It seems that a Bollywood movie without any item number is just like a tea without sugar.
Since the era of Helen during 1960s to modern sexy item girls and macho item boys in 2000, its getting momentum. It's being a crucial factor for publicity of the film too.
The history of item songs in Bollywood is very long, but we can we cannot forget Helen and her item cabaret numbers during 1960s "Mehbooba Mehabooba" (Sholay), "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" (Caravan), "Jaane Jaana" (Inteqam) and the iconic "Yeh Mera Dil" in the 1078's action thriller film "Don".
During the early 70s Bindu and Aruna Irani followed by Zeenat Aman and Parveen Babi entered the arena. Both Zeenat and Parveen were credited for bringing Western look in the Indian cinema and the only two vamps to make the transition from vamps or item girls to leading ladies. They were the last of the vamps.
1990s marked the entry of Urmila Matondkar in the item girls bandwagon with her "Chamma Chamma" in (China Gate.) Then Shilpa Shetty's with her "Me Aai Hoon UP, Bihar Lootne" in the movie "Shool" and Maliaika's "Chhaiya Chhaiya" (Dil Se) were all trend-settler item numbers of the time.
Apart from voluptuous item girls such as Mallika Sherawat, Rakhi Sawant, Katrina Kaif, Malaika Arora Khan with their songs like "Mehbooba Mehbooba" (Aap Ka Suroor), "Mahiya Mahiya" in "Guru", "Mohabat Hai Mirchi" (Chrura Liya Hai Tumne), "Sheela Ki Jawani" (Tees Maar Khan), "Muni Badnam Hui"(Dabang).
2000s mark the birth of item boy in the history of Bollywood cinema, for the first time in "item boy" actor Abhisek Bachchan appeared in "One Love" in the movie "Rakht". Latter the trend was followed by other super star Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan in Krazzy 4 with Malaika Arora Khan in the film 'Kaal.'
Ranbir Kapoor (Chillar Party), Raveena Tandon in (Buddha Hoga Tera Baap) too apeared in item songs but their item numbers were not included in the film but were used every extensively for the publicity of the films.
Here are some item girls and item boys of Bollywood, have a look.