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 who are cast for dancing or acting skill or for celebrity rather than for singing talent.
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. 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 Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam sometimes become stars in their own right. The most famous singers like Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, K. J. Yesudas, Asha Bhosle, Alka Yagnik, Mukesh, S. Janaki, P. Susheela, K. S. Chithra, Sujatha, Udit Narayan and 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.
Known ghost singers include: