Alka Yagnik was born in Kolkata on 20 March 1966 to Gujarati Hindu Parents. Her mother Shubha Yagnik was a singer of Indian classical music. She attended the Modern High School for Girls in Kolkata.
In 1972 at age six, she started singing for “All India Radio”, Calcutta. At age 10, her mother brought her to Mumbai as a child singer. She was advised to wait until her voice matured, but her mother remained determined.
Later Alka got a letter of introduction to Raj Kapoor from his Kolkata distributor. Kapoor heard the girl and sent her with a letter to noted music director Laxmikant.
Impressed, Laxmikant gave her two alternatives — an immediate start as a dubbing artist or a later break as a singer; Shubha chose the latter for her daughter.
In a career spanning over three decades she has sung many duet songs, most of these have been with Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan. She has also sung many duets with Abhijeet, Hariharan, Vinod Rathod, Sonu Nigam and Shaan .
She has also been involved in various projects pertaining to empowerment of the girl child.