Born on 10 November 1939 in Puri, Odisha, Shri Prafulla Kar received his training in music under Kundala Adinarayana, J.V.S. Rao, and Markandeya Mohapatra. He also inherited the traditional style of Odissi music from noted gurus Shri Singhari Shyam Sundar Kar and Shri Loknath Rath. Shri Kar has been honoured with the honorary degree of Doctorate of Literature from Utkal University of Culture, and Utkal University Vani Bihar, Government of Odisha.
A top-grade vocalist, composer and lyricist of All India Radio and Doordarshan, Shri Prafulla Kar has an impressive record of hundreds of chorus compositions. He has directed the music for more than 70 Odia films as well as four Bengali films. He has been honoured with the highest number of Best Music Director Awards for Odia films such as Mamata (1975), Sesa Srabana (1976), Bandhumahanty (1977), Mukti (1977), Sati Anasuya (1978), Tapasya (1978), Sita Laba Kusha (1980), and School Master (1985). He has many recordings to his credit.
For his long years of service in Sugam Sangeet, Shri Prafulla Kar has been honoured with many titles and awards. These include the Jayadev Award by the Department of Culture, Government of India; the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by the Government of Odisha; the Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award by the Government of Odisha; the Best Playback Singer Award by the Government of Odisha; the Life Time Achievement Award by the Odia Society of America, U.S.A.; and the Padma Shri Award by the Government of India.
Shri Prafulla Kar receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Other Major Traditions of Music (Sugam Sangeet).