Zohra Bai (1868-1913) of the Agra Gharana, or Zohra Bai Agrewali as she came to be known as, was easily the best female singer at the turn of the 19th century. Along with Gauhar Jan, she marks the dying phase of the courtesan singing tradition in Indian classical music. She had her talim from Ustad Sher Khan, Ustad Kallan Khan and Mehboob Khan, the great composers of Khayals and Thumris.
Known equally for Khayal as well as lighter varieties of classical music, she learnt Thumri and Ghazals from Ahmad Khan of Dacca. Her many records going back to the first 15 years of the last century have not yet been dated, unlike records of some of her contemporaries. It is said that Faiyaz Khan, the greatest Ustad of the Agra Gharana, was influenced by Zohra Bai’s style of singing. The famed Bade Ghulam Ali Khan of the Patiala Kasur Gharana also held her in very high esteem.