She got trained in classical music by the renowned Ustads of her time,Ustad Ata Mohammad Khan, Abdul Waheed Khan and Ustad Jhande Khan of Patiala Gharana .
In the early days of her singing career she was known as 'Akhtari Bai Faizabadi'. She appeared on the stage at the age of only fifteen years,in a programme organised ,to collect the funds for the help of earthquake victims of Bihar in 1930.She sang the ghazal"Toone butey harjayee kuch aisi ada payee,takata hai teri soorat har ek tamashai...",a dadra"Sunder saree mori maike mailai gayee,kauna se jaibe gavanava ho ram.."and two more numbers.Smt. Sarojini Naidu was present in that programme.She praised for the superb singing of Akhtari and gifted her a saree of Khadi.Akhtari got very much encouraged with this honour and went ahead in her career to great heights.Her most popular numbers of those days were:'Deewana banana hai to deewana bana de...','Na socha na samjha...','Koyaliya mat kar pukar karejawa lage kataar..','Chha rahi kali ghata jiya mora lahraye hai..','Nihure nihure baharen anganwa goriya..','Abke sawan ghar aaja..'.Shakeel Badayuni's ghazal 'Aye mohabbat tere anzam pe rona aaya...'was her most popular ghazal.Being composed in raga Bhairavi she used to conclude her programmes,by singing it.
After her marriage with Barrister Ishtiaq Ahmad Abbasi of Lucknow in 1945,she was known as Begum Akhtar.She also
Her early records were for Megaphone record company but later she recorde many memorable LPs for HMV record company.Who can forget her ghazals:'Aayee barsaat to barsaat ne dil tod diya..','Woh jo hum mein tum mein quarar tha..','Mere humnafas mere humnawa..','Jikr us parivash ka aur phir bayan apna..','Apnon ke sitam hum se bataye nahin jaate..' and many more.
|Akhtaribai in film'ROTI'(1942)|
|Her First LP RECORD|