Asha Bhosle was born in the small hamlet of Goar in Sangli,
Maharashtra, into the musical Marathi family of Pandit Deenanath
Mangeshkar. Her father was a theater actor and classical singer
who had been born in the village of Mangeshi in Goa. When
she was nine years old, her father died. The family moved
from Pune to Kolhapur and then to Bombay. She and her elder
sister Lata Mangeshkar began singing and acting in films to
support their family. She sang her first film song Chala Chala
Nav Bala for the Marathi movie Majha Bal (1943). The music
for the film was composed by Datta Dawjekar. She made her
Hindi film debut when she sang the song Saawan aaya for Hansraj
Behl's Chunariya (1948).
the age of 16, she eloped with 31-year old Ganpatrao Bhosle
(1916-1966), marrying him against her family's wishes. Ganpatrao
was sister Lata's personal secretary. The marriage failed
miserably. Her husband and in-laws mistreated her. After a
few years of marriage, Bhosle was turned out (around 1960)
by a suspicious Ganpatrao and she went to her maternal home
with two children and pregnant with her third child, Anand.
She continued to sing in films to earn money.
that time, prominent playback singers like Geeta Dutt, Shamshad
Begum and Lata Mangeshkar (her sister) monopolized the singing
for the "heroine" roles and the big films, whilst
Asha Bhosle used to get the assignments they did not take:
singing for the bad girls and vamps, or songs in the second-grade
movies. In the 1950s, she sang more songs than any other playback
singer in Bollywood, yet most of these were in low budget
B or C-grade films. Her earliest songs were composed by A
R Qureshi, Sajjad Hussain and Ghulam Mohammed, most of which
failed to do well. Singing in Dilip Kumar-starrer Sangdil
(1952), composed by Sajjad Hussain, she got reasonable recognition.
Consequently, film director Bimal Roy gave her a chance to
sing in Parineeta (1953). Raj Kapoor signed her to sing the
song Nanhe Munne Bachche with Mohammed Rafi in Boot Polish
(1954), which gained popularity.
P. Nayyar gave Asha Bhosle a big break in C.I.D. (1956). She
first achieved success in B. R. Chopra's Naya Daur (1957),
composed by him. His collaboration with Bhosle produced many
hits. Later, she established herself and received patronage
of composers such as Sachin Dev Burman and Ravi. Bhosle and
Nayyar had a professional and personal parting of ways in
1966, Asha's performance in the duets from music director
R D Burman's first successful movie, Teesri Manzil won popular
acclaim. Their collaboration produced numerous hits in the
1970s and resulted in a marriage. In 1960s and 1970s, she
became the voice of Bollywood's most famous dancer, Helen.
It is said that Helen would attend her recording sessions
so that she could understand the song better and plan dance
steps accordingly. Some of the most popular
Asha Bhosle-Helen numbers are Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Caravan),
O Haseena Zulfon Wali (Teesri Manzil), and Yeh Mera Dil (Don).
Umrao Jaan (1981) and Ijaazat (1987), she sang traditional
ghazals and proved her versatility, winning the coveted National
Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer.
film activities continued into the 1990s. Her performance
in the 1995 hit Rangeela was particularly notable. As late
as 2005, 72-year-old Asha Bhosle's numbers for the Tamil film
Chandramukhi and the pop song Lucky Lips for Salman Khan-starrer
Lucky were chartbusters. Some of the other popular Tamil songs
sung by Bhosle are Oh! Butterfly, September Maadham and Vennila
Seen more closely, Asha Bhosle's singing career can be considered
having four milestones - Naya Daur (1957), Teesri Manzil (1966),
Umrao Jaan (1981) and Rangeela (1995).
Asha Bhosle's first big success was B R Chopra's Naya Daur
("The New Age", 1957). Her duets with Rafi like
Maang ke saath tumhara, Saathi haath badhana and Uden jab
jab zulfein teri, penned by Sahir Ludhianvi and composed by
O P Nayyar, gave her recognition. Asha and O P Nayyar had
worked earlier as well. But it was the first time that she
had got to sing all the songs for the lead actress. B R Chopra,
the producer of Naya Daur recognized her talent and got her
to sing in many of his later films including Waqt and Gumraah,
Humraaz, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Dhund etc.
Asha Bhosle became a pop crooner with Rahul Dev Burman's Teesri
Manzil (1966). When she first listened to the tune of the
song Aaja Aaja, she felt that she would not be able to sing
the Western dance number. R D Burman offered to change the
music. She was offended a bit and took it as a challenge to
sing the song. After rehearsing for 10 days, when she finally
sang the song, an impressed R D Burman handed her a 100-rupee
note. Aaja Aaja and other songs of the film, O Haseena Zulfonwali
and O Mere Sona Re (all three duets with Rafi, another popular
Bollywood singer), became rage of the day. Shammi Kapoor,
the actor of the movie, once said "If I did not have
Mohammad Rafi to sing for me, I would have got Asha Bhosle
to do the job".
By 1980s, Asha Bhosle had been stereotyped as a "cabaret
singer" and a "pop crooner". In Rekha-starrer
Umrao Jaan, she sang ghazals like Dil cheez kya hai, In aankhon
ki masti ke, Ye kya jagah hai doston and Justju jiski thi.
The songs proved her capable of doing fairly serious songs.
The music director Khayyam, had lowered her pitch by half
a note. Asha herself was surprised that she could sing so
differently. The ghazals won her the first National Award
of her career and proved her versatility.
In 1995, a 62-year old Asha Bhosle did playback for young
actress Urmila Matondkar in the movie Rangeela. She pleasantly
surprised her fans with superhit songs like Tanha Tanha and
Rangeela Re. The songs were composed by iconoclastic music
director A. R. Rahman, who went on to record many more songs
with her. Particularly notable was Asha Bhosle's first song
with A R Rahman, Tanha Tanha, an oomph-oozing number.
Partnership with music directors
Music director O.P. Nayyar's association with Asha Bhosle
is part of Bollywood lore. When her talent was not recognized
by anybody in Bollywood, Nayyar recognized her potential and
gave patronage to her. He was the composer who first gave
Asha her own distinct identity. Many people have speculated
about a romantic relationship between the two.
first met Asha in 1952, at the music recording of Chham Chhama
Chham. He first called her for a film called Mangu (1954)).
He gave her a big break in CID (1956). However, it was the
success of Naya Daur (1957), that made the duo very popular.
After 1959, she was emotionally and professionally involved
team of O.P. Nayyar and Asha Bhosle is best remembered for
their breezy and sometimes sirenish songs. Some good examples
of their sensuous numbers are Aaiye meherbaan picturized on
Madhubala ( Howrah Bridge, 1958) and Yeh hai reshmi zulfon
ka andhera picturized on Mumtaz (Mere Sanam, 1965).
Asha Bhosle celebrates her 74th birthday in Mumbai September
8 2007. They recorded songs for many hit movies like Naya
Daur (1957), Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957), Howrah Bridge (1958),
Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962), Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), etc.
Some of their most popular songs include Aao huzur tumko (Kismat),
Jaaiye aap kahan (Mere Sanam) etc. O.P. Nayyar used the Asha
Bhosle-Mohammad Rafi duo for his most popular duets. some
of these songs include Ude jab jab zulfein teri (Naya Daur).
Main pyaar ka rahi hoon (Ek Musafir Ek Haseena), Deewana Hua
Baadal, Ishaaron hi isharon mein (Kashmir Ki Kali) etc.
recorded her last song for O.P. Nayyar in the movie Pran Jaye
Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974). The solo number Chain se got many
awards, but it was not included in the movie.
split on August 5, 1972. It is not clear what made them part
their ways. On being asked the reason for their parting, O
P Nayyar once said, "I know astrology very well. I knew
that one day I had to part with her. Something also happened,
that upset me, so I left her." Nevertheless, he also
said "...now that I am seventy-six, I can say that the
most important person in my life was Asha Bhosle. She was
the best person I ever met."
parting of Asha Bhosle and O.P. Nayyar was bitter, and probably
therefore she has hesitated to give Nayyar his due. While
talking about O.P. Nayyar in an interview with The Times of
India, she once remarked - "Whichever composer gave me
work, it was because my voice was suited to his music at that
point. No one musician did me any favor by asking me to sing
for him." She gives the credit for her first big break
to B. R. Chopra, the producer of Naya Daur.
Another music director who recognized Bhosle's talent early
was Khayyam. His partnership with Asha Bhosle dates back to
his first movie Biwi (1948). Khayyam gave her some good assignments
in the 1950s, including Dard and Phir Subah Hogi. But the
team is chiefly remembered for the songs of Umrao Jaan.
Music composer Ravi considered Asha as one of his favorite
singers. She sang for his first movie Vachan (1955). The melodious
lullaby from the movie, Chandamama door ke became an overnight
hit among young mothers in India. Ravi got her to sing bhajans
for the movies Gharana, Grihasti, Kajal and Phool Aur Patthar,
at a time when most of the composers remembered her only when
they needed to record B-grade songs picturized on the vamps
or the side-heroines. Ravi and Asha Bhosle recorded a variety
of songs, including the popular funny duet with Kishore Kumar
- C A T...Cat maane billi (Dilli Ka Thug). The bhajan Tora
man darpan (Kajal) is considered one of Asha Bhosle's best
also recorded songs for many popular movies like Waqt, Chaudhvin
Ka Chand, Gumrah, Bahu Beti, China Town , Aadmi Aur Insaan,
Dhund, Humraaz, and Kajal with her. For Chaudhvin Ka Chand,
Ravi wanted Geeta Dutt (the wife of producer Guru Dutt) to
sing the songs. But when she backed out, Guru Dutt insisted
that Asha Bhosle sing the songs.
One of Bollywood's most famous composers, Sachin Dev Burman
and his favorite singer, Lata Mangeshkar, were not on good
terms from 1957 to 1962. During this period, S D Burman used
Asha Bhosle as his lead female voice. She and S D Burman gave
many hit songs in movies such as Kaala Pani, Kaala Bazaar,
Insaan Jaag Utha, Lajwanti, Sujata and Teen Deviyaan (1965).
They recorded many songs together after 1962 as well. Most
famous of these songs were Asha Bhosle's duets with Mohammed
Rafi and Kishore Kumar.
song Ab ke baras in Bimal Roy's Bandini (1963) consolidated
her position as a lead singer. The seductive song Raat Akeli
Hai from Jewel Thief (1967), picturised on Tanuja, became
Dev Burman (Pancham)
Asha first met Rahul Dev Burman (a.k.a. "Pancham")
when she was a mother of two and he was in 10th grade having
dropped out to pursue music. Their partnership was first noticed
in Teesri Manzil (1966). She went on to record a variety of
songs with him - cabarets, rock, disco, ghazals, Indian classical
music and many more.
the 1970s, Asha Bhosle and Pancham's youthful, Western songs
took Bollywood music by storm - the raunchy cabaret Piya tu
ab to aaja ( Caravan, 1971, picturized on Helen), the rebellious
Dum Maro Dum ( Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1971), the sexy Duniya
mein (Apna Desh, 1972), the romantic Chura liya (Yaadon Ki
Baaraat). Pancham also recorded many hit duets with Asha Bhosle
and Kishore Kumar - Jaane jaan, dhoondhta phir raha (Jawani
Diwani), Bhali bhali si ek soorat (Buddha Mil Gaya) etc.
1980s, Pancham and Asha Bhosle recorded subtle numbers for
films like Ijazat (1987)- Mera kuch saaman, Khaali haath shaam
aayi hai, Katra Katra. They also recorded the popular duet
O Maria (Sagar). Mera Kuchch saamaan, the R.D. Burman composition
for Gulzar's Ijaazat won her the National Award for Best Singer.
Bhosle used to call R D Burman, "Bubs". She married
him in 1980. Their partnership lasted until his death.
The prolific south Indian film composer Ilaiyaraaja began
employing Asha Bhosle's vocals in the early 1980s, their earliest
collaboration being for the film Moondram Pirai (1982) (or
Sadma, its Hindi remake in 1983). Their association continued,
mostly through the latter half of the 1980s and early 1990s.
Some of their notable songs from this period include Shenbagamae
(Enga Ooru Paattukkaaran, 1987, Tamil). In 2000, Asha sung
Ilaiyaraaja's theme song for Kamal Haasan's political film
Hey Ram. The song, Janmon Ki Jwala (or Aparna's Theme), was
a duet with ghazal singer Hariharan.
A. R. Rahman is given the credit for Asha Bhosle's "comeback"
with Rangeela (1994). Songs like Tanha Tanha and Rangeela
Re were chartbusters. She and Rahman went on to record more
hits like Mujhe Rang De (Thakshak), Radha kaise na jale (Lagaan),
duet with Udit Narayan), Kahin aag lage (Taal, 1999), O Bhanware
(Daud, duet with K J Yesudas), Venilla Venilla (Iruvar,1999).
Rahman once said, "I think of them (Lata and Asha) only
when I feel I have composed something that fits their stature".
Asha Bhosle has worked with many other composers too, most
notably Jaidev and C Ramchandra. Asha recorded one of the
Bollywood's first Rock n' Roll numbers Eeena Meena Deeka with
C Ramachandra . C Ramachandra used Asha Bhosle as the chief
singer in many of V. Shantaram's films, the most notable being
Navrang (1959). When S D Burman's assistant, Jaidev started
giving music independently, he got Asha to sing some of his
songs as well. They worked in Hum Dono, Mujhe Jeene Do and
Kishore Kumar composed music for his films such as Jhumroo
and Door Gagan ki chhaon mein(1964), Asha used to be his first
has also worked with many other composers like Naushad, Madan
Mohan, Shankar-Jaikishan, and Salil Chaudhary among others.
Shankar Jaikishan worked very little with Asha. However, the
team produced quite a few hits including the seductive Parde
mein rehne do ( Shikar, 1968). Asha got her second Filmfare
Award for the song. Asha also sang the song Zindagi ek safar
hai suhaana ( Andaz) for Shankar Jaikishan, in which she tried
to yodel like Kishore Kumar, whose version of the song is
more better known. When Raj Kapoor was not on speaking terms
with Lata Mangeshkar, Asha got to sing the songs of Mera Naam
Joker (1970), composed by Shankar-Jaikishan. Madan Mohan also
recorded few songs with Asha, including the popular folk number
Jhumka gira re from Mera Saaya(1966). In Chhoti Si Baat (1975),
Asha sang the Jaaneman Jaaneman number with K J Yesudas for
Anu Malik and Asha have recorded many hit songs together,
including songs for his first movie Sohni Mahiwal (1984).
Their most popular songs include Filhaal (Filhaal), Kitabein
bahut si (Baazigar) among others. The four lines sung by Asha
in Anu Malik's Jab dil mile (Yaadein) stood out among voices
of Sukhwinder Singh, Udit Narayan and Sunidhi Chauhan. Another
Asha patron is the young composer Sandeep Chowta, who got
her to sing Kambakht Ishq (A duet with Sonu Nigam) (Pyaar
Tune Kya Kiya, 2001). The song was very popular among the
has worked with Lata-patrons like Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Naushad,
Ravindra Jain, N Dutta, Hemant Kumar. Once when Naushad was
asked to sum up the essential difference between Lata and
Asha, he said that Asha "lacks certain something which
Lata, and Lata alone has". Later he accepted in an interview,
"May be I said it because I then had a closed ear on
Asha". Naushad, later in his life, also admitted that
he has been unfair to Asha Bhonsle. Asha has also worked with
other noted Bollywood composers like Jatin Lalit, Bappi Lahiri,
Kalyanji-Anandji, Usha Khanna, Chitragupt, and Roshan.
Alongside her sister Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle is regarded
as an icon of Marathi music (Marathi is her mother tongue).
She has sung several non-film songs of the genre commonly
referred to as Bhaav Geet, which consist mostly of poems written
by notable poets. A good example of is the popular album Rutu
Hirawa ("Green Season"), composed by Shreedhar Phadke.
renditions of her brother Hridayanath Mangeshkar's compositions
have been very popular with Marathi music lovers. As in Hindi;
her Marathi songs also represent her wide range, from westernized
tunes like Ruperi Walut ("meet me on the silver sands
in the coconut groves") to complex classical compositions
such as Tarun aahe Ratra Ajuni ("The night is still young").
Marathi bhajans sung by her are also very popular among Maharashtrians.
A good example is her rendition of saint-poet Dnyaneshwar's
Kanadawo Vithallu. Her rendition of Marathi natya sangeet
composed by her father Deenanath Mangeshkar are still popular.
is endearingly referred to as Ashatai (tai is Marathi for
elder sister) by Maharashrians. She performs a very popular
Marathi concert titled Nakshtranche Dene ("Gift from
In 1995, Asha underwent the gatha bandan (thread-tying) ceremony
with Hindustani classical music maestro Ali Akbar Khan to
learn a classical repertoire held within the Maihar gharana
(stylistic school of Indian classical music), as handed down
to Khan by his father Allauddin Khan (the guru of Ravi Shankar).
Later, Asha and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan recorded eleven fixed
compositions (or bandishes) in California for Legacy, a private
album that won them a Grammy Award nomination.
1990s, Asha experimented with the remixed R D Burman songs.
She was criticized by many, including Khayyam for tampering
with old melodies. Nevertheless, albums like Rahul And I became
quite popular. In 1997, Asha did a private Indipop album Janam
Samjha Karo with Leslie Lewis. The album was hugely popular
and won her many awards including the 1997 MTV Award.
had been once asked by the director B R Ishaara to compose
music for one of his films, but she had politely declined.
In 2002, she turned music composer with the album Aap Ki Asha,
an eight-song music and video album. The lyrics were written
by Majrooh Sultanpuri (his last lyrics) and the music was
composed by Asha herself. The album was released by Sachin
Tendulkar on May 21, 2001 at a lavish party in Mumbai. The
album received mixed reviews.
had spotted Pakistani singer Adnan Sami's talent when he was
about 10 years old. At that time was performing in London,
with R D Burman. It was she who had asked him to pursue his
interests in music seriously. When Adnan grew up and became
a professional musician, Asha sang the title duet with him
for his best-selling album Kabhi to nazar milao. The two came
together again in the album Barse Badal. The album comprises
eight songs, based on Indian Classical music. She contributed
the song Yun Na Thi to the recording Womad Talking Book Volume
Four: An Introduction to Asia 1 on Womad Records.
has sung ghazals for many albums like Meraj-E-Ghazal, Aabshar-E-Ghazal
and Kashish. In 2005, Asha released a self-title album (Asha),
a tribute to the four ghazal maestros - Mehdi Hasan, Ghulam
Ali, Farida Khanum and Jagjit Singh. The album features eight
of her favorite ghazals like Farida Khanum’s Aaj Jaane
Ki Zid Na Karo, Ghulam Ali’s Chupke Chupke, Aawargi
and Dil Mein Ek Lahar, Jagjit Singh’s Ahista Ahista
and Mehdi Hassan’s Ranjish Hi Sahi, Rafta Rafta and
Mujhe Tum Nazar Se. These classic ghazals were recreated with
modern sounds by the musician Pandit Somesh Mathur. The album
was aimed at the younger generation, who, according to Asha,
are "turned off" by the traditional sounds of tabla
compilations of Asha's songs have been released as well. To
commemorate her 60th birthday, in 1993 EMI India released
three cassettes: Bala Main Bairagan Hoongi (devotional songs),
The Golden Collection: Memorable Ghazals (non-film ghazals
by composers such as Ghulam Ali, R D Burman and Nazar Hussain),
and The Golden Collection: The Ever Versatile Asha Bhosle
(44 popular film songs).
Concerts and collaborations with foreign artists
In 1980s and 1990s, Asha went globe-trotting, staging concerts
in Canada, Dubai, UK, U.S. and many other countries. In 1989,
during a world tour, she performed in 13 US cities in 20 days.
Immediately after this, she had an already sold-out concert
scheduled in Stockholm, Sweden. Due to the stressful schedule,
Asha suffered a massive attack of colitis, together with fever,
cough and weakness. In Stockholm, a pre-concert crisis meeting
was called, attended by Asha's son (and manager) Anand and
the sponsors. It was decided that the orchestra will play
many instrumental tracks, the accompanying singers like Suresh
Wadkar will shoulder the load, and Asha will make a small
appearance. But Asha rejected all such "insane"
proposals. Asha's sang at the concert with great difficulty,
in a not-so-good voice. Her first set of six Bollywood songs
did not receive any response from the audience, which consisted
mostly of Indian and Pakistani expats. Before the start of
the second set of songs, a fan in the crowd requested her
to sing a Marathi song. Asha obliged and sang Naach-naachuni
ati mi damale ("I'm very tired of this endless dancing").
The mood took her over, and she rendered the song very beautifully.
When the song ended, the auditorium erupted with claps and
the encores started. After the concert, Asha was in bed for
a month, recuperating from overexertion. In October 2002,
she did a concert with Sudesh Bhosle and others, in London,
for "Help the Aged" to help raise funds for older
people in India. In 2007 she toured the USA, Canada, and West
Indies in a tour called the incredibles. In this tour she
was accompanied by Sonu Nigam, Kunal Ganjawala and Kailash
Kher. This tour went on to hold more than 20 concerts and
was originally scheduled for only 12.
the mid-1980s, Asha sang with Boy George (Bow down mister)
and Stephen Lauscombe. In 1997, she sang a love song with
the boy band Code Red, at the age of 64. She also recorded
the song The Way you Dream (One Giant Leap) with Michael Stipe
that was used in the English movie, Bulletproof Monk.
1997, the British band Cornershop paid tribute to Asha with
their song Brimful of Asha, an international hit which was
later remixed by Fatboy Slim. In 2001, the CD single of Nelly
Furtado's "I'm Like A Bird" included a "Nellie
vs. Asha Remix" created by Digital Cutup Lounge.
2002, she appeared along with Michael Stipe on the track "The
Way You Dream" on the self-titled album by 1 Giant Leap.
2003, British opera pop singer Sarah Brightman sampled her
song "Dil Cheez Kya Hai" on her album Harem. It
was used as the intro for her song "You Take My Breath
Bhosle in a concert with Kronos QuartetIn 2005, American string
quartet Kronos Quartet re-recorded the R D Burman compositions
like Chura liya, Piya tu, Mera Kuchh Saaman among others and
got Asha to sing them. Despite her age (she had crossed 70),
she recorded three to four songs in a day, leaving the quartet
members stupefied. On August 23, 2005, You've stolen my heart
- Songs From R D Burman's Bollywood was released in US. The
album was nominated for Grammy Awards 2006 in the category
of "Best Contemporary World Music Album". Earlier,
in 1990s, a friend had introduced David Harrington of Kronos
Quartet to the song Aaj ki raat. Harrington was mesmerised,
and the song ended up on the album Kronos Caravan.
in 2005, the Black Eyed Peas sampled her song "Yeh Mera
Dil" in their hit single "Don't Phunk With My Heart".
In late 2006, Asha collaborated with Australian test cricket
star, Brett Lee. The single, You're the One for Me debuted
at number 4 on the charts and reached a peak position of number
2006 Asha Bhosle recorded one song for the soundtrack of Pakistani
movie Mein Ek Din Laut Kay Aaaonga. She sang the song Dil
Key Taar Bajey with famous Pakistani pop singer Jawad Ahmed.
The song was aired as the part of the film's promortional
campaign and became very popular, featuring on top music charts.
Asha's house is situated in Prabhukunj Apt on Peddar Road
area of South Mumbai. She has three children and five grandchildren.
The eldest of her three children is Hemant Bhosle (named after
Hemant Kumar), who initially dabbled in music direction but
then quit to become a pilot. Asha's daughter Varsha, who is
younger than Hemant, worked as a columnist for The Sunday
Observer and Rediff. The youngest child is Anand Bhosle, who
has studied business and film direction. He manages Asha's
career. Her grandson, Chaitanya (Chintu) Bhosle (Hemant's
son) also ventured in the world of music, as a member of a
successful boy band, "Band of Boys". Her sisters
Lata and Usha Mangeshkar are playback singers. The other two
siblings, sister Meena Mangeshkar and brother Hridayanath
Mangeshkar are music directors.
is an excellent cook and cooking is her favorite hobby. She
often gets flooded with requests by Bollywood celebrities
for kadai ghosht and biryani and has rarely turned down a
request. In fact, her paya curry, Goan fish curry and dal
are very popular with the Kapoor family of Bollywood. Once,
when asked in a Times of India interview, what if her singing
career had not taken off, she said "I had have become
a cook. I'd have cooked in four houses and made money."
is a successful restaurateur and runs restaurants in Dubai
and Kuwait, called Asha's. Asha's offers traditional north-western
Indian cuisine. It has a presence in the Wafi City development
in Dubai, as well as two restaurants in Kuwait. Asha Bhosle
has a 20% stake in the business. Asha is not involved in day-to-day
running of the restaurant, which is looked after by the Wafi
Group. She takes care of the kitchen and the décor.
She personally trained the chefs for almost six months. According
to a December 2004 report in the Menu Magazine, Russell Scott,
a former head of Harry Ramsden's (the fish and chips chain),
secured the UK rights to the Asha's brand and planned to open
up to 40 restaurants over the next five years.
fashion statement is white sarees with sparkling embroidery,
pearls around her neck and diamonds. Harrington of Kronos
Quartet said "The first time I met Ashaji she was dressed
in the most beautiful sari with diamonds and looked very regal.
Then I looked down and saw that she was wearing tennis shoes!
I thought I love this woman."
is a good mimicry artist as well. At a concert at World Trade
Center Dubai, on April 22, 2004, she mimicked the song Kabhi
To Nazar Milaao in the voices of Noor Jehan, Lata Mangeshkar
and Ghulam Ali.
apart from singing and her restaurant, Asha is also working
on her autobiography.
Rivalry with Lata Mangeshkar
Asha's sibling rivalry with her sister Lata Mangeshkar is
often talked about, in spite of their insistence that these
are just tales. As young children, they were very close. As
a child, Lata used to carry Asha all the time. They were so
inseparable that when Lata went to school she would take Asha
with her, but one day the teacher protested and said that
they cannot have two students on one fee. Lata refused to
return to school without Asha and quit her studies.
considered Asha's act of eloping with her lover as irresponsible,
leaving her alone to sing and earn for the family. This led
to tensions among them. Asha herself accepted in an interview
- "It was a love marriage and Lata didi (elder sister)
did not speak to me for a long time. She disapproved of the
alliance." It is a well-known fact that at one time,
their relationship was very adversarial and there have been
periods of non-communication.
her initial days in the industry, Asha always played second
fiddle to her elder sister. Some say that Lata had once said
something criticising Asha's relationship with O P Nayyar.
This widened the rift between the two sisters and O P Nayyar
also decided that he would never work with Lata. O.P. Nayyar
had once revealed - "Asha and Lata staying in opposite
flats at Bombay's Peddar Road, shared a common maidservant.
Now this maidservant had merely to come and tell the younger
sister that Lata had just recorded something wonderful for
Asha to lose her vocal poise. Such was her Lata phobia that
it took me some months to convince Asha that she had a voice
individualistic enough to evolve a singing style all of her
own." Asha once said that she has worked for years to
create a voice and a style that was different from her Lata,
so that she could carve her own niche and not be banished
to live her shadow.
With sister Lata MangeshkarAsha and Lata have sung many songs
together. Their first duet was for the film Daman (1951).
Some of these include Man Bhawan Ke Ghar aye (Chori Chori,
1956), Sun ri sun papiha bole (Miss Mary, 1957), O chaand
jahaan woh jaaye (Sharada, 1957), Mere Mehboob Mein Kya Nahi
(Mere Mehboob, 1963), Ai kash kisi deewane ko (Aaye Din Bahar
Ke, 1966), Main Chali Main Chali (Padosan, 1968), Chhap tilak
sab (Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, 1978), and Man kyun behka
(Utsav, 1984). While singing, Lata used to hold her notebook
in her right hand, while Asha held her notebook in her left
hand. This meant Lata had her face away from Asha, making
it difficult for them to "anticipate" each other.
movie "Saaz", was supposedly based on Lata and Asha's
rivalry. Asha said about the movie - "To have two women
in long plaits, take a couple of incidents and exaggerate
them into a 3-hour film is such a waste of time." In
last few years, Asha and Lata have often been seen in public,
enjoying each other's company. In an interview with Times
of India, Asha once said - "I remember, sometimes both
of us would be at a function and some industry types would
ignore me and interact only with her, as if to prove their
loyalty. Later, didi (elder sister) and I would have a good
famous Bollywood lyricist-filmmaker Gulzar once said - "Asha
was like Neil Armstrong's companion in the space rocket that
touched the moon. After Lataji touched down on the moon, Ashaji
could only be the second one to get there."
Asha Bhosle has won seven Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards
out of 18 nominations. She won her first two awards in 1967
and 1968, when Lata Mangeshkar still used to accept the award
(Mangeshkar asked not to be considered for the award nominations
after 1969 to promote new talent). After receiving the award
in 1979, Bhosle emulated her elder sister and requested that
her name not be considered for the nominations hereafter.
Despite this, Bhosle is the most frequent winner of this award
to date, lying with Alka Yagnik. She was later given a Special
Award for Rangeela in 1996, and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement
Award in 2001. Following is the list of her Filmfare Awards:
Best Female Playback Award:
Garibon ki Suno (Dus Lakh, 1966)
1969: Parde Mein Rehne Do ( Shikar, 1968)
1972: Piya Tu Ab To Aaja ( Caravan, 1971)
1973: Dum Maro Dum ( Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1972)
1974: Hone Lagi Hain Raat (Naina, 1973)
1975: Chain Se Humko Kabhi (Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye,
1979: Yeh Mera Dil (Don, 1978)
- Special Award (Rangeela, 1995)
2001 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
National Film Awards
Asha has won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback
Dil Cheez Kya Hai (Umrao Jaan)
1986: Mera Kuch Samaan (Ijaazat)
Asha has won numerous other awards, some of which include:
Nightingale Of Asia Award (from the Indo-Pak Association,
1989: Lata Mangeshkar Award (Government of Madhya Pradesh).
1997: Screen Videocon Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha
1997: MTV Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo).
1997: Channel V Award (for the album Jaanam Samjha Karo).
1998: Dayawati Modi Award.
1999: Lata Mangeshkar Award (Government of Maharashtra)
2000: Singer of the Millennium (Dubai).
2000: Zee Gold Bollywood Award (for Mujhe Rang De from Thakshak).
2001: MTV Award (for Kambakht Ishq).
2002: BBC Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by the UK
Prime Minister Tony Blair).
2002: Zee Cine Award Best Playback Singer- Female (for Radha
Kaise Na Jale from Lagaan).
2002: Zee Cine Special Award for Hall of Fame.
2002: Screen Videocon Award (for Radha Kaise Na Jale from
2002: Sansui Movie Award (for Radha Kaise Na Jale from Lagaan).
2003: Swaralaya Yesudas Award for outstanding contributions
to Indian music.
2004: Living Legend Award by the Federation of Indian Chamber
of Commerce and Industry.
2005: MTV Immies, Best Female Pop Act for Aaj Jaane Ki Zid
2005: Most Stylish People in Music.
In 1997, Asha became the first Indian singer to be nominated
for the Grammy Award, for Legacy, an album with Ustad Ali
She has received seventeen Maharashtra State Awards.
She received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2000 for her outstanding
contribution to Indian cinema.
She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Amravati
and University of Jalgaon in Literature.
She has received The Freddie Mercury Award for Outstanding
Achievement in Arts.
The Birmingham Film Festival paid her a special tribute in
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