Shilpa Rao (born Apeksha Rao in 1984) is an Indian female playback singer. She was born 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 her music teacher, Ghulam Mustafa Khan. After performing with Shankar Mahadevan in concert, she moved to Delhi on his advice.
Although she started her career singing advertising jingles, Rao soon moved on to film music. In 2006, she recorded her first film song “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”) and Dev D (“Dhol Yaara Dhol”, “Ranjhana”).
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.
Shilpa won the Best Female Playback Singer at the Star Screen Awards, 2008 for the song “Khuda Jaane” from the movie Bachna Ae Haseeno. The song was also adjudged the Song of the Year.