Item Numbers in Hindi Songs

Hindi Songs as ‘Item numbers’ were used in Bollywood from as early as 1950’s. Nadira as we all know, was the first item girl ever seen in Bollywood, lured Raj kapoor in Shree 420 with ‘mudhh mudhh ke naa dekh’ but Helen remained the queen bee with many hits like Mera Nam Chhin Chhin Chhoo, Mehboobaa Mehboobaa, Piya Tuu etc. she wooed the entire nation throughout the 60’s; and is still being considered a bollywood icon by many these days. Earlier item numbers were considered the forte of certain oomph queens like Helen, Aruna Irani, Bindu and the top actress stayed away from it. But now times have changed and our leading ladies have embraced these item numbers. Item numbers have helped many unknown faces get recognition and propelled their careers. Regardless of the films’ luck at the box office, an item song typically becomes a rage with the audience and sticks in audience’s memory for a long time.

During the early 90s the item numbers mould was broken by Mani Ratnam’s movie ‘Bombay’, in which people saw a sensuous Sonali Bendre dancing to Hummaa Hummaa as the entire nation rocked with its beat.

These days, we have scores of item girls who have lured the audiences with raunchy numbers like Bipaha Basu in Hindi song ‘Beedi’ and ‘Namak’, Mallaika Arora in ‘Honth Raseele’,‘Chhaiyya Chhaiyya’, and ‘Kaal’, Aishwarya R. Bachchan in ‘Kajra Re’ &‘Ishq Kameena’, Sameera Redy in ‘Rubba Rubba’, Koena Mitra in ‘Saaki Saaki’, Isha Koppikar in ‘Khallas’, to name a few not counting many others.

Later, our very own Mithun Chakravathy legitimized item numbers with heroes when he made the country dance to his tunes in his ‘I am a Disco Dancer’. Rishi Kapoor followed suit strumming his guitar to ‘Ohm Shaanti Om’ in Karzz.

Gradually the Baadshah of Bollywood SRK also surfaced as the king of item numbers with performing on hindi songs like Dard-e-Disco, Chhaiyya Chhayiya, Krazy 4 and Kaal Dhamaal,. Hrithik Roshan as well as Abhishek Bacchchan also joined the legacy in their very own respective super hit Item numbers.

There are many reasons for the popularity of Hindi songs as item Numbers, it helps to lighten the situation. A lot of Helen songs and recently ‘kajra re’ in Bunty aur Bubly was used for the same, to refresh the mood. Also many times these sultry sizzling and peppy item numbers are the central attraction of the movie. The movie is recognized by certain item song and even though the movie might be a flop if the item number is good enough, it survives. Like in case of ‘shakti’, though the movie flopped ‘Ishq kamina’ went on to become a huge crowd puller.

These songs are so catchy that they capture audience’s imagination and become a rage. The tracks are so peppy that you listen and you are ready to twist.

Sunidhi Chauhan is the undisputed queen of bollywood. With her sensuous and versatile voice she has hundreds of item songs to her credit. She has sung item numbers for the biggest banners in Bollywood. From Aisa Jadoo in khakee to Beedi Jalaile in Omkara, sunidhi has lent her voice to almost all the leading ladies and a plethora of new comers. So much so that Bipasha Basu credits the success of her performance in Hindi song ‘Beedi’ to Sunidhi’s voice.

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