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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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),
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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
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"
1999, Lata Eau De Parfum, a perfume brand named after her,
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.
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.
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.
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.
June 21, 2007, she released an album Saadgi, featuring eight
ghazal-like songs written by Javed Akhtar and composed by
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".
- 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:
- 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:
- Vaadal (Marathi)
1953 - Jhaanjhar (Hindi), co-produced with C. Ramchandra
1955 - Kanchan (Hindi)
1990 - Lekin (Hindi)
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.
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.
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