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Lata Mangeshkar (born September 28, 1929) is an Indian singer. Focusing mainly on Hindi and Marathi film music (playback singing), she has sung in over twenty major Indian languages.
Lata Mangeshkar is only the second Indian singer to have received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, the other being M. S. Subbulakshmi. In fact, no other Indian singer of non-classical music has been awarded anything higher than the Padma Bhushan, the nation's third highest civilian honour as of April 2007.

Mangeshkar was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records from 1974 to 1991 for "most recordings" in the world. The claim was that she has reportedly recorded not less than 25,000 solo, duet and chorus-backed songs in 20 Indian languages between 1948 to 1974 (30,000 songs between 1948 and 1987, according to 1987 edition). However, reputed sources introduced concerns for its veracity, claiming that the number of songs was highly exaggerated, and Mangeshkar's sister, singer Asha Bhosle has recorded more songs than her.


Lata Mangeshkar was born in a Maharashtrian family at Sikh Mohalla, Indore in Central India Agency now in Madhya Pradesh. Her father Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar was a classical singer and theatre actor. Her mother Shudhhamati was Deenanath Mangeshkar's second wife. The family's original surname was Hardikar, but Pandit Deenanath later changed it to Mangeshkar to identify with his native village, Mangeshi in Goa. Lata was originally named "Hema", but was later renamed after Latika, a character in one of her father's plays, Bhaan Bandhan. She was the firstborn child, to be followed by siblings Hridayanath, Asha, Usha and Meena.

Lata Mangeshkar's first music teacher was her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar. Raised in Maharashtra, she started working as an actress in her father's musical plays (sangeet nataks) at the age of five. Deenanath's recitals and lessons left a strong impression on his daughter, as did the songs of K.L. Saigal, who was her favorite singer and idol. Her formal education was limited to one day in the school. On the first day in the school, she started teaching songs to other children. When the teacher stopped her, she was so angry that she stopped going to the school.

Early cinema career in 1940s

In 1942, when she was just 13 years old, Lata Mangeshkar's father died of heart disease. She was taken care of by Vinayak Damodar Karnataki (better known as Master Vinayak), a close friend of the Mangeshkar family. Master Vinayak was the owner of Navyug Chitrapat film company, and the father of actress Nanda. He helped Lata Mangeshkar get started with her career, and was a godfather to the five Mangeshkar siblings.

To earn money, Lata Mangeshkar played cameo roles in many Hindi and Marathi films. Her first film as an actress was Navyug Chitrapat's Marathi movie, Pahili Mangalagaur (1942), in which Master Vinayak ensured a bit part for her. Her first film song was Naatli Chaitrachi Navalai from the same film, composed by Dada Chandekar. She had earlier recorded the song Naachu Ya Gade Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhari, composed by Sadashivrao Nevrekar, for the Marathi movie Kiti Hasaal (1942), produced by Vasant Joglekar. However, the song was dropped from the film. Her first Hindi song was Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu for a Marathi film Gajabhau (1943).

With sister Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar moved to Mumbai in 1945, when Master Vinayak's company shifted its headquarters to the city. She learnt Hindustani classical music under Ustad Amanat Ali Khan Bhendibazaarwale. Her first song in a Hindi film was Paa Lagoon Kar Jori, composed by Datta Davjekar, for Vasant Joglekar's Aap Ki Seva Mein (released in 1946). She and her sister Asha played minor roles alongside Noor Jehan in Master Vinayak's first Hindi film, Badi Maa (1945). Lata also sang a bhajan, Maata Tere Charnon Mein, which was picturized on Asha. She was introduced to major music director Vasant Desai during the recording of Master Vinayak's second Hindi film, Subhadra (1946). After Ustad Amanat Ali Khan migrated to Pakistan following the partition of India in 1947, she learnt classical music under Amanat Khan Devaswale. She was also trained by Pandit Tulsidas Sharma, a pupil of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.

After Master Vinayak's death in 1948, the music director Ghulam Haider mentored Lata Mangeshkar as a singer. At that time, the most popular female singers in Hindi film industury were the ones with heavier, and often nasal voices, such as Noor Jehan, Shamshad Begum and Zohrabai Ambalewali. Haider introduced Lata Mangeshkar to the producer Sashadhar Mukherjee, who was working on the movie Shaheed (1948). Mukherjee dismissed her voice as "too thin". Haider was annoyed and stated that in coming years, the producers and the directors will fall at Mangeshkar's feet, begging her to sing in their films. He gave Lata Mangeshkar her first major break with the song Dil Mera Toda in the film Majboor (1948).

Initially, Lata Mangeshkar tried to imitate Noor Jehan, the most popular singer of that time, but later, she developed her own unique style of singing. After a remark from Dilip Kumar about her Maharashtrian accent, Lata Mangeshkar took Urdu lessons from a maulvi called Shafi, as many of the Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) film songs were composed by Urdu poets in that period.

In late 1940s, several mainstream music directors started patronizing Lata Mangeshkar. Her first superhit song was Aayega Aanewaala from the movie Mahal (1949), composed by Khemchand Prakash and picturized on Madhubala. Mahal was a hit film, and a turning point for both Madhubala and Mangeshkar.

Rise as a notable playback singer in 1950s

In 1950s, Lata Mangeshkar recorded songs for all the major composers of the period, including Anil Biswas, Shankar-Jaikishan, Naushad, S. D. Burman, C. Ramchandra, Hemant Kumar, and Salil Chowdhury. One notable exception was O. P. Nayyar, who never recorded songs with Lata Mangeshkar, and patronized her younger sister Asha Bhosle instead.

Lata Mangeshkar sang many classical raga-based songs for Naushad, in films like Baiju Bawra (1952), Mughal-E-Azam and Kohinoor. Her first song for Naushad was Ae Chorre Ki Jaat Badi Bewafa, a duet with G. M. Durrani. Shankar-Jaikishan used Lata as their female singer in all the movies they scored, mainly for Raj Kapoor. These movies include Aag, Aah (1953), Shree 420 (1955), and Chori Chori (1956). Sachin Dev Burman Burman used Lata as his leading female singer for many films, including Sazaa (1951), House No. 44 (1955), and Devdas (1955). However, the two had a major falling-out in 1957, and she refused to record for him again until 1962. During this time, Burman utilized Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle.

It was also during the 1950s that Lata formed her association with one of her favourite composers, Salil Chowdhury. She won her first Filmfare Best Female Playback Award, for the song Aaja Re Pardesi from Madhumati (1958), composed by Chowdhury.

Lata Mangeshkar also worked with many other notable composers including Hemant Kumar, Khayyam, Ravi, Sajjad Hussain, Roshan, Kalyanji-Anandji, C. Ramchandra, Vasant Desai, Sudhir Phadke, Hansraj Behl and Usha Khanna.


The 1960s saw Lata Mangeshkar become the undisputed number one female playback singer in Hindi cinema. She recorded songs for nearly every major composer in the industry, many of which became all-time hits.

In 1960, her song Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya from Mughal-E-Azam (1960), composed by Naushad and picturized on Madhubala, became very popular. The Hawaiian-themed number Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh from Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960), composed by Shankar-Jaikishan and picturized on Meena Kumari, also became a hit.

In 1961, Mangeshkar took the first step on the road to reconciliation with S. D. Burman, as she recorded a bhajan, Allah Tero Naam, for Burman's assistant, Jaidev. In 1962, she bagged her second Filmfare Award for the song Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil from Bees Saal Baad, composed by Hemant Kumar.

On June 27, 1963, Lata Mangeshkar sang the patriotic song Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon in presence of Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India. The song, composed by C. Ramchandra and written by Pradeep, brought tears to Nehru's eyes.

In 1963, Mangeshkar returned to collaboration with S. D. Burman, mainly as a result of a truce brokered by Burman's son and assistant (and her future brother-in-law) R. D. Burman. She recorded many hits for S. D. Burman, including Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai (duet with Kishore Kumar) and Piya Tose from Guide (1965), and Hothon Pe Aisi Baat from Jewel Thief (1967),

In 1960s, Lata Mangeshkar also gave many hits with one of her favorite composers, Madan Mohan. some of their notable songs included Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha from Anpadh (1962), Lag Ja Gale and Naina Barse Rim Jhim from Woh Kaun Thi? (1964), and Tu Jahan Jahan Chalega from Mera Saaya (1966).

The 1960s also witnessed the beginning of Mangeshkar's association with Laxmikant-Pyarelal, the music directors for whom she sang the most songs in her career. She was responsible for advancing their music career, and recorded for them in their first film, Parasmani (1963).

She also sang many songs for Marathi films, composed by notable music directors of Marathi cinema such as Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Vasant Prabhu, Srinivas Khale, Sudhir Phadke and herself (under the name Anandghan). During the 1960s and 1970s, she also sang many hit Bengali songs, composed by music directors like Salil Chowdhury and Hemant Kumar.

Lata Mangeshkar recorded duets with all major male singers, including Mukesh, Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi, and Kishore Kumar. From 1960s onwards, she was not on good terms with Mohammed Rafi, the leading male playback singer of that time, over royalty issues. Lata wanted Rafi to back her in demanding a half-share from the five percent song royalty that the film's producer conceded to select composers. But Rafi took a diametrically opposite view, and believed that a playback singer's claim on the filmmaker ended with the payment of the agreed fee for the song. During the recording of the song Tasveer Teri Dil Mein (Maya, 1961), Lata lost her cool with Rafi in a certain passage of the song. Rafi felt belittled, as music director Salil Chowdhury sided with Lata. The situation worsened as Lata Mangeshkar declared that she would no longer sing with Rafi. Rafi stated that he was only as keen to sing with Lata as she was with him. Later, at the insistence of S.D.Burman, the two decided to make up and sing duets, but on a personal level, they were not on good terms.


In 1971, Meena Kumari's last film, Pakeezah was released. It featured the superhit songs Chalte Chalte and Inhi Logon Ne sung by Lata Mangeshkar, and composed by Ghulam Mohammed. She recorded many popular songs for S. D. Burman's last films, including Rangeela Re from Prem Pujari (1970), Khilte Hain Gul Yahaan from Sharmeelee (1971), and Piya Bina from Abhimaan (1973). Her songs from the film Chhoti Si Baat (1974), the title song and the song Na Jaane Kyon, composed by Salil Chowdhury, also became very popular.

Lata Mangeshkar's most notable songs in 1970s were composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal (L-P) and Rahul Dev Burman. She recorded several songs composed by L-P in 1960s and 1970s, many of them written by the lyricst Anand Bakshi. She also recorded many hit songs with Rahul Dev Burman in the films Amar Prem (1971), Caravan (1971), Kati Patang, 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 1975, she again won the same award, this time for the song Roothe Roothe Piya from the film Kora Kagaz, composed by Kalyanji-Anandji. She collaborated with Bhupinder on Dil Dhoondhta Hai in Mausam (1975), a film by Gulzar, and the song is a classic.

From 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 Mirabai's bhajans, Chala Vaahi Des, composed by her brother Hridayanath Mangeshkar. Some of the bhajans in the album include Saanware Rang Raachi and Ud Jaa Re Kaaga.

In 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).

1980s onwards

1980s onwards, Lata Mangeshkar got selective and cut down on her film singing. She recorded mainly for films by well-known banners, such as Yash Raj Films, and Rajshri Productions. She worked with many new music directors, including Ravindra Jain, Bappi Lahiri, Shiv-Hari, Ram Laxman, A. R. Rahman. She also recorded many non-film songs, including ghazals with Jagjit Singh. In 1981, she recorded her first duet with S P Balasubrahmanyam for the film Ek Duje Ke Liye.

In 1990, Mangeshkar launched her own production house. Its first (and only movie), Lekin, flopped. However, she won her third National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for her song Yaara Sili Sili from the film. Mangeshkar also recorded many non-film songs, including ghazals with Jagjit Singh. During the 1990s, she sang frequently for music directors like Jatin-Lalit, Nadeem-Shravan, Rajesh Roshan and more.

Mangeshkar sang for all the Yash Chopra films, and films from his production house Yash Raj Films, including Lamhe (1992), Darr (1993), Yeh Dillagi (1994), Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) and later on Mohabbatein (2000) and Veer Zaara (2004). The Yash Raj Films banner's songs have been known for their romantic melodies identified with Mangeshkar's voice, and songs such as Kabhi Main Kahun, Hothon Pe Bas , Hogaya Hai Tujhko, Humko Hamise Churalo and Tere Liye have become classics.

A. R. Rahman recorded a number of songs with Mangeshkar during this period, the most popular sogs include "Jiya Jale" (from Dil Se, featuring Preity Zinta), "Khamoshiyan Gungunane Lagin" (One Two Ka Four), and "O Paalanhaare" (Lagaan).

In 1999, Lata Eau De Parfum, a perfume brand named after her, was launched.

DTC honors Lata Mangeshkar in 2007 with the 'Forever Indian Award', in Mumbai. In 1999, she was nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha. However, she did not attend the Rajya Sabha sessions regularly, inviting criticism from several members of the House, including the Deputy Chairperson Najma Heptullah, Pranab Mukherjee and Shabana Azmi. She stated the reason for her absence as ill-health; it was also reported that she had not taken a salary, allowance or a house in Delhi for being a Member of Parliament.

In 2001, Lata Mangeshkar was awarded Bharat Ratna, Indian's highest civilian honor. In the same year, she established the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune, managed by the Lata Mangeshkar Medical Foundation (founded by the Mangeshkar family in October 1989). In 2005, she designed a jewellery collection called Swaranjali, which was crafted by Adora, an Indian diamond export company. Five pieces from the collection raised £1,05,000 at a Christie's, and a part of the money was donated for the 2005 Pakistan earthquake relief. Also in 2001, she recorded her first Hindi song with the composer Ilaiyaraaja, for the film Lajja (2001); she had earlier recorded Tamil and Telugu songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja.

In 2000s, Lata Mangeshkar, along with other residents of the Peddar Road area in Mumbai, opposed the construction of a flyover in the area, creating a controversy. She believed that construction of the flyover would increase air and noise pollution in the area, and threatened to quit the city if the flyover was built. In 2006, it was reported that she and her sister Asha Bhosle had purchased apartments in Parel and were planning to move out of Peddar Road.

Lata Mangeshkar's song Wada Na Tod is also heard playing in the background of the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and can be found on the film's soundtrack.

On June 21, 2007, she released an album Saadgi, featuring eight ghazal-like songs written by Javed Akhtar and composed by Mayuresh Pai.

Non-singing career

Music direction
Lata Mangeshkar composed music for the first time in 1955 for movie "Ram Ram Pavhane". Later in 1960s, she composed music for following Marathi movies under the pseudonym of "Anand Ghan".

1963 - Maratha Tituka Melvava
1963 - Mohityanchi Manjula
1965 - Sadhi Manase
1969 - Tambadi Mati
She won Maharashtra State Government's Best Music Director Award for the film Sadhi Manase. The song Airanichya deva tula from the same film received best song award.


Lata Mangeshkar has acted in nine films:
1942 - Pahili Mangalagaur (Marathi)
1943 - Chimukla Sansaar (Marathi)
1943 - Maajhe Baal (Marathi)
1944 - Gajabhau (Marathi)
1945 - Badi Maa (Hindi)
1946 - Jeevan Yaatra
1946 - Subhadra
1948 - Mandir
1952 - Chattrapati Shivaji (Hindi-Marathi dual release), guest appearance in one song
2000 - Pukar (guest appearance in song Ek Tu Hi Bharosa)


Lata Mangeshkar has produced four films:
1953 - Vaadal (Marathi)
1953 - Jhaanjhar (Hindi), co-produced with C. Ramchandra
1955 - Kanchan (Hindi)
1990 - Lekin (Hindi)

Awards and recognitions

Lata Mangeshkar has won several awards and honors, including Padma Bhushan (1969), Padma Vibhushan (1999), Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1989), Bharat Ratna (2001), three National Film Awards, and 12 Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards. She has also won four Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards. In 1969, she made the unusual gesture of giving up Filmfare Best Female Playback Award, in order to promote fresh talent. She was later awarded Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.

In 1984, the State Government of Madhya Pradesh instituted the Lata Mangeshkar Award in honor of Lata Mangeshkar. The State Government of Maharashtra also instituted a Lata Mangeshkar Award in 1992.

Sourced from wikipedia and meant for information only.

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