Born in Allahabad to a family that embraced literature as well as Indian and western music, Shubha Mudgal was trained initially as a Khayal singer by Pandit Ram Ashreya Jha. Later, she received the guidance of Pandit Vinay Chandra Maudgalya, Pandit Vasant Thakar, Smt. Naina Devi and legendary maestro Pt. Kumar Gandharva, becoming one of the most versatile and popular performers of the new generation of Hindustani musicians. She started performing as a classical singer in the 80s and gained a certain reputation as a talented singer who started experimenting with other forms of music, including pop and fusion.
As a composer, her mystical poems from the Muslim Sufi-tradition and of rare Hindu texts have been highly praised by critics. Shubha Mudgal composes for dance and ballet and writes music for films and television.
Shubha Mudgal has received National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film Music Direction in 1996, the 1998 Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music and the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards in the Republic of India.