|Famous for||Lending her voice to Jai Ho from the the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 165 cm
in meters- 1.65 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 5”
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|Debut as a playback singer||TV Show: Theme song of Ek Se Badhkar Ek (1995)
Jingle: Amitex Sarees in Malayalam
Hindi Song: Suno Gaur Se Duniya Walo for Dus (1997)
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Silver medal from the Global Music Awards for her album Brindavan (December 2022)
• Rajasthan Film Festival Award for best playback singer for Raah Jue Shangar Adhuro from the Gujarati film 21mu Tiffin (November 2022)
• Top Music Award under Best Playback Singer Female category for Raah Jue Shangar Adhuro from the Gujarati film 21mu Tiffin (2022)
• Gujarat Iconic Film Award for the film 21mu Tiffin (2021)
• Harvard University accredited and Cambridge University affiliated Honourary Doctorate from the Nelson Mandela Noble Peace Award committee (November 2021)
• Odisha State Award in the Best Playback Singer Female category for her song Dheu Kere Kule from the film Mimamsa (2018)
• Jury Prize at Mirchi Music Award for the film 2 States (2015)
• Maharashtra State Award in the Best Playback Singer Female category for Datale Dhuke from Timepass (2014)
• Alpha Award in the Best Playback Singer category for her song in the film Adhar
• Grammy Award for the song Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire (2010)
• World Soundtrack Award for Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire (2009)
|Date of Birth||11 July 1976 (Sunday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||46 Years|
|Birthplace||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|Hometown||Mumbai, Maharashtra, India|
|School||St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
Note: She scored 74% in class 12 and learnt how to read and write Urdu.
|College/University||R. N. Podar College of Economics|
|Educational Qualification||She completed her graduation from R. N. Podar College of Economics Mid-Day|
|Relationships & More|
|Marital Status||Not known|
|Parents||Father- Krishnamurthy Iyer (deceased)
Mother- Vijaya Lakshmi Iyer (deceased; Carnatic vocalist)
• Kalpana Iyer (eldest)
• Padmini Roy (singer)
• Shobha Ramamoorthy (singer)
• Kavita Krishnamurthy (singer)
|Singer||Lata Mangeshkar, Michael Jackson|
|Song||Mera Kuch Samaan from the film Ijaazat, Kuch Dil Ne Kaha from the film Anupama|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Mahalakshmi Iyer
- Mahalakshmi Iyer is an Indian singer who has rendered her voice for songs in various Indian languages like Hindi, Tamil, Odia, Marathi, and Bengali. She made headlines after she lent her voice to the song Jai Ho from the 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire and received a Grammy Award for it in 2010.
- In an interview, she said that she was denied admission to the R. N. Podar College of Economics as the college closed its merit list at 76% whereas she had scored 74% in class 12. She, however, managed to join the college after she showed her singing awards to the college authorities. Talking about it, she said,
I had scored around 74 per cent, and to get into Podar you needed 76. It was because of my singing that I got through; every winning certificate I had was given value to make up for the marks. Once in college, I took part in various competitions. In junior college, I fought to participate in Malhar (at St Xavier’s) as our college was only sending seniors.”
- She began learning singing from musicians like Pandit Gautam Madhusudan, Pandit Ratan Mohan Sharma, and Pandit Govind Prasad Jaipurwale from an early age. She said that her parents wanted her to learn Hindustani classical music despite her mother being a Carnatic singer. Despite being a trained Hindustani classical singer, Mahalakshmi Iyer did not receive any Visharad.
- She gave her voice to her first jingle in Malayalam for a saree brand called Amitex Sarees while she was in her first year of graduation. She was chosen to sing the jingle after a musician saw her perform at a college fest and recommended her to the jingle composers. In an interview, while talking about it, she said,
I was singing in college festivals quite regularly. Some of the musicians who came and played at our college were also professionals who were working in the film, music and advertising industry. One of them said that somebody was looking for a new voice and asked me if he could suggest my name to the producers. I happily agreed. At that time, I had no experience of recording in a studio.”
- Throughout her singing career, she has lent her voice to several jingles in French and Russian.
- She sang songs in two 1996 Assamese albums Zubeenor Gaan and Rong. The albums were composed by Zubeen Garg.
- She worked with Shankar-Ehsan-Loy and rendered her voice to the famous song Suno Gaur Se Duniya Walo in 1997 for the Hindi film Dus. The film did not release as per the schedule due to the sudden passing of the film’s director; however, the song was released in 1999 as a tribute to the director.
- She rendered her voice to the songs of the 1998 Bollywood film “Dil Se..”
- In 1998, she recorded two songs, Tumne Na Humse and Dil Se Mere, with Udit Narayan for the Bollywood film Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi.
- In the same year, she rendered her voice to the Zubeen Garg-composed Assamese albums Meghor Boron and Xabda.
- She worked with Pankaj Udhas and rendered her voice for the 1998 film Ahista.
- In the 1998 Tamil film Poonthottam, Mahalakshmi Iyer, along with Hariharan, rendered her voice to the song Meethaatha Oru Veenai.
- In 1999, Mahalakshmi Iyer rendered her voice to an A. R. Rahman-composed song Nelluri Nerajana from the film Oke Okkadu, a Telugu version of the Tamil film Mudhalvan.
- She lent her voice to several songs from the Tamil films Jodi, Mudhalvan, and Alaipayuthey in 1999. A. R. Rahman composed the songs for the films.
- She rendered her voice to the theme song of a 2000 DD National Hindi soap opera Kasamm.
- She lent her voice to the Hindi album Sparsh in the same year.
- She sang several songs for Telugu films like Priyuralu Pilichindi, Sakutumba Saparivaara Sametam, and Ammo! Okato Tareekhu in 2000.
- Mahalakshmi Iyer rendered her voice to Lahe Lahe, Kinu Xuria, and Mon Gahanot, the soundtracks of the 2001 Assamese film Nayak.
- In 2002, Mahalakshmi Iyer rendered her voice to the songs of Hindi films like Rishtey, Saathiya, and Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai?
- Mahalakshmi gave her voice to the 2002 Hindi music album Dance Masti Again.
- In Tamil films like Pammal K. Sambandam, King, and Raja, Mahalakshmi Iyer sang several songs along with Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan, and Srinivas in 2002.
- In 2003, along with K. K., Mahalakshmi Iyer rendered her voice to various songs in Tamil films like Dum, Jay Jay, and Success.
- She worked as a playback singer in 2005 with famous singers like Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, and Sowmya Raoh in Bollywood films like Bunty Aur Babli, Waqt: The Race Against Time, Dus, and Neal ‘n’ Nikki
- In 2006, she lent her voice to a Hindi TV serial titled Main Teri Dulhann.
- In the same year, she dubbed a Dhoom 2 song Dil Laga Na in Tamil and Telugu.
- She worked with Shaan and Shankar Mahadevan and sang Rock N’ Roll Soniye in the 2006 Hindi film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.
- She worked as a singer in the 2006 Hindi film Fanaa and rendered her voice to two songs, Des Rangila and Chanda Chamke.
- Mahalakshmi Iyer rendered her voice to two tracks Bol Na Halke Halke and Jhoom Barabar Jhoom from the 2007 Hindi film Jhoom Barabar Jhoom.
- In the same year, Mahalakshmi Iyer sang the Telugu version of the Hindi songs Ta Ra Ram Pum and Hey Shonaa Hey Shonaa from the Bollywood film Ta Ra Rum Pum.
- In 2008, she was one of the singers of Jai Ho, an A. R. Rahman-composed song from the British drama film Slumdog Millionaire. She received a Grammy Award for the song in 2010.
- She worked as a playback singer in the 2008 Hindi TV serial Miley Jab Hum Tum and sang its theme song.
- Mahalakshmi rendered her voice to Aapki Antara, a 2009 Hindi soap opera.
- Mahalakshmi Iyer worked as a singer in the 2009 Marathi daily soap Majhiya Priyala Preet Kalena.
- In the same year, she lent her voice to a Shankar-Ehsan-Loy-composed song Abbacha from the Telugu film Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam.
- In 2010, she worked with Shaan and lent her voice to the Hindi film Khichdi: The Movie.
- She worked with Hard Kaur and Jassi Sidhu and sang Laung da Lashkara and Rola Pe Gaya in the 2011 Bollywood film Patiala House.
- In the same year, she rendered her voice to a Marathi film’s soundtrack titled Mala Sang Na.
- She sang Khud Ko Tere from the 2012 Bollywood film 1920: Evil Returns.
- In the same year, she lent her voice to the songs of Bengali films like Khokababu, Bikram Singha, Idiot, and Khoka 420.
- She worked with Udit Narayan in recording “Ek dil banaaya, phir pyar basaaya,” the theme song a 2013 Hindi TV show Jhilmil Sitaaron Ka Aangan Hoga.
- In 2012, she sang Xamayor Lagote from the Assamese film Ekhon Nedekha Nodir Xhipare.
- Mahalakshmi sang Mayang, the Tamil version of the Hindi song Malang from the 2013 Bollywood film Dhoom 3.
- She sang Isayin Alai for the 2014 Bollywood film 2 States and received an award.
- In the same year, she was invited by TEDx, a talk show, to deliver a speech.
- In 2015, Mahalakshmi Iyer lent her voice to Marathi films like Kaay Raav Tumhi, Timepass 2, Welcome Zindagi, and 3:56 Killari, released.
- In the 2016 Assamese film Gaane Ki Aane, Mahalakshmi Iyer rendered her voice to Xaliki Puwar.
- She lent her voice to the 2017 Hindi daily soap Aarambh: Kahaani Devsena Ki.
- She sang Dure Dure Tumi from the Assamese film Nijaanor Gaan in the same year.
- In the 2018 Bengali film Wrong Route, Mahalakshmi Iyer lent her voice to the song Mon E Kemon.
- For the 2018 Marathi film Jaga Vegli Antyatra, she sang Halwa Halwa.
- Mahalakshmi Iyer lent her voice to the songs of the 2018 Odia film Mimansa and received the Odisha State Award for it.
- She later worked with Shaan in the Bengali film Raja Rani Raji and sang Ja Hobe Dekha.
- She rendered her voice for the 2019 Bollywood film Gone Kesh and sang Beimani Se.
- Mahalakshmi Iyer dubbed songs from the 2019 Bollywood film Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi in Tamil and Telugu.
- In 2021, she rendered her voice to the theme song Aggabai Sunbai, a Marathi Tv serial.
- She received an award at the Rajasthan Film Festival for rendering her voice to the 2021 Gujarati film 21mu tiffin.
- Mahalakshmi Iyer lent her voice to Bebhan, a 2022 Marathi film.
- Mahalakshmi Iyer knows many languages and can fluently speak Hindi, English, Tamil, and Bengali.
- In an interview, she said that her Canara bank account had only Rs 5,000 as savings as she was not paid well during the initial days of her career when she used to sing jingles for the ads. Talking about it, she said,
I had an account with Canara Bank with around ₹5,000. We used to get paid very little back then for the jingles. I turned over all banking responsibility to my father. Whenever I needed money, I would just ask him as there were no credit cards back then.”
- Mahalakshmi Iyer, in an interview, said that she not only wants to partake in adventure sports such as bungee jumping and sky-diving but also wants to own a room full of books. She, however, is unable to fulfil her desires due to a lack of time.
- Since Mahalakshmi did not want her to be known because of her elder sister Kavita Krishnamurthy, she did not adopt her father’s name as a surname. She said that she did not want people to draw comparisons between her and her sister and know Mahalakshmi because of her sister. In an interview, while talking about it, she said,
My dad’s name is Krishnamurthy. I did not use that as my surname. Somehow Iyer stuck with me. And, I did not want the ‘Oh, are you Kavita Krishnamurthy’s sister?’ comparison.”