Published By: Alfaraz Laique

Why Rekha Bhardwaj is modern day Shamshad Begum

Shamshad Begum was a singing legend who was known for her versatile yet different voice texture which nobody had. For years, no one could find her alternative until after decades, we heard Rekha Bhardwaj. It is safe to say that Rekha is true successor to Shamshad Begum and her legacy.

Here are the factors which makes us believe that Rekha Bhardwaj is modern day Shamshad Begum.


It is the beautiful voice these singers have that makes them great and alike. Shamshad Begum had a slightly nasal voice which was suitable for classical folks and ghazals. She was rightly used by many music composers at that time. Rekha Bhardwaj shares the similar kind of voice. Just like Shamshad Begum, she also had a slight nasal quality in her voice which makes it beautiful. Whenever we talk of Sonu Nigam or Udit Narayan, we know that these singers have Mohammad Rafi in their voice. Just like that, Rekha Bhardwaj has a hint of Shamshad Begum in her voice and singing.

Voice quality

Rekha Bhardwaj is a classically trained singer whose distinctive voice made her a household name. Whenever you hear her voice, you know the singer and that the song is going to be awesome. She is a true successor to Shamshad Begum and her legacy. Like her, Shamshad Begum too had a different voice which was quite evocative and yet she was classically trained singer. Shamshad Begum used to sing difficult songs with ease and producers used to trust her with every musical note. The same goes for Rekha who also takes all the alaaps and notes with perfection. They both have also sung for the same themes and genre.

Not for mainstream

Another factor which brings these singers closer is the fact that their voice is not made for the mainstream romantic songs with a typical structure and narratives. These singers are known to sing special songs filled with emotions and unusual structures. Shamshad Begum has sung the legendary song Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon which was recreated with modern beats by Vishal Bhardwaj and was perfectly sung by Rekha Bhardwaj. Both the two singers have sung some memorable songs which are not the general love songs which could be sung by anyone but are specialized songs which require a singer like them to do justice.

Ghazal legends

Both Rekha Bhardwaj and Shamshad Begum are legends in their own game. They have an unmatched ability to sing ghazals where no one can beat them. Shamshad Begum has sung many great ghazals in Bollywood including Teri Mehfil Me KismatAazmakar and you can only imagine Rekha Bhardwaj singing that ghazal today.