A ghost singer is a professional singer who dubs the singing parts officially credited, or billed, to another person, usually the star or co-star of a musical or film, especially those whose specialty is dancing, acting or for non-musical performers such as celebrities cast in musicals.
Dubbing, mixing, or re-recording is a post-production process used in filmmaking and video production in which additional or supplementary recordings are "mixed" with original production sound to create the finished soundtrack.
In classic Hollywood films the studios normally held back the fact that famous actors and actresses did not sing their own parts. This was especially true for the film versions of stage musicals that were written with professional musical singers in mind—with demands which most actors without excellent singing abilities and years of voice training could not fulfill. This is why even in the published soundtracks of many of these film musicals, the actors were credited for the voices rather than the ghost singers.
Differently from Hollywood, in the Indian film industry, playback singers are recognized as important contributors and mentioned in the film credits. Top singers like legend Lata Mangeshkar—the 'queen' of Bollywood music—become sometimes stars in their own right. The most famous singers like Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Alka Yagnik, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Udit Narayan or Shreya Ghoshal often voice songs for hundreds of films during their careers. The Filmfare Awards, the most prestigious awards of the Indian film industry, also recognize the best male and female playback singers every year.
A playback singer is a singer whose singing is pre-recorded for use in movies. Playback singers record songs for soundtracks, and actors or actresses lip-sync the songs for cameras; the actual singer does not appear on the screen.
Lata Mangeshkar is an Indian playback singer and music director. She is one of the best-known and most respected playback singers in India. She has recorded songs in over a thousand Hindi films and has sung songs in over thirty-six regional Indian languages and foreign languages, though primarily in Marathi, Hindi, and Bengali.
Hindi cinema, often known as Bollywood and formerly as Bombay cinema, is the Indian Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai. The term is a portmanteau of "Bombay" and "Hollywood". The industry is related to Tamil film industry (Kollywood), Telugu film industry (Tollywood) and other industries, making up Indian Cinema – the world's largest.
Known ghost singers include:
India Adams is an American singer, known as the ghost singer who dubbed the singing voices of Cyd Charisse and Joan Crawford in the mid 1950s.
Tula Ellice Charisse, known professionally as Cyd Charisse, was an American dancer and actress.
The Band Wagon is a 1953 American musical-comedy film directed by Vincente Minnelli, starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. It tells the story of an aging musical star who hopes a Broadway show will restart his career. However, the play's director wants to make it a pretentious retelling of the Faust legend and brings in a prima ballerina who clashes with the star. Along with Singin' in the Rain (1952), it is regarded as one of the finest of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals, although it was only a modest box-office success on first release.
Margaret Nixon McEathron, known professionally as Marni Nixon, was an American soprano and ghost singer for featured actresses in movie musicals. She is now recognized as the singing voice of leading actresses on the soundtracks of several musicals, including Deborah Kerr in The King and I, Natalie Wood in West Side Story, and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, although her role was concealed from audiences at the time of the films' release.
Alka Yagnik is an Indian playback singer. She is noted in Indian cinema for a career spanning over three decades. She holds a record of being the only nominee in the category of Female Playback Singer, as in the year 1994 she had four solo nomination and the fifth one was with Ila Arun. She is a record seven-time winner from a record of 36 nominations of the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer, a two-time recipient of the National Film Award as well as several other music awards and honours listed below. Further, as many as twenty of her tracks feature in BBC's "Top 40 Bollywood Soundtracks of all time" review. She has consistently been rated as the No.1 Global Artist on YouTube. She is the 3rd topmost female playback singer who has sung maximum number of female solos in her Bollywood career. She has sung 20,000 plus songs in over 1000 films.
Lip sync or lip synch is a technical term for matching a speaking or singing person's lip movements with prerecorded sung or spoken vocals that listeners hear, either through the sound reinforcement system in a live performance or via television, computer, cinema speakers, or generally anything with audio output in other cases. The term can refer to any of a number of different techniques and processes, in the context of live performances and audiovisual recordings.
That's Entertainment! III is a 1994 American documentary film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to celebrate the studio's 70th anniversary. It was the third in a series of retrospectives that began with the first That's Entertainment! (1974) and That's Entertainment, Part II (1976). Although posters and home video versions use the title without an exclamation mark, the actual on-screen title of the film uses it.
Mukesh Chand Mathur, better known mononymously as Mukesh, was an Indian playback singer. Mukesh is considered to be one of the most popular and acclaimed playback singers of the Hindi film industry. Amongst the numerous nominations and awards he won, his song "Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai" from the film Rajnigandha (1973) won him the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer.
Kedarnath Bhattacharya, better known as Kumar Sanu, is an Indian playback singer who mainly sings for Hindi and Bengali films, and is popular for rendering his voice in Bollywood movies of the 1990s and early 2000s. He was awarded the Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award for five consecutive years. In 2009, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his achievements. Sanu notably holds the Guinness World Record for most songs recorded by a singer in 24 hours with 28.
Torch Song is a 1953 American Technicolor musical romantic drama film distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Joan Crawford and Michael Wilding in a story about a Broadway star and her rehearsal pianist. The screenplay by John Michael Hayes and Jan Lustig was based upon the story "Why Should I Cry?" by I.A.R. Wylie in a 1949 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. The film was directed by Charles Walters and produced by Sidney Franklin, Henry Berman and Charles Schnee. Crawford's singing voice was dubbed by India Adams.
Kavita Krishnamurthy is an Indian film playback singer who has sung songs in Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, English, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Gujarati, Nepali, Bengali, Konkani and Odiya Etc. Trained in classical music, Kavita Krishnamurthy has recorded more than 25,000 songs in 16 languages in a career span of 30 years. Working with almost all the music composers including Laxmikant–Pyarelal, Naushad, S H Bihari, Kaifi Azmi, Anjan, O P Nayyar, Khayyam, Hemant Kumar, Ravinder Jain, Bappi Lahiri, Sameer, Anand Bakshi, Javid Akthar, Anu Malik, R. D. Burman, Hamsalekha, Zubeen Garg and A. R. Rahman. She is also the recipient of four Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Awards, including three consecutive awards in the period 1994–1996, and the Padmashri which she received in 2005. In 1999, she married violinist L. Subramaniam and residing in Bengaluru.
The King and I is a 1956 American musical film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and produced by Charles Brackett and Darryl F. Zanuck. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is based on the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical The King and I, based in turn on the novel Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. That novel in turn was based on memoirs written by Anna Leonowens, who became school teacher to the children of King Mongkut of Siam in the early 1860s. Leonowens' stories were autobiographical, although various elements of them have been called into question. The film stars Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner.
My Fair Lady is a 1964 American musical drama film adapted from the Lerner and Loewe eponymous stage musical based on the 1913 stage play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. With a screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner and directed by George Cukor, the film depicts a poor Cockney flower seller named Eliza Doolittle who overhears an arrogant phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, as he casually wagers that he could teach her to speak "proper" English, thereby making her presentable in the high society of Edwardian London.
One Touch of Venus is a 1948 American black-and-white romantic musical comedy film directed by William A. Seiter starring Robert Walker, Ava Gardner and Dick Haymes. released by Universal-International, and based on the Broadway musical of the same name, book written by S. J. Perelman and Ogden Nash, with music composed by Kurt Weill. However, the film omits most of Weill's music. The actors did their own singing, except for Ava Gardner (Venus) whose singing was dubbed by Eileen Wilson. The plot is from an original story by Thomas Anstey Guthrie.
Sunitha Upadrasta is a playback singer, anchor, host, dubbing artist & actress in the Telugu film industry, also known as Tollywood. She has received a National Award from All India Radio under light music category, two Film fare Awards for Best Female Playback Singer one each for Telugu and Kannada, 9 Nandi Awards. She was also honored with Lata Mangeshkar Best Singer Award for 2011 by the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
West Side Story is the soundtrack to the 1961 film West Side Story. Released in 1961, the soundtrack spent 54 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's album charts, giving it the longest run at No. 1 of any album in history, although some lists instead credit Michael Jackson's Thriller, on the grounds that West Side Story was listed on a chart for stereo albums only at a time when many albums were recorded in mono. In 1962, it won a Grammy award for "Best Sound Track Album – Original Cast" and Johnny Richards orchestrations of the movie score also winning a Grammy in 1962 for "Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album" further bolstering the popularity of the movie and soundtrack. In the United States, it was the best-selling album of the 1960s, certifying three times platinum by the RIAA on November 21, 1986.
Elizabeth Noyes Hand was a singer and actress best known for dubbing two of Debbie Reynolds' numbers in the 1952 film Singin' in the Rain. Today, this is a well-known example of dubbing in a movie musical: While Reynolds's character was the "ghost singer" dubbing for another character, her singing voice was actually dubbed by Noyes.
Katherine Joan Greer, known professionally as Jo Ann Greer, was an American singer.
"An Affair to Remember " is a 1957 romantic song which was composed by Harry Warren for the 1957 film An Affair to Remember. Lyrics were by Leo McCarey and Harold Adamson. The song is sung by Vic Damone during the film's opening credits and then sung later by Deborah Kerr's character, Terry McKay, a nightclub singer-turned-music teacher. Kerr's singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon, who also dubbed for Kerr in the film The King and I.
Annette Warren is a popular jazz and song stylist best known for her vocal dubbing of such stars as Ava Gardner in the 1951 version of Show Boat. and Lucille Ball in both Fancy Pants and Sorrowful Jones and is still actively performing in 2017 at the age of 95.
Simon Gilbert is an English actor and tenor. At the age of twenty one he took singing lessons with the teachers of the Australian soprano Joan Sutherland. Gilbert gradually gravitated towards Opera and The Edinburgh Festival, where sang with Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti. In 1967, he sang with Scottish Opera, for example appearing in L'anima del filosofo. Joining The Adelphi Theatre's company for the musical Show Boat, he played lead man to the show's star, Cleo Laine.