Shilpa Rao (born Apeksha Rao) is an Indian female playback singer in Hindi films. She was born on 11 April 1984 in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand. Her father, S. V. Rao, who held a degree in music, introduced her to music. For her education, she went to Little Flower School, Jamshedpur where she performed in the school choir.
The playback singer Hariharan arranged for Rao to study under his music teacher, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. After performing with Shankar Mahadevan in concert, she moved to Mumbai on his advice.
Although she started her career singing advertising jingles, Rao soon moved on to film music. In 2006 she recorded the song "Tosey Naina Lagey" for the movie Anwar and "Saiyaan Re" for the film Salaam-e-Ishq: A Tribute to Love.
She went on to perform songs in films like One Two Three, The Train ("Gupchup"), Aamir ("Ek Lau"), Dev D ("Dhol Yaara Dhol" ,"Ranjhana"), Gulal ("Aisi Saaza").She has sung one Tamil song in Naan Mahaan Alla ("Oru Maalai Neram") for Yuvan Shankar Raja.She recently appeared on Star World's popular TV series "The Dewarists" in collaboration with "Agnee" and "Parikrama". She has also sung some Bengali songs mostly with Jeet Ganguly. She also Sung a Song Bekaboo from the Serial Navya.
An article published in the Hindustan Times in 2009 described her as one of the most prominent singers in the "wave" of "young, little-known singers" then sweeping through Bollywood.She is also a part of band, Band Called Nine, with lyricist Neelesh Misra and composer Amartya Rahut, working with traditional Indian craft of Qissa Goi (storytelling).In 2011, the band released its debut album, Rewind, consisting of songs and storytelling, put together with a narrative.
In 2012, Shilpa Rao worked with academy award winner A. R. Rahman for the song Ishq Shava in Yash Chopra's last film Jab Tak Hai Jaan. The song was received extremely well by the public.