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Exclusive | Usha Uthup REACTS To Padma Bhushan Honour: ‘It’s Unbelievable Moment, Thankful to Indian Govt’


Reported By: Sonil Dedhia

Last Updated: January 26, 2024, 12:11 IST

Usha Uthup reacts to winning the Padma Bhushan.

In an exclusive chat with News18, Usha Uthup opened up about being honoured with Padma Bhushan.

Singer Usha Uthup has been honoured with Padma Bhushan award for her contribution to the field of the music industry. Popularly known as the queen of Pop Icon, the singer exclusively spoke to News18 about the honour. “It’s been an unbelievable moment. The feeling hasn’t sunk in yet. I am thankful to the Ggovernment of India for recognising my talent,” she told us.

“I have been singing for 54 years and this has all happened because of my family and the people of India who have always been supportive and encouraging me. From a simple person from a middle-class background singing in a nightclub to being conferred by the Padma Bhushan has been a long cherished journey. I don’t think I could have asked for anything better. I would also like all other winners for their great achievements,” she added.

Uthup said this recoginistion also comes with a lot of responsibility. “It is just going to encourage me to perform even better. I hope I can continue to perform with the same energy and enthusiasm that I have been doing for so many years. I believe I have a lot more to give to the audience and I hope I can carry on entertaining the people,” the singer said.

A career of over five decades, Uthup has been a rare talent in Indian music who has reinvented herself with changing times and trends, staying relevant to several generations over decades. “I am a people’s singer, I realize when people ask me what sort of music I play. It’s really impressive, particularly since you’re singing in so many various languages. For instance, I was performing at Symbiosis in Pune last night. I was singing Western music and I spotted a few Tamil people in the crowd, I immediately connected by switching to ‘Bampara kannaale kaadhal sangathi sonnale.’ I didn’t plan any of this; I just developed it show by show,” she said.

From singing jazz to folk and even pop and rock, Uthup has also sung in many languages including Hindi, Bangla, Assamese, Gujarati, Tamil, and Malayalam. In total, she has sung in 17 Indian languages and eight foreign languages. “It’s not just for the records. I am regularly singing in all these languages,” the singer said.

The singer concludes by saying that she is proud to be an Indian, “Being born as an Indian is always an advantage because we have so many religions, castes and languages. The most amazing thing about my growing years was that I never knew how it was different. I never felt there was a difference in any religion. I grew up in a Muslim neighborhood, attended a Christian school, and come from a Hindu background. Religion never mattered to us.”


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