Sadhana Sargam was born Sadhana Ghanekar to Purshotam Ghanekar and Neela Ghanekar, a classical singer. Sadhana started learning Hindustani music from her mother at a very young age. As a child she accompanied musician Vasant Desai on the stage and also lent her voice to songs composed by him.
So impressed was Vasant Desai by the young talent, that he recommended her to Pandit Jasraj who took her under his wings for a 7 year learning period.
Sadhna’s first opportunity in film music came through a family friend, Anil Mohile who was a composer and a music arranger for Kalyanji - Anandji. She sang in a children’s chorus in a song sung by Kishore Kumar for the movie “Trishna” (1978). Her first credited songs, however, were for the movie “Raja Rani Ko Chahiye Paseena” composed by Sharang Dev, where she was credited as Sadhna Ghanekar.
Kalyanji - Anandji trained her in playback singing and were also responsible for her transition from Sadhna Ghanekar to Sadhna Sargam. Her first song for them was for the Gujarati film ”Kanku Pagli”. She then sang the Hindi song “Door Nahin Rehna” for “Rustom” but it got delayed and did not get any attention. Her first released song, “Saat Saheliyan” (“Vidhaata”, 1982) however was a big it. Although she was one of the seven voices in the song, her singing was appreciated.
Sadhna continued to sing for Kalyanji - Anandji over the years but the only other hit that came out of their association was “Har Kisiko Nahin Milta” (“Janbaaz”, 1986) and a couple of songs from “Tridev” (1989). However, these songs were significant because Viju Shah, Kalyanji’s son, played an important role in the music for these movies. With these movies, the veteran composer duo passed on the baton to Viju Shah and also built the foundation of another strong partnership with Sadhna.
In the 90s, Sadhna delivered a slew of hits with Viju Shah like “Saat Samandar” (“Vishwatma”, 1992), “Na Kajre Ki Dhar” (“Mohra”, 1994) and “Kuch Mere Dil Ne Kaha” (“Tere Mere Sapne”, 1996). The 90s also saw her working with a number of other music directors like Anand - Milind, Rakesh Roshan and Jatin - Lalit.
Her next significant collaboration was with A.R. Rahman for the song “Chanda Re” (“Sapnay”, 1997). After this she became a fixture in his stage shows.Rahman also introduced her in Tamil films with the extremely popular ”Snehidhane” (“Alaipayuthe”, 2000). Her career in Tamil film music flourished after this. Ironically, her first and only National Award came for a Tamil song composed by Ilaiyaraaja - “Paatu Solli” (“Azhagi”, 2002).
In the 2000s, her career spread beyond Bollywood to regional language films. She received the Filmfare Best Playback Kannada Female Singer award for "Marali Mareyaagi" (“Savari”, 2009).