New Delhi: Be it megastar Amitabh Bachchan`s bold attempt at a cappella or the "Senorita" feat of Farhan Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan and Abhay Deol, they are all busy crooning to add a little spice to music albums. And if they go out of tune, there`s always technology to make a course correction.
"When we get actors to sing, it is just to bring in a refreshing change, some fun element!" composer-singer Shankar Mahadevan told reporters.
He has made Hrithik, Farhan and Abhay sing together in "Senorita", a peppy number with a Spanish influence, in the forthcoming "Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara".
Hrithik last sang for "Kites", while Farhan`s "Rock On!!" brought out the hidden music enthusiast in him as he confidently belted out hit numbers "Pichle saat dinon mein" and "Tum ho toh".
But for Abhay, this was a first - and he admits without hesitation that technology made it possible for him to sing.
"I can`t sing at all, neither can I dance. Today`s upbeat recording technologies tuned my part of the song as required," the actor said.
"I didn`t even have time to practise. I told them that I can`t sing, I can`t dance. They told me to sing my way and they would tweak it," he added.
However, the latest, boldest attempt in singing from an actor has been from Amitabh. Of course, he has sung hit numbers like "Rang barse" and "Main yahaan tu wahaan" in the past, but this time it was different.
At 68, the veteran has "recreated the sounds of approximately 10 to 12 instruments, from drum to bass to the snare," said Shekhar Ravijani of popular duo Vishal-Shekhar who have composed for Amitabh`s "Bbuddah...Hoga Tera Baap".
Amitabh has also teamed up with son Abhishek to sing a stanza in one of the songs from the same film, and said it`s "cool and rocking".
Abhishek Bachchan, who had first displayed his singing talent in "Bluffmaster" with hip-hop number "Right here right now", also recently grabbed attention with rap song "Thayn thayn" from "Dum Maaro Dum".
Shankar feels the film gets a boost if the actors sing themselves.
"Actors aren`t professional singers. But they definitely help in creating a hype and buzz for a film if they sing," he said.
"If one tells you that these actors are singing a song...won`t you listen to the song? The chances are you will at least listen to, and chances are that you will like it too," he explained.
At times, scripts require actors to sing. Comedy actor Vinay Pathak has made his singing debut for his role as an aspiring singer in the soon-to-be-released "Bheja Fry 2".
Over 50 years back, it was the legendary Kishore Kumar, apart from others like K.L. Saigal, Ashok Kumar and Talat Mahmood who became popular as actor-singers.
Later, many actors, including Sanjay Dutt, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan, Akshay Kumar and Neil Nitin Mukesh, tried to follow in their footsteps but their attempts were few and far between.
Interestingly, female actors have kept away from the trend, barring a few like Sridevi, Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor.
But maybe, with new pitch correction technology available with music composers, Bollywood beauties won`t mind exercising their vocal chords for the big screen!