Born In: Indore
Hailed as the ‘Nightingale of India’ Lata Mangeshkar was the most recognized and respected singer in India. With a singing career spanning over seven decades in the Hindi and Indian regional film industries where most wannabe singers fizzle off even before the decade is up, Mangeshkar became an institution in herself. Not only did she make an indelible mark on the Hindi filmdom by singing for over a thousand Hindi films, but also lent her voice to songs in over 36 regional Indian and foreign languages. Music came naturally to young Lata as she was the eldest daughter of classical singer Deenanath Mangeshkar. Her father was also a theater artist, which gave Lata and her younger siblings exposure to the big stage from an early age. The unfortunate death of her father while she was still young forced her to become her family’s breadwinner. For her achievements and immense contribution to music, Lata Mangeshkar was honored with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award.
Died At Age: 92
father: Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar
siblings: Asha Bhosle, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Meena Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Mangeshkar
Born Country: India
place of death: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
City: Indore, India
awards: Bharat Ratna (2001)
Padma Vibhushan (1999)
Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1989)
Lata Mangeshkar was born “Hema” in a Marathi speaking family in Indore (the capital of the princely state of Indore) to Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar and his second wife, Shevanti. She was later renamed “Lata” after a character in her father’s play.
She was just five when she began appearing in her father’s plays as an actress. She did not go to school for much long' the exact reason for this is known known.
Tragedy struck the family in 1942 when her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar, succumbed to a heart disease leaving behind a young family. Lata was just 13 and had to start working to fend for the family. A close friend of the Mangeshkar family, Master Vinayak, who also owned the Navyug Chitrapat movie company, helped her to make a career in singing.
Lata Mangeshkar recorded her first song, Naachu Yaa Gade, for the Marathi movie ‘Kiti Hasaal’ in 1942. However the song was dropped from the final movie cut.
Master Vinayak got Lata a small role in the Marathi movie Pahili Mangalaa-gaur in 1942 in which she also sang a song.
Even though she started her career as a Marathi singer and actress, little did people know that this young girl would one day grow up to dominate the music of Hindi cinema. Co-incidentally, her first Hindi song was also from a Marathi movie. The song was Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu from the movie Gajaabhaau (1943).
She relocated to Mumbai in 1945, when Master Vinayak moved his company's headquarters to the city. During this time she also started taking classes in Hindustani Classical music from Ustad Amanat Ali Khan.
The death of Vinayak in 1948 left another void in Lata’s life and her initial years in the Hindi film industry were a struggle. She scored the first hit song of her career, Aayega Aanewala, in the movie Mahal, in 1949. This song was not only a milestone for Lata but it also changed the image of playback singers in India. It helped other playback singers to achieve the recognition they deserved.
Riding on the success of her first hit song, Aayega AAnewala (1949), Lata Mangeshkar worked with a number of music directors in the 1950s. She sang songs for the likes of Anil Biswas, Shankar Jaikishan, S.D. Burman, Khayyam, Naushad Ali, Sardul Singh Kwatra, Amarnath, Husanlal, Bhagatram, C. Ramchandra, Hemant Kumar, Salil Chowdhury, Datta Naik, Ravi, Sajjad Hussain, Roshan, Kalyanji-Anandji, Vasant Desai, Sudhir Phadke, Hansraj Behl, Madan Mohan, and Usha Khanna.
In 1955, Lata sang a song in Sinhala, Sri Lanka, Ma Priyadara Jaya Bhumi, for the Sri Lankan film Seda Sulang. In that same year, she recorded her first Telugu song, Nidhurapora Thammudaa, in the 1955 Telugu film Santhanam. She made her Tamil playback singing debut with the song Enthan Kannalan in the Tamil film Vanaradham in 1956.
Lata won her first Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the song Aaja re Pardesi from the film Madhumati in 1958. The music in the film was composed by Salil Chaudhary
Lata sang one of the most iconic songs of her career - Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya - in the 1960 film Mughal-e-azam, followed by another soulful number 'Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh’ from the film Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai the same year. In 1962, she won her second Filmfare Award for the song, "Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil" from Bees Saal Baad.
Against the backdrop of the Sino-Indian war of 1962, when Lata sang the patriotic song ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’ in the presence of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963, the then Prime Minister of India broke into tears.
The 1960s also marked the beginning of her association with the famous music director duo of Laxmikant-Pyarelal for whom she would go on to sing over 700 songs in the next 35 years.
Mangeshkar’s success continued over the 1970s and 1980s and she also branched out into regional languages. Apart from the regular singing, she also performed in several live concerts all around the world.
In the 1990s, many new female singers had entered Bollywood yet no one could topple the reigning queen of voice of Hindi filmdom. She continued performing well into the new millennium, recording her first Hindi song with the Tamil composer, Ilaiyaraaja in 2001.
For her glorious achievements in the field of music, Lata Mangeshkar was honored with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 2001. She had previously been awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award in India in 1999.
Lata Mangeshkar remained unmarried throughout her life. Her personal life was a closely guarded secret, as there was hardly any information available related to her personal life. As the eldest sister among her siblings, she always maintained a close relationship with all her siblings. Her love for cooking, reading, photography and cricket is well-known.
In January 2022, Lata Mangeshkar was diagnosed for COVID-19 and was admitted to Mumbai's Breach Candy Hospital. She remained in the ICU for most of the month but the doctors took her off the ventilator on January 28, when they observed a marginal improvement in her health. Her health, however, deteriorated again and she was back on the ventilator on February 5. She died from multiple organ dysfunction syndrome on February 6, 2022. She was 92. The government of India observed a two-day period of national mourning.
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