Usha Uthup was born in Mumbai on 8th November, 1947 in a Tamil Brahmin family. Her original name is Usha Iyer and Usha Uthup is her professional name. Since she belonged to a family of singers and musicians, she got music in tradition. As a result, she used to listen to various forms of music and vowed to become a playback singer. She studied at St. Agnes High School (Clare Road,Byculla). When she was in school she was thrown out of music class because she didn’t fit in with a voice like hers. But her music teacher recognised that she had some music in her and would give her clappers or triangles to play. Even though she was not formally trained in music, she grew up in an atmosphere of music. She married late Ramu Iyer and then married Jani Chacko Uthup of Kottayam and has a daughter Anjali and son Sunny. She is living in Kolkatta with her husband.
She started her singing career at a tender age of 9 with a stage performance. Her sisters who were looking for singing breaks took her to a music director called Ameen Sayani who gave her the chance to sing on the Ovaltine Music Hour in Radio Ceylon. She sang a song called 'Mocking bird hill'. The song was a success and as a result several successful small and big stints came her way throughout her teenage days. Her most recent hit song was 'Daarling' from the movie 7 Khoon Maaf which she sang along with Rekha Bhardwaj. She has given stage performance all over the world. She is also an actress and has acted in few films like Pothen Vava in Malayalam, Bombay to Goa, Hattrick in Hindi and Manmadhan Ambu in Tamil. Her big bindi and flowers on her head and silk sari are her trademarks.