Born in 1919 in Wai, Maharash- tra, Shrimati Yamunabai Waikar was taught Lavani-singing by her mother Gitabai, and was later trained professionally in the Rangu-Gangu Sangeet Party. She also received training in Hindustani classical music from Shri Faqir Mohammad of Bombay and Shri Akhtarbhai of Kolhapur.
At the age of 15 she formed her own group, the Yamuna Hira Tara Party, with her sisters and achieved wide fame in Maha-rashtra. One of the outstanding Lavani artists of her time, Shrimati Waikar excelled in Lavanis of various types and gave innumerable perform- ances all over Maharashtra. She has also sung Thumri, Tarana and Ghazal. Since her retirement from active performance at the age of 50, she has been training younger artists in Lavani-singing and has conducted training camps organized by the Government of Maharashtra.
Shrimati Waikar has been honoured with the Maharashtra Rajya Puraskar in 1977, the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Parishad Puraskar in 1989, the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar and the title Lavani Samragyi in 1990, and the Natya Gaurav Puraskar in 1994.
Shrimati Yamunabai Waikar receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Lavani.