Sudha Malhotra was born on November 30, 1936 in New Delhi. Sudha spent her childhood days in Lahore, Bhopal and Firozpur. She completed her graduation in music from Agra University. Sudha Malhotra gained her grooming in Indian classical music, under the guidance of Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan and Pandit Laxman Prasad Jaipurwale. She began her musical career at a tender age of five. Her talent was discovered by the then famous and revolutionary music director Ghulam Haider, at a programme in Firozepur in the aid of Red Cross. With her enrapturing beauty and melodious voice she chiselled out her career to perfection as a child artist in All India Radio, Lahore.
Later, Sudha gained new heights by joining film singing at the age of eleven. Singing has always been the first love for Sudha and in this field, with her very first break as a playback singer in the film Aarzoo, under the baton of Anil Biswas
, with an evergreen song 'Mila Gaye Nain..', she showed promise of a competent voice. She sang with Manna Dey
and Parul Ghosh in the films 'Aandolan' and 'Vande Mataram'.
She sang in the films Aarzoo, Dhool Ka Phool, Ab Dilli Door Nahin, Girl Friend, Barsat Ki Raat, Didi, Kala Pani, Prem Rog, Dekh Kabira Roya, Gauhar, Dil-e-Naadan, Babar and many more. Sudha’s versatility led to more films and different kinds of songs. Each time it was a challenge that gave her listeners another treat. During the making of the film Didi, the music director N. Dutta fell ill and the track was needed urgently. Young Sudha was the singer. Always ready to rise to the challenge, Sudha stepped in and took over. She composed the song 'Tum Mujhe Bhool Bhi Jao..', recorded it and made the delivery on schedule time. It was but naturally, a hit. Besides singing in Hindi films, Sudha has sung in many regional languages also.
The most saddening part of her career was that by singing more of children songs and motherly numbers in movies like: Ab Dilli Door Nahin, Andher Nagri Chaupat Raja, Jeevan Saathi and Masoom, Sudha was labelled as a "typed singer". But determined Sudha proved everybody wrong. Her bhajan in Kala Pani 'Na Main Dhan Chahun..' became immensely popular. She sang the famous qawwali 'Ishq Ishq..' in the film Barsat Ki Raat. This song was recorded for a period of twenty-nine continuous hours. She was awarded the Kala Bhushan award by Gyani Zail Singh, the then president of India.
Sudha got married in the year 1960 and as a result she gave up singing for the films. Interestingly, she quit the film world immeadiately after recording her life's one of the most famous song, a melodious duet with Mukesh
: 'Tum Mujhe Bhool Bhi Jaao To Ye Haq Hai Tumko...' (Didi).
It takes an extraordinary person to give up unlimited potential for fame and glory and settle for the anonymity of marital harmony. Once again it was her conviction that helped Sudha. Sudha’s spirit has always been irrepressible. Success comes from within and Sudha was determined. So Sudha sang bhajans in her family mandir and a new devotion was born. She has come out with a number of bhajan cassettes. Besides, she has many LPs of ghazals and bhajans. She has sung the famous shlokas, ‘Mano Buddhi Hankar’, for the Chinmayanand Mission, which thereafter was repeated by many other singers. Ghazals have also been her forte’. She has sung under the direction of Jagjit Singh, Khayyam
, and Jaidev
etc. and has cut many discs. Today Sudha’s zest for life is as unconquerable as ever.
Many years later she came back to sing in the film Prem Rog. Her voice qualty was still good. The year was 1982.