Alka Yagnik is the daughter of Shubha Yagnik (pronounced Yaaj - nik in actuality) who is a trained classical singer who could not move ahead professionally due to a throat problem. They are Gujaratis who were based in Calcutta, and it was Alka's mother's wish that her daughter reach where she could not. Alka too had a flair for music, and would need a radio to help her sleep from the age of five or so. Alka thus underwent rigorous music training from a very early age under a series of teachers. At the age of eight, Alka was already an All India Radio artiste in Calcutta. She won a Sugam Sangeet competition in Calcutta at the age of 11.