Gangubai Hangal (5 March 1913 – 21 July 2009) was an Indian singer of the khyal genre of Hindustani classical music, who was known for her deep and powerful voice. She belonged to the Kirana gharana
Gangubai Hangal was born in Dharwad to Chikkurao Nadiger, an agriculturist and Ambabai, a vocalist of Carnatic music. Hangal received only elementary education and her family shifted to Hubli in 1928 so that Gangubai could study Hindustani music.She began to train formally aged 13 with Krishnacharya Hulgur, a kinnari (stringed instrument like a veena)player, studying Hindustani classical music. From Hulgur, Gangubai learned sixty compositions in one year before he stopped teaching her after an argument about his fees. She also learned from Dattopant Desai before studying under Sawai Gandharva, a respected guru.Hangal could only study sporadically under Gandharva when he returned to his home, but she received an intensive training of three years after he relocated permanently to Hubli.
Hangal's mother's family was considered to be of low social status and for women of her generation singing was not considered appropriate employment; Hangal struggled against this prejudice and made a career. She performed all over India and for All India Radio stations until 1945. Hangal had initially performed light classical genres, including bhajan and thumri, but concentrated on khayal. Later, however, she refused to sing light classical, saying she sang only ragas.Hangal served as honorary music professor of the Karnatak University. She gave her last concert in March 2006 to mark her 75th career year.