Salma Aagha (born October 25, 1966 Karachi) is a British Pakistani singer and actress who sang as well as acted in Indian films in the 1980s and the early 1990s. Her first film was B.R Chopra’s Nikaah for which she won the Filmfare Best Female Playback Award for the ghazal “Dil Ke Armaan Aasooome Beh Gaye.
Agha was born into a Pakistani Muslim family in London, England. She is a granddaughter of 30’s/40’s famous actor Jugal Kishore Mehra and Punjabi actress Anwari Begum who played the roles of the first ever made Heer Ranjha (1932). Salma Aagha’s Mother Nasreen Aagha being born to a star pair bagged the lead with K.L. Saigal in A.K. Kardar’s Shahjahan A prized role of those times (1946) and Ek Roz (1947). Salma’s entire family was settled in London. Salma studied in London and for further studies went to Switzerland where her father Liaquat Gul Aagha ran a Persian carpet business.
Salma along with sister Sabina produced and sang for a record called ABBA AND AGHA â€“ Salma and Sabina Aagha sang ABBA hits in Urdu. The record made a few waves and was applauded by critics. When acclaimed Indian director Raj Kapoor was at the London reception of his son Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh’s wedding, he invited his cousin Nasreen Aagha (Salma’s mother) to the reception, As Nasreen Aagha’s Father Jugal Kishore Mehra was Raj Kapoor’s Uncle. Present at the wedding were many prominent Indian directors, including B.R. Chopra. Chopra had just finished a female oriented hit with Zeenat Aman called Insaaf Ka Tarazu. He had just commissioned a heroine-oriented movie called Talaq and was on the lookout for a Muslim actress. Zeenat Aman (even though half Muslim) he felt had a much too urban look to portray the character of Neelofar in his movie. Raj Kapoor too was on the lookout for a Muslim girl for his movie Heena. Soon Raj Kapoor mixed plans and went ahead with Prem Rog. Hearing that Chopra was looking for a Muslim girl, Salma flew to Bombay to meet him. Using her uncle Raj Kapoor’s connection, Salma was soon hired. When the music directors heard Salma’s ABBA hits they signed her on to sing her own playback songs. The songs were a huge success even before the movie was released. The movie got stuck with the Islamic clerics who were to approve the movie before its release. They insisted on a name change and Chopra rechristened the movie Nikaah. The movie went on to be a huge success and is considered a classic. It is one of the strongest debuts for an actress and a huge vehicle for a newcomer. She earned a Filmfare nomination as Best Actress. In addition to winning the Filmfare Best Female Playback Award for the song “Dil Ke Armaan,” which was a great honour for salma being a newcomer since the nominees were Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle she also earned two Filmfare nominations: one for the song “Pyar Bhi Hai Jawan” and the other for the song “Dil Ki Yeh Arzo” After Nikaah’s success Salma didn’t sign any other project right away as she wanted to do a film which would give her looks and screen appearance a total change, and even though it took a while before she signed on to her second project, but her music kept playing in every corner possible. She finally found the right project that would give not just a change to her appearance but also to her music. And so she signed on to Babbar Subhash’s Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki with Mithun Chakraborty and Smita Patil. The movie was publicized with huge pictures of Salma, which in turn upset and overshadowed Mithun. This movie became Salma’s second release and another hit. She earned a Filmfare nomination for the song “Jhoom Jhoom Baba” which was a super hit back in the day and still is known to be one of the songs which people love to groove to even now. Salma Aagha was later approached by producers and directors in Pakistan for films which were being made as co-productions between Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and far east, which turned out to be a contract for a large number of films. And Salma was known for her Singing and Acting in all these countries as well. She sang songs in Bengal, Rajasthani, Gujarati and won a number of awards for these songs She did a Pakistani Film called Bazaar-e-Husn which was the first in Pakistan to have won awards in Russia. Her performance was outstanding and as a result it was remade in India by Rajkumar Kohli called Pati Patni Aur Tawaif starring Salma Agha Mithun Chakraborty and Farha Naaz. Salma once again got to play the same role and mesmerize the audience with her singing, acting, dancing and most of all her striking looks which people would die for and keep coming back to the cinema halls. The music was again a hit by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Salma kept going strong with her music, looks and popularity which lead to a title role called ‘Salma’ By Ramanand Sagar starring Raj Babbar, Salma Agha, Farooq sheikh Shoma Anand. The music again was outstanding by Bappi Lahiri