Singing actors and actresses in Indian cinema are Indian film actors who do their own singing.
Since the 1950s, most songs in films produced by the various regional Indian cinema industries have been sung by playback singers; the actors and actresses who appear to be singing and dancing are only lip-synching the words. The playback singers may not be beautiful; they may not be able to act or dance; however, they are generally outstanding singers. Actors and actresses are thus freed to cultivate their other talents.
In the earliest years of Indian cinema, actors and actresses were more likely to be singers and to leave the dancing to specialists who appeared in what are called "item numbers." Stars such as Kishore Kumar, K. L. Saigal, Suraiyya, and Noor Jehan were known as both singers and actors. However, in the 1950s and 1960s, producers and directors increasingly tended to hire actors and actresses who could dance and leave the singing to playback singers.
However, some stars have sung for themselves in some recent films.