believes herself to be "the most versatile singer today," attributes her success to her parents and Indian singer Sonu Nigam. She has cited Sadma (Shock) as her favourite film; gymnastics and cricket as her favourite sports; and Akshaye Khanna and Madhuri Dixit as her favourite actor and actress, respectively. Chauhan also loves western music, and cites Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson as her inspirations. She has noted that one of her ambitions is to achieve global fame like them. She is also known for her admiration of international divas Celine Dion and Whitney Houston