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The Greatest Singer Of All Time Lata Mangeshkar Turns 81 Today
Posted by maaz_nawaz on 28 September 2010
The Greatest Singer Of All Time Lata Mangeshkar Turns 81 Today
Legendary Singer Lata Mangeshkar turns 81 today. What can I write about a living legend like Lata Mangeshkar. The Voice of the Millennium, The Melody Queen, Pride of India, The Greatest Singer of
all times, the Nightingale of India, a true phenomenon, a legend in the Hindi Film music.
For the first time I am finding short of words and Words can't express what I feel about her. I don't think a word has been created to describe her and her contribution to music world.
Very few people are blessed with a voice as sweet as that of sensational singing legend Lata Mangeshkar. Rightly termed as the 'Nightingale of India'.
Since childhood I have been listening to her songs and she is still my favourite singer. Almost each and every song sung by her is hummed by millions of Indians. Lataji has reached out to people from almost every walk of life.
Latabai Mangeshkar was born on 28th September, 1929, at Sikh Mohalla, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India. Lata's father , Pt. Dinanath Mangeshkar was also an amateur astrologer, he christened his newly born daughter Hema, as per the date & time of her birth. He, however, would prefer to call her Hridiya. Later on, the family members began calling her Lata. The name stuck and the eldest daugter of Dinanath and Shrimati permanently came to be known as Lata Mangeshkar.
Lataji started learning the nuances of music at the age of five from her father Dinanath Mangeshkar, a reputed classical singer from the Gwalior school of music who used to own a theater company.
But the sudden demise of her father in 1942 put Lataji and her family into bad times. Lataji being the eldest among the siblings, had to take the responsibility of her mother, three younger sisters and a brother. The burden of the sole breadwinner fell on her shoulders and she carried her responsibilities religiously and sincerely.
Lataji started her career as an actress with Hindi and Marathi movies and acted in eight films. While she was working as an actress, she also made her debut as a playback singer with a Marathi film "Kiti Hasaal" in 1942 but her song was edited.
Later, in 1947, Lata got her first big break in Hindi film "Aap Ke Sewa Main" in 1947 but it failed to give her any recognition. In those days, the music industry was dominated by heavier voices like Noorjehan, Shamshad Begum and Zohrabai Ambalewali.
Music director Ghulam Haider mentored Lata Mangeshkar as a singer. Haider gave Lata her first major break with the song 'Mera Toda' from the movie Majboor (1948). However she got major break with the song 'Aayega Aanewaala'. It was a song in the popular movie Mahal (1949) which proved a turning point for her career.
It is amazing that how Lata Mangeshkar has for more than 60 years maintained her tremendous musical capabilities, right from 1942 when the 12 year old Lata took to acting and playback singing in Marathi films to support her younger siblings after her father's untimely death.
Lataji an artist with immense talent, she is the voice of Hindi Film Industry from the 40's till date. Her musical journey includes lending her voice to actresses like Madhubala in 1940s to Waheeda Rehman, Sadhana, in the 50's and 60's to current actresses.
Lataji's career as a playback singer spans over six and a half decades having started in 1942 when she was just 13 years old. She has given many gems to the film industry in her songs in over 980 Bollywood movies. She also sang songs in many other regional languages. She is featured in the Guinness Book of World Record for having made the most number of recordings in the world.
Even today, her voice continues to be the most preferred one amongst the older generation of filmmakers like Yash Chopra, who without fail convince her to sing for their movies.
Legendary Film maker Yash Chopra says, Lataji is a perfect example of a playback singer who can modulate her voice according to various song situations and suit characters as per their age and social status.
Lata Mangeshkar has been honoured with innumerable awards but the one that truly deserves a special mention is that she is the only second singer in the non-classical category (after M.S Subbulakshmi) in India to have received the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award.
She is the fifth woman to receive the Bharat Ratna, the other four are - Indira Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Aruna Asaf Ali and M.S. Subbalakshmi.
It is very interesting to note that from the year 1958 to 1966 no other female singer was able to get the filmfare award. Since she had won the popular Filmfare awards so many times & had always been accussed of monopolising the industry (along with sister Asha), after 1969, she made the unusual gesture of giving up Filmfare awards in favour of fresh talent.
Further Lataji brought in many constructive changes in Hindi film music which proved to be extremely beneficial for singers in the long run. And not only her contemporary singers but the new generations are reaping the benefits from what she sowed decades ago.
Lataji is the first singer to introduce the royalty system for singers in the industry. In fact, she is the one who insisted that the singer's name should be published with the songs instead of actors.
She could have been selfish enough with her achievements. But she is such a great person that she works for the betterment of everyone. She is helpful. In fact, she fights for the younger generation also, she stands by them.
Lata Mangeshkar has worked with almost all the top music composers and singers in the film industry. She has sung more than 40,000 songs in over 20 Indian languages.
Lyricist & filmmaker Gulzar once said Lata's greatness lay in her complete devotion to music. Singing for her is not merely a profession, it is akin to worship.
Let us all wish Lata Mangeshkar a very happy birthday and hope to hear more songs from her that will remain in our minds forever.
My best wishes to the living legend Lataji for a long and healthy life.
Vani wrote on 28 September, 2010
Nice tribute to Lata ji, but is it not difficult to say who is the greatest among Lata Ji, Kishore Kumar, Mohd, Rafi, Asha Bhosle and Mukesh!
cosmicbomber wrote on 28 September, 2010
Vani, you have missed out one of the greatest singers of Indian film industry, Hemanta Mukherjee who was called Hemant Kumar in Hindi film industry.
@ Maaz, I read somewhere she has turned 82!
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