Usha Timothy was a popular playback singer in the Hindi film industry. Other than Hindi, she has also sung in Bhojpuri, Marathi, Punjabi and Malayalam.
She was born in a Christian family in Nagpur, Madhya Pradesh. Her father worked for the CBI and Madhusudan, her elder brother, is a violinist in All India Radio. She was discovered at the age of seven by the composer duo Kalyanji-Anandji. She trained in music with Pt Lakshman Prasad, Pt Shivram and Nirmala Devi. It was Mohammed Rafi who taught her the ropes of playback singing.
She got her first break from Pandit Shivram in the film “Durga Pooja” (1962). She was thirteen at the time. The next song she recorded was a duet with Mohammed Rafi, “Tu Raat Khadi Thi Chhat Pe” for the 1964 film “Himalay Ki Godh Mein” which became a superhit upon release.
Some of her popular songs are “Taqdeer Ne Kya” (“Sunehre Kadam”, 1966), “London Paris” (“Parivar”, 1967), “Dhol Baja” (“Vishwas”, 1969), “Honthon Pe” (“Raat Ke Andhere Mein”, 1969), “Are Rafta” (“Kahani Kismat Ki”, 1973), “Ho Bairi Saiyaan” (“Uljhan”, 1975) and “Kali Kali” (“Farishta Ya Qaatil”, 1977).