She is one of the best-known and most respected playback singers in India
She is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in the world. It is estimated that she has more than 30,000 solo, duet and chorus backed songs in 20 different languages from 1948 to 1987. Now, it must way over 40,000!
Lata Mangeshkar was born on 28th September, 1929 in a place called Indore. Her father Dinanath Mangeshkar was a renowned classical singer himself. Lata was introduced to music at a very young age. The life history of Lata Mangeshkar is truly fascinating. Read this short biography of Lata Mungeshkar. Lata Mangeshkar was very young when her father passed away, thus making the family dependant on Lata. To take care of her family’s economic situation, Lata acted in as many as 8 films from 1942 to 1948.
Meena Mangeshkar, Lata Mangeshkar and Usha Mangeshkar
She debuted as playback singer in a Marathi film named Kiti Hasaal (1942). Unfortunately the song was edited out. Her first Hindi playback was for the film Aap ke Sewa Main (1947) but she did not get noticed. At that time, the film industry was ruled by female singers who had heavier and huskier voices like Noor Jehan, Shamshad Begum and Zohrabai Ambalewali. While auditioning for the movie Shaheed (1948), she was rejected on the account of her thin voice! But Ghulam Haider saw the potential in her and gave her a chance to sing in the film Majboor.
The song Dil Mera Toda finally got her noticed and it was touted as her breakthrough song. In 1949, she had four major hits from the films Barsaat, Andaaz, Dulari and Mahal. The song “Aayega Aanewala” from Mahal was a huge hit and Lata secured a firm position in the industry. The husky voices of all other singers became obsolete in front of the high pitched voice of Lata Mangeshkar. The music industry had a huge makeover with the arrival of Lata Mangeshkar. By the late 50’s, the younger sister of Lata Mangeshkar known as Asha Bhonsle also came into the scene and they both were touted as the unbeatable voices of the industry. Lata rose to fame rapidly and made her indelible mark in the industry. She has sung with famous singers like Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, etc. She has perfected almost every genre of music. Her success and determination made her one of the most powerful women in the industry. She refused to sing for the great composer S.D Burman due to some misunderstanding and also stopped singing with Mohammed Rafi.
Her power was so immense that they had to come back to her. She actually monopolized the music industry and every music director wanted to work with her. She understood the requirement of each song and sang flawlessly. Lata Mangeshkar has been honored 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 highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna. She has received three national awards and eight Filmfare awards after which she stopped accepting awards in order to promote new talent. She continues to sing every now and then for Hindi movies and perform live. Truly a living legend, Lata Mangeshkar has a talent that is second to none.