Pankaj Udhas is a ghazal singer who hails from Gujarat, along with his siblings Manhar Udhas and Nirmal Udhas. He started his career with a release of a ghazal album titled " Aahat " in 1980 and subsequently recorded many hits like "Mukarar" in 1981, Tarrannum in 1982, Mehfil in 1983, Pankaj Udhas Live at Royal Albert Hall in 1984, Nayaab in 1985 and Aafreen in 1986 after seeing his unprecedented success as a ghazal singer all over the world, he was invited by Bollywood to appear and sing for "Naam". Udhas rose to further fame for singing in the 1986 film Naam, in which his song "Chitthi Aayee Hai" became an instant hit. After this success he gave playback for many Hindi films. Numerous albums and live concerts around the globe brought him great distinction as an accomplished singer.In 2006, Pankaj Udhas was awarded the coveted Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian award."Padma Shri Awardees". Retrieved 19 December 2011.
Pankaj Udhas was born in Jetpur in Gujarat to a Gujarati family and is the youngest of the three brothers. He hails from Charakhdi, a small village near Rajkot in Gujarat. His parents are Keshubhai Udhas and Jituben Udhas. His eldest brother Manhar Udhas achieved some success as a Hindi playback singer in Bollywood films. His second elder brother Nirmal Udhas is also a well-known Ghazal Singer and was the first of the three brothers to start singing in the family. He had studied in Sir BPTI Bhavanagar. His family moved to Mumbai and Pankaj attended St. Xavier's College in Mumbai."Life Sketch". 3 September 2004. Retrieved 2 December 2007.
Pankaj Udhas' older brother, Manhar, was a stage performer and this aided Pankaj in his introduction to musical performance. His first stage performance was during the Sino-Indian War, when he sang "Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo" and was given Rs. 51 by an audience member as a reward.
Four years later he joined the Sangeet Natya Academy in Rajkot and learned the nuances of playing the tabla. After that, he pursued a Bachelor of Science degree at Wilson College and St Xavier's college, Mumbai and started training in Indian classical vocal music under the tutelage of Master Navrang. Udhas's first song was in the film "Kamna" a solo composed by Usha Khanna and written by Naqsh Lyallpuri, the film was a flop but his rendition was very much appreciated. Subsequently, Udhas developed an interest in ghazals and learned Urdu to try to pursue a career as a ghazal singer. He spent ten months in Canada and the US doing ghazal concerts and returned to India with renewed vigour and confidence. His first ghazal album, Aahat, was released in 1980. From this, he began to have success and, as of 2011 he has released more than fifty albums and hundreds of compilation albums. In 1986, Udhas received another opportunity to perform in film, in the film Naam, which brought him fame. In 1990, he sang the melodious duet "Mahiya Teri Kasam" with Lata Mangeshkar, for the movie Ghayal. This song achieved immense popularity. In 1994, Udhas sang the notable song, "Na Kajre Ki Dhar", from the film Mohra. He continued working as a playback singer, making some on-screen appearances in films such as Saajan, Yeh Dillagi, Naam and Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayee. His album Shagufta launched by Music India in December 1987 was the first to be released on compact disc in India. Later, Udhas started a talent hunt television program called Aadab Aarz Hai on Sony Entertainment Television.
Actor John Abraham calls Udhas his mentor.Limca Book of Records 1990.(Bombay, Bisleri:1990) "Tribuneindia... Film and TV". Mukesh Khosala. TribuneIndia. "John Abraham calls Pankaj Udhas his mentor". IANS. NDTV. 27 October 2012.
Pankaj Udhas is married to Farida. They have two daughters, Nayaab and Reva.
."Udhas launches his music album". Times of India. 12 August 2010. Retrieved 19 December 2011.