Playback singer Anuradha Paudwal, best known for crooning devotional songs, says the Padma Shri honour is the "prasad" for the years of hard work she has put in.
Paudwal, 64, is a National award-winning singer, who has sung in Bollywood movies like "Aashiqui" and "Ram Lakhan", "Saajan" and "Dil", besides having an array of devotional songs, bhajans, mantras, & stotras to her credit.
"I am very grateful. It is a wonderful honour to get from the Government of India. I have been singing devotional songs to Mata Rani for so long and I feel the honour is the prasad for all my hard work. I am extremely happy. It is a beautiful honour," Paudwal told PTI.
The singer says she is thankful to her audience, who have always supported her throughout her 45-year career.
"I would like to thank the audience because they have always been supportive of my work throughout my 45-year career. I would like to thank my family, my elders and all the teachers."
Noted singer K J Yesudass Padma Vibhushan, Grammy-winning musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt's Padma Bhushan and Kailash Kher and Paudwal's Padma Shri honours shows that this year musicians and singers were given a preference.
"It is a good thing that musicians have been honoured. It goes on to show that the government is recognising diversified talent from across the country," Paudwal says.
The Padma Shri win for Paudwal comes on the heels of her being conferred with honorary D Litt degree by the D Y Patil University.
"This year has began on a great note for me. It feels so great to be bestowed with such honours back-to-back. The feeling is yet to sink in," says the singer, who is currently busy with live shows.