1 . Biography
Lata Mangeshkar was born in the princely state of Indore, which is now a part of present state of Madhya Pradesh. Her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar was a classical singer and theatre artist. Lata is the oldest of all her siblings. Her music career started as early as the age of five, when she started assisting her father, in his musical plays. Her father passed away when she was merely 13 and then her struggle in the real world began.During the early 1940s, she was mentored by eminent music personalities like Ustad Amanat Ali Khan who gave her the basic training in Hindustani Classical Music, also Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Later she was also mentored by Ghulam Haider Sahab, who not only supported her but gave her a break in his film Majboor (1948) with the song Dil Mera Toda. In her earlier days she was often shunned by critics as thin voiced and was said to replicate the voice of reputed singer Noor Jehan. Her most prominent hit of that decade was Aayega Aanewala (Mahal;1949).
950s was a very lucrative period for Lata Mangeshkar. She managed to bag work with most prominent music directors of those times like S.D Burman, Khayyam, Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad, Hemanta Kumar and Anandji Kalyanji. She sang for epic films Baiju Bawra (1952), Mughal e Azam(1960), Shree420 (1955), Chori Chori(1956), Devdas(1955), Madhumati(1958). Her song Aaja Re Pardesi had become a huge hit that year. Lata Mangeshkar in the 1950s had set herself as quite a name and her popularity just grew in the next decades to come.960s began with hit films for Lata like Mughal e Azam. Her songs Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh and Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil have become evergreen classics. In 1963, Mangeshkar sang Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon in front of Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru which moved him to tears. The song was composed in the context of the Sino Indian War. This was a period of rich collaborations for Lata, as she reunited with S. D. Burman and continued her alliance with music composer Madan Mohan and Laxmikant Pyarelal, belting out popular numbers like Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha (Anpadh 1962), Gata Rahe Mera Dil, Piya Tose and Aaj Phir Jine Ki Tammana Hai (Guide 1965), Tu Jahaa Chalega (Mera Saaya 1966), Hothon Pe Aisi Baat (Jewel Thief 1967), Naina Barse Rim Jhim Rim Jhim and another track Lag Ja Gale (Woh Kaun Thi 1964). She worked with R. D. Burman in Pati Patni (1966), Abhilasha (1969), Bhoot Bangla (1965) and Baharon Ke Sapne (1967). She play backed for Marathi films and for Hemant Kumar and Sahil Chowdhury composed music in many Bengali films.
A fruitful era for Lata, the 70s saw her recording memorable pieces like, Rangeela Re (Prem Pujari 1970), Piya Bina (Abhiman 1973), Inhi Logo Ne and Chalte Chalte (Pakeeza 1972) and Khilte Hain Gul Yahaan (Sharmeelee 1971). She sang in some of the hit movies of the time for R.D. Burman in Caravan (1972), Aandhi (1975), Amar Prem (1972) and Kati Patang (1971). She began performing in concerts in the country as well as internationally. Londons Royal Albert Hall was first to witness Lata performing out of her homeland. And she began working for the second generation music directors; Rajesh Roshan, Anand Milind and Anu Malik by the end of the 1970s.In the 1980s she worked with A.R.Rahman, Shiv Hari and Ram Laxman and collaborated with Jagjit Singh on non filmy songs mostly ghazals. Lata was a priority in Yash Raj Films and sang in almost all its films from Chandini in 1989 to Veer Zaara in 2004. Amidst this there are unforgettable tracks of her for A. R. Rahmans Lukka Chuupi (Rang De Basanti), Ek Tuhi Bharosa (Pukar), Jiya Jale (Dil Se), O Palanhare (Lagaan), Khamoshiyan Gungunane Rahi (One Two Ka Four) and So Gaye Hain (Zubeidaa). She sang in the 2001 film, Lajja whose music was composed by Illyaraja, and Madhur Bhandarkar recorded her voice for his film Page3 and Jail and very recently Heroine. She sang the track Waada Na Thod for the film, Eternal Sunshine in Spotless Mind in 2004 and came out with an album of ghazals, Saadgi (2007), the lyricist being Javed Akhtar.
Lata became a Rajya Sabha member in 1999 and was felicitated with Bharat Ratna in 2001. She has founded a hospital in Pune in her late fathers name.Other than singing for films, she has music directed for some Marathi films under the pseudonym, Anand Ghan and received the Music Director Award from the State Government of Maharashtra. Lata has even produced a Marathi film, Vaadal (1953), and Hindi films like, Lekin (1990), Jhaanjhar (1953) and Kanchan (1950). She launched a perfume brand, Lata Eau De Parfume (1999) and designed a jewellery collection, Swaranjali in 2005.
2 . Early Life
Lata was born on September 28, 1929 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh as the daughter of Dinanath Mangeshkar, who was a classical singer as well as a theater artist. She was the first child of the Mangeshkar family. She was born in Indore, but brought up in Maharashtra. When she was five years old, she began working as a theater artist in sangeet nataks. She also started taking singing lessons from her father.
Lata sang her maiden cinematic song for the Marathi film Kiti Hasaal (1942). Her father did not like the idea of her daughter singing for the films. So, her song was deleted from the movie. In the year 1942, she lost her father. Due to sudden demise of her father and unsound financial condition of the house, she decided to play small roles in various Hindi and Marathi films. She had to take up the acting assignments, despite the fact that, she was not at all fond of acting. To know the complete life history of Lata Mangeshkar, read on.
3 . Career
In the year 1945, she happened to meet the film producer S. Mukherji through Ghulam Haider. Haider personally wanted her to be given an opportunity to show her singing talent. However, S. Mukherji did not like her voice and said no for giving her a chance to sing for his film. At that point of time, Haider promised himself to establish her singing career in Bollywood. He even said to the producer that, one day will come when all the producers and directors will fall on her feet and beg her to sing in their films.Lata got her biggest break, when she was given the chance to sing the song Aayega Aanewaala for the movie Mahal. The song was a super duper hit. The period of 1950s witnessed tremendous growth in her career. She rose to the top in the list of Bollywood singers. She worked with all the famous composers of that era like Shankar Jaikishan, S D Burman, Naushad, Hemant Kumar, and Salil Chowdhury. Shankar Jaikishan was absolutely stunned by her voice and used her voice for playback singing in almost all the movies that he got.
The period of 1960s made her the queen of Bollywood playback singing. She sang for almost all the prominent composers of the industry and set her foothold in Bollywood. Her songs got an overwhelming response from people all over the country. During the 1970s, Lata recorded songs for Bollywood actress Meena Kumari in the film Pakeezah, which brought her recognition and popularity. She performed tracks for S.D. Burmans films like Prem Pujari, Sharmilee, and Abhimaan.In late 1970s and early 1980s, Lata Mangeshkar worked with the children of the music composers, with whom she had worked in the past. In the year 1990, Lata established her own production house. Their first and last film Lekin was a total flop. Mangeshkar has also sung some non film songs including ghazals with Jagjit Singh. Lata Mangeshkar has also sung for Yash Chopra`s films including Lamhe, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Darr, Yeh Dillagi, and Dil To Pagal Hai. She sang quite a number of Bengali songs with renowned music directors like Salil Chowdhury and Hemant Kumar.
4 . Childhood
Lata Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh into a Maharashtrian Brahmin household. Her father was Dinanath Mangeshkar and her mother was named Shudhmati.Lata was the oldest of several children. She had a younger brother named Hridayanath Mangeshkar, as well as three younger sisters named Asha (Bhosle), Usha and Meena. (Of these Asha Bhosle would grow up to rival Lata in the world of film music.)Her exposure to music began in infancy. Her father Dinanath was an accompanied classical vocalist and was very active in the theatre. It is said that Lata made her acting debut at the age of five in a play in which her father was participating.Latas musical studies were not limited to hearing her father sing. She also studied under Aman Ali Khan, and later under Amanat Khan, and acquired a good background in classical music.
5 . Latas Peak
The next three decades would see Lata Mangeshkar reign as the undisputed queen of the Hindi film song. She sang with almost all of the major music directors, and acquired a considerable clout in the politics of the film industry.It is pointless to try and enumerate the songs that she did; however, there are a few songs which stand out. In particular O Sajna Barkha Bahaar Aayee from Parakh (1960), Aaja re Pardesi from Madhumati (1958), Itna na Mujhse Tu Pyaar Badhaa from Chhaya (1961), Allah Tero Naam from Hum Dono (1961), Ehsaan Tera Hoga Mujh par from Junglee (1961), and Yeh Sama from Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965), seem particularly notable.Lata also worked with most of the major music directors in this period. Her work with, both S.D. Burman and R.D. Burman were very fruitful. She also worked with, Shankar Jaikishan, Salil Chowdhury, Naushad and a host of others. It is often said that her best work came with her songs for Madan Mohan and C. Ramchandra. It is interesting to note that O.P. Nayyar was one of the few major music directors to not utilize her talents.
However Latas reign was not always a smooth one. There was the well known professional rivalry with her sister Asha Bhosle. For some years she would not sing with Mohd. Rafi due to a long standing dispute over royalties. For some years she would not work with the music director S.D. Burman. During the peak of her career, she had a tremendous political clout within the film industry and is known to have exercised this freely; this created ill will in many quarters.
6 . Latas Decline
All things come to and end, and Latas professional career was no exception. Over the decades, the actresses for whom she was singing became younger, and Lata was growing older. It was inevitable that at some point it was no longer going to be a workable match.We cannot pinpoint a time where her career started to decline. However by 1980 it was clear that it was not a necessity to have Lata sing for a film. Furthermore, there was a change in the style of the new songs. Emerging music directors such as A.R. Rahman just did not see Latas voice as fitting into their approach to creating music (although Lata did lend her voice for some of his work). The result of all of this was that Lata Mangeshkar gradually moved from the peak of her career into todays state of semiretirement.Never the less, this period shows some of Latas most interesting work. Songs such as Sun Sahiba Sun (Teri Ganga Maili 1986), Yaara Seeli Seeli (Lekin 1990), even today stand our as some of her most memorable work.In 2001 Lata Mangeshkar was awarded Indias highest civilian honor the Bharat Ratna,
7 . career in the 1940s
In 1942, when Mangeshkar was 13, her father died of heart disease. Master Vinayak (Vinayak Damodar Karnataki), the owner of Navyug Chitrapat movie company and a close friend of the Mangeshkar family, took care of them. He helped Lata get started in a career as a singer and actress.Mangeshkar sang the song Naachu Yaa Gade, Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhaari which was composed by Sadashivrao Nevrekar for Vasant Joglekars Marathi movie Kiti Hasaal (1942), but the song was dropped from the final cut. Vinayak gave her a small role in Navyug Chitrapats Marathi movie Pahili Mangalaa gaur (1942), in which she sang Natali Chaitraachi Navalaai which was composed by Dada Chandekar. Her first Hindi song was Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu for the Marathi film, Gajaabhaau (1943). Mangeshkar moved to Mumbai in 1945 when Master Vinayaks company moved its headquarters there. She started taking lessons in Hindustani classical music from Ustad Amanat Ali Khan . She sang Paa Lagoon Kar Jori for Vasant Joglekars Hindi language movie Aap Ki Seva Mein (1946), which was composed by Datta Davjekar. The dance in the film was performed by Rohini Bhate who later became a famous classical dancer. Mangeshkar and her sister Asha played minor roles in Vinayaks first Hindi language movie, Badi Maa (1945). In that movie, Lata also sang a bhajan, Maata Tere Charnon Mein. She was introduced to music director Vasant Desai during the recording of Vinayaks second Hindi language movie, Subhadra (1946).
Following the partition of India in 1947, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan migrated to newly formed Pakistan, so Mangeshkar started to learn classical music under Amanat Khan Devaswale. Pandit Tulsidas Sharma, a pupil of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, also trained her.After Vinayaks death in 1948, music director Ghulam Haider mentored her as a singer. Haider introduced Mangeshkar to producer Sashadhar Mukherjee, who was working then on the movie Shaheed (1948), but Mukherjee dismissed Mangeshkars voice as too thin. An annoyed Haider responded that in the coming years the producers and the directors would fall at Latas feet and beg her to sing in their movies. Haider gave Lata her first major break with the song Dil Mera Toda, from the movie Majboor (1948).Initially, Mangeshkar is said to have imitated the acclaimed singer Noor Jehan, but later she developed her own style of singing. Lyrics of songs in Hindi movies are primarily composed by Urdu poets and contain a higher proportion of Urdu words, including the dialogue. Actor Dilip Kumar once made a mildly disapproving remark about Mangeshkars Maharashtrian accent while singing Hindi Urdu songs; so for a period of time, Lata took lessons in Urdu from an Urdu teacher named Shafi.One of her first major hits was Aayega Aanewaala, a song in the movie Mahal (1949), which was composed by music director Khemchand Prakash and lip synced on screen by actress Madhubala.
8 . career in the 1950s
In the 1950s, Mangeshkar sang songs composed by various music directors of the period, including Anil Biswas (in films such as Tarana and Heer), Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad Ali, S. D. Burman, Pandit Husan Lal Bhagat Ram (in films like Bari Behan, Meena Bazaar, Afsana, Aadhi Raat, Ansoo, Chhoti Bhabi, Adal e Jehangir) C. Ramchandra, Hemant Kumar, Salil Chowdhury, Khayyam, Ravi, Sajjad Hussain, Roshan, Kalyanji Anandji, Vasant Desai, Sudhir Phadke, Hansraj Behl, Madan Mohan, and Usha Khanna. She made her debut in Tamil playback singing with Vanaradham in 1956 (Uran Khotala dubbed in Tamil) with Tamil song Enthan Kannalan picturised on Nimmi in the dubbed version composed by Naushad.
Mangeshkar sang many raga based songs for Naushad in movies such as Baiju Bawra (1952), Mughal E Azam (1960), and Kohinoor (1960). Ae Chorre Ki Jaat Badi Bewafa, a duet with G. M. Durrani, was her first song for composer, Naushad. The duo, Shankar Jaikishan, chose Mangeshkar for Barsat, Aah (1953), Shree 420 (1955), and Chori Chori (1956). Before 1957, composer S. D. Burman chose Mangeshkar as the leading female singer for his musical scores in Sazaa (1951), House No. 44 (1955), and Devdas (1955). However a rift developed between Lata and Burman in 1957, and Lata did not sing Burmans compositions again until 1962.Mangeshkar won a Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for Salil Chowdhurys composition Aaja Re Pardesi, from Madhumati (1958). In the early fifties, Lata Mangeshkars association with C. Ramchandra produced songs in movies such as Anarkali, Albela, Asha, Pehli Jhhalak, Shin Shinkai Bublaa Boo, Azad and Amardeep. For Madan Mohan, she performed for films like Adalat, Railway Platform, Dekh Kabira Roya and Chacha Zindabad.
9 . career in the 1960s
Mangeshkars song Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya from Mughal e Azam (1960), composed by Naushad and picturized on Madhubala, still remains famous . The Hawaiian themed number Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh from Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960) was composed by Shankar Jaikishan and picturized on Meena Kumari.In 1961, Mangeshkar recorded two popular bhajans, Allah Tero Naam and Prabhu Tero Naam, for Burmans assistant, Jaidev. In 1962, she was awarded her second Filmfare Award for the song Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil from Bees Saal Baad, composed by Hemant Kumar.On 27 January 1963, against the backdrop of the Sino Indian War, Mangeshkar sang the patriotic song Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo (literally, Oh, People of My Country) in the presence of Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India. The song, composed by C. Ramchandra and written by Kavi Pradeep, is said to have brought the Prime Minister to tears.
In 1963, Mangeshkar returned to collaboration with S. D. Burman. She also sang for R. D. Burmans very first film Chhote Nawaab and later for his films such as Bhoot Bangla (1965), Pati Patni (1966), Baharon ke Sapne (1967) and Abhilasha (1969). She also recorded several popular songs for S. D. Burman, including Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai, Gata Rahe Mera Dil (duet with Kishore Kumar) and Piya Tose from Guide (1965), and Hothon Pe Aisi Baat from Jewel Thief (1967).During the 1960s, Lata Mangeshkar continued her association with Madan Mohan which included the songs Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha from Anpadh (1962), Lag Ja Gale and Naina Barse Rim Jhim from Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), Woh Chup Rahen To from Jahan Ara (1964), Tu Jahan Jahan Chalega from Mera Saaya (1966) and Teri Aankho Ke Siva from Chirag (1969).
The 1960s also witnessed the beginning of Mangeshkars association with Laxmikant Pyarelal, the music directors for whom she sang the most popular songs in her career. Starting in 1963, Laxmikant Pyarelal association with Lata Mangeshkar grew stronger over the years. Lata Mangeshkar sang over 700 songs for the composer duo over a period of 35 long years, most of which became huge hits. She sang for Parasmani (1963), Mr. X in Bombay (1964), Aaye Din Bahar Ke (1966), Milan (1967), Anita (1967) Shagird (1968), Mere Hamdam Mere Dost (1968), Intaquam (1969), Do Raaste (1969) and Jeene Ki Raah for which she got her 3rd Filmfare Award.
She also sang several playback songs for Marathi films, composed by Marathi music directors including Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Vasant Prabhu, Srinivas Khale, Sudhir Phadke and herself (under the name Anandghan). During the 1960s and 1970s, she also sang several Bengali songs, composed by music directors like Salil Chowdhury and Hemant Kumar. She also made her Kannada debut in 1967 for the film Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna by recording two songs for the music director Lakshman Berlekar. The song Bellane Belagayithu was received well and appreciated.In this period Lata Mangeshkar has recorded duets with Mukesh, Manna Dey, Mahendra Kapoor, Mohammed Rafi, and Kishore Kumar. For a brief period during the 1960s, she was not on good terms with Mohammed Rafi over the issue of royalty payments to singers. Mangeshkar wanted Rafi to back her in demanding a half share from the five percent song royalty that the films producer conceded to select composers.But Rafi took a diametrically opposite view, and believed that a playback singers claim on the filmmaker ended with the payment of the agreed fee for the song. This led to tensions between the two. After an argument during the recording of the song Tasveer Teri Dil Mein (Maya, 1961), the two refused to sing with each other.The music director Jaikishan later negotiated a reconciliation between the two.
10 . career in the 1972s
In 1972, Meena Kumaris last film, Pakeezah, was released. It featured popular songs including Chalte Chalte and Inhi Logon Ne sung by Lata Mangeshkar, and composed by Ghulam Mohammed. She recorded many popular songs for S. D. Burmans last films, including Rangeela Re from Prem Pujari (1970), Khilte Hain Gul Yahaan from Sharmeelee (1971), and Piya Bina from Abhimaan (1973). She recorded many popular songs for Madan Mohans last films, including Dastak (1970), Heer Raanjha (1970), Dil Ki Rahen (1973), Hindustan Ki Kasam (1973), Hanste Zakhm (1973), Mausam (1975) and Laila Majnu (1976).
Lata Mangeshkars most notable songs in the 1970s were composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal (Laxmi Pyare) and Rahul Dev Burman. She recorded several songs composed by Laxmi Pyare in the 1960s and 1970s, many of them written by the lyricist Anand Bakshi. She also recorded many hit songs with Rahul Dev Burman in the films Amar Prem (1972), Caravan (1971), Kati Patang (1971), and Aandhi (1975). The two are noted for their songs with the lyricists Majrooh Sultanpuri, Anand Bakshi and Gulzar.In 1973, she won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the song Beeti Na Bitai from the film Parichay, composed by R. D. Burman, and written by Gulzar. In 1974, she sang her only Malayalam song Kadali Chenkadali for the film Nellu, composed by Salil Chowdhury, and written by Vayalar Ramavarma. In 1975, she again won the national award, this time for the song Roothe Roothe Piya from the film Kora Kagaz, composed by Kalyanji Anandji.
From the 1970s onwards, Lata Mangeshkar has also staged many concerts in India and abroad, including several charity concerts. Her first concert overseas was at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in 1974. She also released an album of Mirabais bhajans, Chala Vaahi Des, composed by her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar. Some of the bhajans in the album include Saanware Rang Raachi and Ud Jaa Re Kaaga. In the early 1970s, she released other non film albums, such as her collection of Ghalib ghazals, an album of Marathi folk songs (koli geete), an album of Ganesh aartis (all composed by her brother Hridaynath) and an album of abhangs of Sant Tukaram composed by Shrinivas Khale.In 1978, Raj Kapoor direct Satyam Shivam Sundaram Lata Mangeshkar lends her voice to the main theme song Satyam Shivam Sundaram, which was among the chart toppers of the year. The story of was inspired by Lata Mangeshkar reveals Raj Kapoors daughter Ritu Nanda in her latest book.I visualised the story of a man falling for a woman with an ordinary countenance but a golden voice and wanted to cast Lata Mangeshkar in the role. The book quotes Raj Kapoor as saying.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, she worked with the children of composers she had earlier worked with. Some of these composers included Rahul Dev Burman (son of Sachin Dev Burman), Rajesh Roshan (son of Roshan), Anu Malik (son of Sardar Malik), and Anand Milind (sons of Chitragupt). She also sang many songs in Assamese language and had a very good relationship with Dada Saheb Phalke award winner singing legend Late Bhupen Hazarika. She sang many songs under his guidance and in Rudaali the song Dil hoom hoom kare made a highestrecord of sales that year.