The doyen of playback singing in Indian cinema, Lata Mangeshkar’s songs have captured the hearts and imagination of millions around the world. In a career spanning five decades she has sung thousands of songs in several languages. Her voice is a soprano over three-octave.
Born in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Lata Mangeshkar is eldest of the five siblings, namely. Asha Bhosle, Meena Khadikar, Usha Mangeshkar, and Hridayanath Mangeshkar. Her father, noted singer and stage actor Dinanath Mangeshkar, was her first teacher. After his demise, in 1942, she began working.
Lata Mangeshkar started her career as a child actress; she was 13 years of age. Her playback singing debut came in Vasant Joglekar’s Aap Ki Sewa Mein, in 1947. At a time when such singers as Shamshad Begum and Noorjehan ruled, she slowly made her presence felt with films such asMajboor and Mahal, for which she rendered the unforgettable Aaega, aane wala. After the Indo-China War, in 1962, her rendering of the song Ae mere watan ke logon, a song written by Kavi Pradeep, moved the then prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to tears.
Lata Mangeshkar has lent her voice to heroines from Meena Kumari to Madhuri Dixit. She surprised even her fans with the range of her singing when, at the age of 70, she sang Jiya jale for the film Dil Se, which was a huge hit and was recorded in just 40 minutes. She has worked with almost all the leading music directors. She was at her best with musicians such as Naushad, C. Ramchandra, S.D. Burman, Madan Mohan, and Shanker Jaikishen. Films like Abhimaan, Dastak, and Amrapali are among her most memorable work. In the 1990s, she came up with vintage winners in Lekin (which she also produced), Rudaali, and the immensely popular Hum Aapke Hai Koun. She has also composed for and produced many Marathi films.
Lata Dinanath Mangeshkar: born in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India, on 28 September 1929 (not 1928 as noted in the Guinness Book of World Records).
Classical background acquired from singing and trainingwith her father, stage celebrity Dinanath Mangeshkar.
Following the early death of Master Dinanath Mangeshkar, the eldest daughter Lata came to be placed by her father’s friend, pioneer film-maker Master Winayak, under the musical care of Ustad Aman Ali Bhendibazarwale. After that, Lata came under the training wing of Ustad Amanat Khan Dewaswale and Pandit Tulsidas Sharma, a disciple of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.
Inspired greatly in her early years by legendary singing stars `Malka-e-Tarannum’ Noorjehan and Kundan Lal Saigal. Lata sang K L Saigal in her path-breaking album, `Shraddhanjali. (Tribute).
Her first song as a playback performer was in the 1942 Marathi film, `Kiti Hasaal’, but the number, Naachu ya gade khelu saari mani haus bhaari, composed by Sadashivrao Nevrekar, could not, for some reason, find a place in the film. It is this song rendered for the 1942 `Kiti Hasaal’ that Lata reckons as her starting playback point to have completed 50 years as a singer in 1992.
Acted in the Marathi films `Pahili Mangalagaur’ (1942), `Chimukla Sansar’ (1943), ‘Maze Bal’ (1943), `Gajabhau’ (1944) and `Chhatrapati Shivaji’ (1952).
Acted in the Hindustani cinema version, too, of ‘Chhatrapati Shivaji’ (1952), and also in `Badi Maa’ (1945), `Jeewan Yaatra’ (1946), `Subhadra’ (1946) and `Mandir’ (1948).
Under her own name of Lata Mangeshkar, composed the music of the Marathi film ‘Ram Ram Pahune’ (1950). Then, under the pseudonym of `Anandghan’, was the music director of four more Marathi films: `Mohityanchi Manjula’ (1963), `Maratha Tituka Melawawa’ (1964), `Sadhi Mansen’ (1965) and `Tambdi Mati’ (1969).
Her favourite song-writers: Pandit Narendra Sharma, Neeraj, Shailendra, Majrooh Sultanpuri, Sahir Ludhianvi, Naqsh Lyalpuri. Influenced on the literary side by Pandit Narendra Sharma and Majrooh Sultanpuri, acquiring the finer points of Hindi and Urdu from them.
Produced in 1953 the Marathi film `Wadal’ and, in 1988, the Hindi film `Lekin’. Winner of four Filmfare Best Playback Singer Awards (1958, 1962, 1965 and 1969) after which she renounced this honor stating that it “be directed to some other female singers who need timely encouragement more than I do now”.
Declared `Asthana Vidvan’ (one entitled to perform in the sanctum sanctorum) by the trust of Balaji Mandir.
Had, starting 1984, an award named after her by the Government of Madhya Pradesh (she was born in the city of Indore in that state). The award is called the Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar and has been conferred upon some of her mentors and contemporaries: Anil Biswas and Naushad Ali, Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar, Khayyam and Jaidev, upon her own sister Asha Bhosle too. The only musician to refuse the award: O.P. Nayyar. The award carries with it Rs 100,000 tax free.
Late in 1986, India Today conducted an opinion poll in which it invited (12,800) readers to nominate the person who, in their opinion, most deserved to get the Padma Vibhushan for achievements in art and culture — and to rank seven others in order of preference. The poll came up with the following ranking:
1. Lata Mangeshkar
2. M F Husain
3. R K Narayan
4. Bhimsen Joshi
5. Raj Kapoor
6. Amitabh Bachchan
7. Pupul Jayakar
8. Mrinalini Sarabhai
“The only consensus of opinion was on Lata Mangeshkar, who was unanimously ranked first all along the poll sampling: North or South, East or West, male or female, students or those over the age of 60.” – Raju Bharatan
|Favorite piece of jewellery||Diamond bangles|
|Favorite gems||Emeralds, diamonds|
|Favorite city in India||Bombay|
|Favorite city abroad||New York|
|Favorite season of the year||Winter|
|Favorite time of the day||Early morning|
|Favorite Indian dish||Kolhapuri mutton|
|Favorite non-Indian dish||Fried fish and tartar sauce|
|Favorite games||Cricket, football, tennis|
|Favorite hobby||Photography: has had her pictures published in the prestigiousIllustrated Weekly of India|