Birthday: 25-10-1982

Monica Dogra is a singer/ actor born in Baltimore, Maryland, U. S. A. She is the daughter of Indian immigrants. She went to Oakleigh Elementary school, Montessori, Dulaney High school and later on, to Wickham Institute of Music, NYU, from where she graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in music. Her walk to stardom was no easy walk in the park; instead, she admits that she struggled quite a bit to afford her college she had waited tables, and bartended. That was how her first spark of music ignited. She says that she discovered Velvet Revolver and The Donnas at a rock and roll spot, which was the turning point in her life. One thing led to another in her life and the rock group 'Shaa'ir+ Func' was formed, along with award-winning guitarist Randolph Correia. In an interview, she was heard saying “lyrics to songs came quite naturally from that bank of poetry that I have written over years”.

Their first album was “New Day: The Love Album” which had been released in 2007.This hit was followed by “Light Tribe” (2008),”Mantis”(2010) and “Re: Cover” (2014).She was nominated, along with Priyanka Chopra, for the Europe Music Award in the Best Indian Act category. Her debut movie was “Dhobi Ghat” (2011) playing the role of 'Shai' alongside Aamir Khan. Her first song in Bollywood was “Dooriyan Bhi Hain Zaroori” from the movie “Break ke Baad”, along with Vishal Dadlani. Her other movie projects include“David” (2012),” Fireflies” (2012) and “Tera Suroor". She will also be seen in “Mastaan “along with veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah and his son in the crime thriller.

She was among the judging panel for Rolling Stone's ‘Never Hide Sounds’ musical talent contest and also as a judge in “The Stage” alongside Vishal Dadlani. She was seen as the host in “The Deewarists” as well on Star World India. Another work she prides herself over is the song 'Shivering' from her upcoming album 'Spit'. “I’m in a phase of reinvention, ” she says in an interview about 'Spit'. The location is set in the Alsisar Palace of Rajasthan, amidst the vast desert. The main theme of the song covers the gender-shifting, as seen over a span of many years. It traverses through many myths, fairy tales, and folklores; where women were punished for their curiosity and disobedience. The video also depicts mainstreaming transgender representation in popular culture and collapse gender binaries operating around us.

Through dance, imagery and music, she intends on bringing all these stories into a single time frame and place. The idea first struck her when she was attending a Live Art installation, protesting gender violence along with the transgender activist Aher Abheena. It made her realize the kind of impact made when traditional boundaries of art and commodity system are dissolved. This also led her to act in Rosie Haber's short film “Relapse”, along with queer right activist Casey Legler, as a queer wife to Cole, who self-defines as Trans and takes to hormones. She will be acting a role as well as singing the song “Yeh Dil” in the upcoming Bollywood rom-com “Haaye Dil”. She had also been nominated as one of India’s Most Beautiful Women in 2010 by First City Magazine.

Monali Thakur Hindi Actress

Monali Thakur

Monali Thakur is a Kolkata-born playback singer and actress. Born in a musical family, Monali's father is a renowned Bengali Playback singer and her sister, Mehuli Thakur, is also a Playback singer. Monali's singing talent was initially recognized when she'd won the Best Playback Singer award at the 'Amandalok Awards', for the serial 'Sri Rama Krishna' at the age of 14. She'd been trained under Padma Shri Pandit Jagdish Prasad and Padma Shri Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty for Hindustani music. Monali's singing career started when she auditioned for Indian Idol 2 (the Indian version of Pop Idol) in 2005. Monali had been well acclaimed for her singing by the judging panel that included Anu Malik, Sonu Nigam, and Farah Khan. She was placed ninth in the competition, but recognizing her potential in singing; Anu Malik introduced her to Bollywood in the movie Jaan-e-Man. However, she had her share of struggle as a newborn in the industry. Her wait for a breakthrough had a full stop when Pritam Chakraborty gave her a chance in “Khwab Dhekhe” (sexy lady) for the Bollywood thriller 'Race'. The film directors were so impressed by her voice that she was offered a second song in the same movie. This song 'Zara Zara Touch Me' changed her career. The song was a big hit in the box-office and was the fourth most played song during the first half in Indian radios. Monali had been nominated for the IIFA Best Female Playback Singer Award, and she also won the Apsara Award for the Best Female Playback singer, for the same song. She won the prestigious National Award for the Best Female Playback Singer for 'Sawar Loon' for the movie 'Lootera' in the year 2014. Many Bollywood hits followed her that includes Raghupati Raghav (Krrish 3),Khudaya Khair (Billu Barber), Anjana Anjani Ki Kahani (Anjana Anjani), Dil Ye Ladaku (Sala Kadoos) and many more. Her song 'Moh Moh Ke Daage' for the movie Dum Laga Ke Haisha won her the Best Female Playback singer in the Guild Awards 2015 and is also nominated for the National awards this year. This “Singing-Diva” is also a renowned actress. She first appeared on the screen in a Bengali soap 'Alokito Ek Indu', where she played the lead role Indubala. Her debut as an actor was in Raja Sen's Bengali film “Krishnater Will”. She made her Bollywood debut in the award-winning “Lakshmi”, where she played the role of a 15-year old village girl who gets trapped in child prostitution. The story depicts Lakshmi’s struggle and the way she fights back and win the case against the traffickers. Her flawless acting in this movie won her the prestigious South-Asian International film festival in Washington D. C for the Best Actress. She had made an appearance in the Aamir Khan starrer 'PK'. She will be seen next in Abbas Tyrewala’s multi starrer 'Mango', which is set to release later this year. Monali was also a part of a couple of short films like 'Jingle Bells' along with Nandita Das and 'Didi'. She was among the judging panel in the Bengali music reality show 'Bengali Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'l Champs' for two years. She was also a part of Coke Studio and had also appeared in the Bengali show “Key Hobe’s biggest fan”. Her field of expertise also includes Hip-Hop, Bharatanatyam and Salsa.

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