- Lata Mangeshkar died at the age of 92
- She died in a Mumbai hospital
- She leaves begin a legacy of musical gems
"Lag ja gale ki phir ye haseen raat ho na ho; Shaayad phir is janam men mulaaqaat ho na ho." Lata Mangeshkar sang this evergreen number in 1964 and the nation was ready to fall in love for such was the power of the singer's voice. Transcending boundaries of region and language, Lata Mangeshkar became an indelible part of every Indian's life ever since her debut as a singer in the 1940s. With songs in over a thousand Hindi films and thirty-six Indian languages, there is seldom an occasion or a mood that can't be complemented by Lata Mangeshkar's songs. The icon, 92, died on Sunday after being hospitalized for COVID. Lata Mangeshkar has left behind an unparalleled body of work and scores of ardent admirers.
Lata Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929, to a Marathi and Konkani musician Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar and his wife Shevanti. Originally named Hema, she was the eldest of five siblings, including veteran singer Asha Bhosle.
Following her father's death when she was just 13, Lata Mangeshkar rendered one of her first songs for the 1942 Marathi movie Kiti Hasaal. This was followed by songs in a few Hindi films until she tasted success in 1948 with Dil Mera Toda, Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhoda by composer Ghulam Haider - who also mentored the singer - for the film Majboor.
Come the 1950s and there was really no stopping the legend from ruling the hearts of music lovers. Throughout the decade, Lata Mangeshkar collaborated with composers such as Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad Ali, SD Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Ravi, Kalyanji-Anandji, and Madan Mohan, among others.
With several hits up her sleeves, Lata Mangeshkar began 1960 with Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya from Mughal-E-Azam. Starring Madhubala, the song went on to become the anthem of romantics across the country and continues to be so.
It was not just romantic ballads and bhajans that Lata Mangeshkar sang to perfection. With Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo, she presented the country with a patriotic song that held the power to move the listener to tears. Throughout the decade, Lata Mangeshkar recorded duets with the greatest male singers of the generation such as Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey and Mohammed Rafi.
Lata Mangeshkar's undisputed reign continued through the 1980s and 1990s. By working with icons such as the composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal, RD Burman, and Shiv-Hari, the singer blessed the nation with innumerable classics.
She remained the favourite - and a dream collaborator - for a new crop of composers in the 1990s including Academy Award winner AR Rahman, Nadeem-Shravan, Anu Malik, and Aadesh Shrivastava.
With the unforgettable hits came national and international accolades. Lata Mangeshkar was the recipient of the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, which was presented to her in 2001. She also received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award as well as the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhusha. From overseas came the Officer of the Legion of Honour, France's highest civilian award.
With three National Film Awards to her name, Lata Mangeshkar also held the distinction of becoming the first Indian to perform at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1974.
As we mourn her loss, Lata Mangeshkar leaves behind a legion of inconsolable fans and an enduring legacy - one that will outlive both its creators and its admiring custodians.