Also known to stay away from the mainstream unlike many of her contemporaries, the one festival that brings her India is the Jahan-e-Khusrau.
CNN-IBN caught up with her in New Delhi just days before the festival kicks off.
Reshil Charles: We saw you last at the Jahan-e-Khusrau and now again at the same festival. What has kept you away for so long?
Abida Parveen: I was busy. I had other commitments and that consumed a lot of my time and most of the year.
Reshil Charles: Sufi singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his nephew Rahat have marketed themselves well. They have associated themselves with Bollywood. But you have kept away. Why so?
Abida Parveen: It is important to sing from the heart. And when the singer is able to strike a chord with the audience, nothing can be better than that.