Malini Awasthi is an Indian singer who is best known for singing folk songs predominantly in Hindi and Awadhi dialects. Semi-classical forms of music such as Sohar, Banna, Holi, Kajri, Jhoola, Vivaah, Nirgun, Chaiti are her genres of singing. The government of Uttar Pradesh honoured her with the Yash Bharti award in 2006 for her exceptional contribution to classical music. She was honoured by the government of India in 2016 with the ‘Padma Shri’ which is the fourth-highest civilian award of India.
Malini Awasthi was born on Saturday, 11 February 1967 (age 54 years; as of 2021) in Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh, India. Her zodiac sign is Aquarius. She completed a post-graduation degree in Hindustani classical music from Bhatkhande University, Lucknow. Later, she pursued M.A. in Modern History with a specialization in Medieval and Modern Indian Architecture from the University of Lucknow.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Her father’s name is Pratham Nath Awasthi, and he was a doctor at the government hospital at Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh. She has two siblings, one elder brother and a sister.
Husband & Children
Malini Awasthi’s husband’s name is Awanish Kumar Awasthi, and he is a senior IAS officer and Principal Secretary of the Uttar Pradesh government.
The couple has a son and a daughter named Adwitya and Ananya Awasthi, respectively. Adwitya is married and his wife’s name is Gayatri.
Malini Awasthi began singing in her teens as a high-grade radio artist on All India Radio, and during the same time, she started performing in various musical shows on Doordarshan.
Malini Awasthi is a regular performer of the three-day Sufi music festival named Jahan-e-Khusrau which is arranged every year in New Delhi, India. In her musical stage shows, the audience often demands her to sing ‘Thaare Raho Baanke Shyam’ in the Thumari genre. Malini Awasthi appeared as a participant on the singing reality show titled Junoon aired on television channel NDTV Imagine in 2008.
Malini Awasthi made her Bollywood debut with the song ‘Mann Ki Aasha’ from the movie Bumm Bumm Bole in 2010. Her song titled ‘Sundar Shusheel’ from the movie Dum Laga Ke Haisha was a hit in 2015. Agent Vinod (2012), Bhagan Ke Rekhan ki – Issaq (2013), and Chaarfutiya Chhokare (2014) are some other Bollywood movies in which Malini Awasthi was a leading singer. The singing festivals in which Malini Awasthi regularly performs are Thumri-Festival and Rag-rang-Festival, Taj-Mahotsav, Shruti-Mandal-Samaroh, Kumbhal-Gardh-Festival, Heritage-Festival-Pinjore in Punjab and Haryana. In foreign countries, she often represents Indian culture through her folk songs at various cultural events on regular basis such as Indian festival celebrations in the Netherlands and Vishwa Bhojpuri Sammelan in Mauritius. In 2007, she visited Pakistan for a Cultural Performance. In 2011, Malini Awasthi went to London for a Cultural Performance in the South Bank centre. In the same year, she moved to Fiji for the ICCR 40th anniversary celebration. Her performance was greatly appreciated at the Independence Day celebration in Houston in the USA in 2004. Her singing passion was widely acknowledged at the ‘Festival of India’ in Mauritius in 2015 and the Cultural Concert in Philadelphia and Los Angeles in 2016.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
In 2006, Malini Awasthi was conferred with the Yash Bharti award by the Uttar Pradesh Government. In 2016, she was honoured with the Padma Shri award.
In 2019, Malini Awasthi was honoured with the Indian Airforce medal by Air Marshal Nambiyar.
- Malini Awasthi’s parents had a taste in music. Her father used to carry his children to watch live music concerts in Uttar Pradesh in her childhood. Malini and her siblings used to attend various musical shows that gradually led Malini to develop an interest in music. In an interview with a media reporter, Malini explained that she grew up listening to long-playing records at home when she was only five years old. She said,
My parents were not singers but had a taste for music. We (elder brother, sister and I) grew up listening to LP records at home, mostly classical renditions of musical stalwarts, thanks to our father. My sister used to take lessons from a guru who used to come over at 5.30 am. I joined his early morning class when I was barely five.”
- Shujaat Husain Khan and Rahat Ali Khan, the legendary Indian folk and classical singers are the masters of Malini Awasthi. She learnt ghazals and Sufi songs from them when she was fourteen years old. Malini said in a conversation with a renowned media house that she learnt Sufiyana and ghazals from Rahat Ali of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. She said,
Shujaat Husain Khan and Rahat Ali Khan. I received lessons in folk, classical, Sufiyana and ghazals from Rahat Ali. I was barely 14 then and to get an opportunity like this only helped me hone my voice and perfect the nuances.”
- Malini Awasthi is a disciple of Padma Vibhushan ‘Vidushi Girija Devi’ of Banaras Gharana. Vidushi Girija Devi is a legendary Hindustani classical singer.
- In 2012 and 2014, Malini Awasthi became the brand ambassador of the Uttar Pradesh Elections. She was appointed by the election commission of Uttar Pradesh.
- Malini Awasthi has received her music education from Bhatkhande Music Institute in Lucknow. Once, she was performing a singing show at the institute where her singing was noticed by legendary Hindustani classical singer Vidhushi Girija Devi. Malini Awasthi was recommended by Vidhushi Girija Devi to join her singing school in Kolkata to get higher skills in music. Malini Awasthi affectionately calls Vidhushi Girija Devi Appajee. Malini was super excited on listening that she received an opportunity to learn music from such a great classical singer of India; however, she did not join Vidhushi Devi at that time as her marriage was fixed with Awanish Kumar Awasthi, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre. In a conversation with a media house, Malini Awasthi stated that she got a very supportive husband who helped her in meeting Vidhushi Devi and getting music education from her after their marriage when Awanish Kumar Awasthi was posted in Varanasi. She said,
I am blessed to have him as my life partner who has supported and encouraged me all through.”
- Malini Awasthi is a ‘Centenary Chair Professor’ in the Bharat Adhyan Kendra at Banaras Hindu University.
- Various renowned newspapers, magazines, and tabloids often cover the life stories of Malini Awasthi in their editions.
- Malini Awasthi was very passionate to pursue her music and singing career even after becoming a mother of two children. She used to attend musical stage performances all over India and at the All India Radio channels along with her small children. Malini Awasthi travelled through buses and trains to pursue her dreams. Her mother and mother-in-law sometimes joined Malini Awasthi to these musical concerts. In an interview with a media house, she narrated her level of attachment to music. Malini Awasthi said,
There used to be chain bookings in those days. I had performances at three places – Raipur, Raigarh, and Ambikapur – and I carried my daughter who was four and son who was one and a half to all these places, with my mother and mother-in-law in tow because I didn’t want to miss it. Such was my level of attachment to music.”
- Malini Awasthi was invited for planting a sapling on World Environment Day in 2019 by the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Keshav Javadekar.
- Malini Awasthi has been widely acknowledged on her social media account for her pictures in ethnic dresses and her music videos. On her Instagram account, Malini Awasthi is followed by more than 106k people and on Facebook, she has more than 610k fan following.
- Malini Awasthi loves travelling to different locations in her free time with her family members.
- Malini Awasthi was trained by Ustaad Shujat Hussain Khan when she was young. In a conversation with a media house, Malini Awasthi narrated that she had been trained in three different gharanas. She explained,
What a beautiful question to address! Because I have been trained in three different gharanas. Initial training was in Rampur gharana. My guru was Ustaad Shujat Hussain Khan saab. He was the grandson of Ustaad Mushtaq Hussain Khan saab. I was around 10 when he taught me the first lessons of classical music. Lata ji and Asha ji were the benchmarks and in non-filmy, Begum Akhtar was considered the supremo.”
- In 2020, amid corona lockdown in India, Malini Awasthi composed and sang a song that had the lyrics to obey and follow the instructions related to the COVID-19 disease that were issued by the government of India. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated her efforts in a Tweet.
डरना नही, मुस्कुराना है, मिलकर इसे अब हराना है।सुनिए, सुनाइये ❤️कल #जनताकर्फ्यू के दिन घर में सुनिए और सुरक्षित रहिए। @narendramodi @narendramodi_in@PMOIndia#CoronaSong #MaliniAwasthi #IndiaFightsCorona#IndiaFightsCoronavirus pic.twitter.com/nlKqN22X68
— मालिनी अवस्थी Malini Awasthi (@maliniawasthi) March 21, 2020
- Malini Awasthi is a compassionate animal lover. She is often spotted feeding stray animals outside her house. She has also pet dogs and cats at her home. Malini Awasthi often shares pictures of her pets on her social media accounts.
- Malini Awasthi gave a controversial statement on an Indian news channel on 11 September 2021 that she was stopped from singing a bhajan on Doordarshan that had the lyrics that Lord Rama was born in Ayodhya. Malini Awasthi stated,
Since I am inquisitive by nature, I asked them what’s the problem with this composition. They said it refers to Lord Rama’s birth in Ayodhya. Being a follower of Sanathan Dharma, this was unacceptable to me. We have celebrated Lord Rama’s birth in Ayodhya for years. I told them I cannot record any other hymn if you are seeking to deny the truth.”