The Authorised Biography of Usha Uthup
I’ve enjoyed a long and abiding friendship with Usha Uthup, and this book shares the gifts of her friendship with the world-her tenacity, charm, wit, and compassion are woven through its pages. Vikas Kumar Jha’s compelling narrative and immersive storytelling confirm what I have long known: Usha’s legacy is more than her extraordinary musical talent. It is also the grace, fearlessness, and wisdom with which she lives her life.— Shashi Tharoor, member of Parliament
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.
About the translator
Srishti Jha is a journalist, with stints at India Today, as a principal correspondent, and Hindustan Times, as the digital editor of lifestyle. She currently works as an independent journalist, writer, and translator.