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The Queen of Indian Pop: The Authorised Biography of Usha Uthup

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Item Code: UBI214
Author: Vikas Kumar Jha
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2022
ISBN: 9780670095872
Pages: 306 (Throughout Color Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 470 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
About The Book

Usha Uthup, India's undisputed icon of pop music, has enthralled an entire generation of listeners with her unforgettable voice and continues to do so. Completing fifty years as a professional singer in 2020 was just another milestone in her fabled career.

In this vivid biography, which was originally written in Hindi, Vikas Kumar Jha captures the entire arc of Uthup's career in music. From her childhood days in Mumbai and her first gigs singing with jazz bands in Chennai's glitzy nightclubs to her meteoric rise as India's musical sensation and her philanthropic work, Jha covers it all and manages to weave a narrative that is colourful, inspiring and bound to keep any reader engrossed till the end.

Uthup is known for such evergreen hits as 'Hari Om Hari', 'Rambha Ho' and 'Jeete Hain Shaan Se, and her voice transcends genres. When she takes the stage, in her elaborately designed sarees and trademark bindis, she embodies a unique liveliness, unparalleled in the realm of Indian music. Jha meticulously explores Uthup's sense of freedom, her struggles, and her constructive and creative attitude towards work and life.

This pitch perfect English translation, by Srishti Jha, offers the reader a front row seat to the life and times of the inimitable Usha Uthup.

About the Author

VIKAS KUMAR JHA is a leading media personality and author. He was the bureau chief of Outlook Hindi (2002-4) and the Bihar state head of News Express Channel (2013-14). His book McCluskieganj: The Story of the Only Anglo-Indian Village in India was awarded the Katha UK Honour at the House of Commons, London.

SRISHTI JHA is a journalist, with stints at India Today, as principal correspondent, and Hindustan Times, as the digital editor of lifestyle. She currently works as an independent journalist. writer and translator.


To narrate the story of the queen of Indian pop music, it is essential for me to remember the late Anjan Das. In the Ramcharitmanas, Tulsidas wrote, 'Again, with a sincere heart, I greet the unkind, who are hostile without purpose even to those who are friendly, to whom others' loss is like a personal gain, who seek joy in others' desolation and wail over their prosperity."

Anjan Das, a resident of Bhowanipore in Kolkata, was Usha Uthup's Studio Vibration's man Friday. Whenever someone was unavailable for any studio work, Anjas Das filled in for them. The jack of all trades. Since my teenage years, I have been an ardent fan of Usha Uthup's fascinating and free-spirited songs, and when I decided to become a journalist, it was the obvious urge to do a detailed interview with her. But unfortunately, I was confronted by her man Friday each time I called requesting a meeting. He reminded me of Bali's son Angada, who challenged everyone in Ravana's court to move his leg, and no one actually could.

In his unrelenting tone, which was backed by a broken mixture of Hindi and Bangla, he used to say, 'Not possible! Didi is very busy.' This went on for about two and a half decades or so. Almost every trip to Kolkata was a failed attempt, as Anjas Das would have the same response, and just to make my trip worthwhile, I would interview some other eminent personality and return.

During that phase, I had the privilege of interviewing many larger-than-life personalities, like the legendary actor Utpal Dutt's wife, Shobha Sen, who, in her heyday, was one of the most reputed actresses in Bangla cinema; the Bengali actress Debashree Roy, famous Bengali writers Shyamal Gangopadhyay, Sunil Gangopadhyay and Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, among others. But each time, I would return with this unfulfilled feeling, of not being able to meet one of my most favourite singers. I started to believe that Anjan Das was the Angada in my life who would never let me meet her. Ever.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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