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Shubha Mudgal (born 1959) is a well-known Indian singer of Hindustani classical music, Khayal, Thumri, Dadra, and popular Indian Pop music.
She has been awarded the 1996 National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film Music Direction for 'Amrit Beej', the 1998 Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music, at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival, for her music in the film Dance of the Wind (1997), and the Padma Shri in 2000. She is also close to movements like ANHAD and SAHMAT.
Born in an academic family to Skand and Jaya Gupta in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Both her parents were Professors of English Literature at Allahabad University, with deep interest in Classical Hindustani Music and Kathak. Her paternal grandfather, Prof. P. C. Gupta was also a Professor at Allahabad University.
She attended St. Mary's Convent Inter College. As a young girl she started learning Kathak in Allahabad following the foot steps of her sister. She once replied to a dance examiner's routine query of "Aap kis gharaane ki naachti hain?(What style/form do you dance?)" with the retort, "Hum apne gharaane ki naachte hain (I dance my own style)". She later switched to Hindustani Classical Music as her vocation of choice while maintaining the same individualistic attitude. Her first traditional teacher (guru) was Pandit Ramashreya Jha in Allahabad.
Shubha moved to New Delhi, and enrolled at the Delhi University. She continued her musical education under Pandit Vinaya Chandra Mudgalya at the urging of her first guru Pandit Ramashreya Jha. Pandit Vinay Chandra Mudgalya had started Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, New Delhi in 1939 from his home near Plaza cinema, Connaught Place. Professor Maudgalya is best remembered today for the lyrics of the song Hind Desh ke Niwasi in the animation film Ek Anek Aur Ekta by Vijaya Mulay which won the National Film Award for Best Educational Film After graduating from the University, her training continued under Pandit Vasant Thakar in Delhi, and more informally with other established singers as Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki, Naina Devi and Pt. Kumar Gandharva.
Shubha Mudgal started performing as a Hindustani classical singer in the 1980s, and gained a certain reputation as a talented singer. In the 1990s, she started experimenting with other forms of music, including pop and fusion varieties. She says, "I believe in music. Khayal and Thumri are my favourites, but that does not mean that I should not experiment with other forms. Why should I curtail my musical urges?" asks the singer and adds, "I want to allow the artist in me to come through. If you are a musician, how can you say, 'this one is from devotional poetry, so I am not going to sing it. In addition to her recordings and concerts, she briefly ran a website called raagsangeet.com aimed at lovers of Classical Indian Music.
Mudgal sang the title track of Star Plus's No.1 serial Diya Aur Baati Hum along with Kailash Kher. It is a very soulful, classical-based Rajasthani folk song. She also give her voice to Mystic India Film By BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and Imax.
After graduating from University, Shubha married Pt. Mudgalya's son Justice Mukul Mudgal, a retired Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court who headed the Mudgal Committee, comprising Additional Solicitor General of India L Nageswara Rao and senior advocate and former cricket umpire Nilay Dutta, appointed by the Supreme Court to conduct an independent inquiry into the allegation of corruption, betting and spot-fixing in 2013 Indian Premier League. Shubha Mudgal however got divorced from him and married Aneesh Pradhan. Her only son from her previous marriage, Dhaval, is a lead singer in a famous Delhi-based band Half Step Down and a promising poker player.