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Mukesh (July 22, 1923 - August 27, 1976) was an Indian playback singer of Bollywood. Along with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar, he was one of the three leading male Bollywood playback singers from the 1950s to the 1970s.

He is best known for the songs he sang as a playback singer for Raj Kapoor, a legendary actor/director of Bollywood in the 1950s and 1960s. When the news of his death reached Raj Kapoor, he remarked, "I have lost my voice," which is a testimony to the timeless and unforgettable association of Mukesh's voice (in playback) to the immensely popular songs of Raj Kapoor's films.


Born Mukesh Chand Mathur in Delhi on 22 July 1923, in a small middle class family. Mukesh was the sixth in a family of ten children. Father Lala Zorawar Chand Mathur was an engineer. His mother was Chand Rani. The music teacher who came home to teach Mukesh`s sister Sundar Pyari, found a pupil in Mukesh who would listen from the adjoining room. He had a younger brother Parmeshwari Das. Mukesh left school after the 10th standard and worked briefly for the Delhi Department of Public Works. Mukesh experimented with voice recordings during his employment in Delhi and gradually developed his singing abilities.

Mukesh got married in 1946 to Sarla Trivedi in a temple in a Kandiwali , at the residence of Mr. R.D. Mathur. Mukesh was from a middle class family of the kayastha community. Sarla was daughter of millionaire Gujarati Brahmins. With him having no proper house, an erratic in-come and a supposedly "immoral" profession. Thus Mukesh and Sarla eloped. Everyone made dire predictions of unhappy days and divorce; but both weathered the' lean days and celebrated their thirtieth wedding anniversary on the 22nd July,1976 five days before his departure for the U.S.A. on 27th July,1976. The couple had five children as Rita, Nitin, Nalini, Mohnish (Taboo) and Namrata (Amrita).

Mukesh's voice was noticed by Motilal (a popular actor in Hindi films, also a distant relative of Mukesh) when he sang at his sister's wedding. Motilal took him to Bombay, let him stay with him and even arranged for singing lessons for him. During this period, Mukesh managed to bag a role in a Hindi film, Nirdosh (Innocent) (1941). His first song was dil hi bujha hua ho to as an actor singer for Nirdosh. He got his break as a playback singer in 1945 with the film Pehli Nazar (First Look). The first song he sang for a Hindi film was Dil Jalta Hai to Jalne De (If the heart burns, let it burn) , which was incidentally picturised on Motilal.

In 1974, Mukesh received National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song Kain baar yoon bhi dekhaa hai from Rajnigandha (1974), and Filmfare Awards for the songs Sab Kuch Seekha in the movie Anari (1959), Ganga Ram Ki Samajh in Pehchaan (1970), Jai Bolo in Be Imaan (1972) and the title song of Kabhie Kabhie (1976).

Mukesh died of a heart attack on August 27, 1976 in Detroit, Michigan, USA, where he had gone for a concert. His body was carried back to India with Lata Mangeshkar, where a grand funeral ceremony took place as many famous actors, personalities of the Indian film industry, and fans paid tribute to the late singer.

After Mukesh's death, his newer unreleased songs released in 1977 with films like Dharam Veer, Amar Akbar Anthony, Khel Khiladi Ka, Darinda, and Chandi Sona. The year 1978 also featured a good number of Mukesh songs , films like Aahuti, Paramatma, Tumhari Kasam, and Satyam Shivam Sundaram, where Mukesh sang his last film song "Chanchal Sheetal Nirmal Komal." From 1980 onward, Mukesh's voice was heard in many late released films like Shaitan Mujarim, Premika, Patthar Se Takkar (1980), Sanjh Ki Bela, Maila Anchal (1981), Aarohi (1982), Chor Mandali (1983), Nirlaj (1985), Love and God (1986), Shubh Chintak (1989), and his last known release of Chand Grahan (1997).

Mukesh's son, Nitin Mukesh, was a fairly popular singer in the 1980s and sings mostly devotional religious songs these days. His grandson Neil Mukesh is an upcoming actor who is set to debut in Johnny Gaddaar which releases in September 2007.

Awards Winner

National Film Awards
1974 - National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for Kain baar yoon bhi dekhaa hai song in the film Rajnigandha

Filmfare Awards Winner
1959 - Filmfare Best Male Playback Award for Subkuchh seekha humne song in the film Anari
1970 - Filmfare Best Male Playback Award for Sabse bada naadan song in the film Pehchan
1972 - Filmfare Best Male Playback Award for Jai bolo beiman ki song in the film Beimaan
1976 - Filmfare Best Male Playback Award for Kabhi khabhi mere dil mein song in the film Kabhi Kabhie

1961 - Hothon Pe Sacchai song in the film Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai
1964 - Dost Dost Na Raha song in the film Sangam
1967 - Sawan Ka Mahina song in the film Milan
1970 - Bas Yehi Apradh Main Har Baar Karta Hoon song in the film Pehchan
1972 - Ek Pyar Ka Nagma song in the film Shor
1974 - Main Na Bhoolunga song in the film Roti Kapda Aur Makaan
1976 - Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar song in the film Kabhie Kabhie
1976 - Ek Din Bik Jayega, Maati Ke Mol song in the film Dharam Karam
1977 - Suhani Chandni Raten song in the film Mukti
1978 - Chanchal Sheetal song in the film Satyam Shivam Sundaram

Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards Winner
1967 - Best Male Playback Singer for Teesri Kasam
1968 - Best Male Playback Singer for Milan
1970 - Best Male Playback Singer for Saraswatichandra


Pehli Nazar (First Look) (1945)
Mela (The Fair) (1948)
Aag (Fire) (1948)
Andaz (1949)
Awaara (1951)
Shree 420 (1955)
Parvarish (Upbringing) (1958)
Anari (Fool) (1959)
Sangam (1964)
Mera Naam Joker (1970)
Dharam Karam (1975)

Memorable songs

Tu Kahe Agar from Andaz (1949) by pawan kumar singh
Zinda Hoon Main Is Tarah from Aag (1948)
Khayalon Mein Kisi Ke (with Geeta Dutt) from Bawre Nain (1950)
Awaara Hoon from Awaara (1951)
Mera Joota Hai Japaani from Shree 420 (1955)
Yeh Meraa Deewanaapan Hai from Yahudi (1958)
Kisee Ki Muskuraahaton Pe Ho Nisaar from Anari (1959)
O Janewale Ho Sake To Laut Ke Aanaa from Bandini (1963)
Dost Dost Naa Rahaa from Sangam (1964)
Sawan Ka Mahina (with Lata Mangeshkar) from Milan (1967)
Jaane Kahaan Gaye Wo Din from Mera Naam Joker (1970)
Kahin Door Jab Din from Anand (1970) (music scored by Salil Chowdhury)
Ek Din Bik Jaayega from Dharam Karam (1975)
Main Pal Do Pal Kaa Shaayar Hoon and
Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Me Khayaal Aataa Hai from Kabhi Kabhie (1976)
Chanchal sheetal nirmal komal from Satyam Shivan Sundaram(1978)

Sourced from wikipedia and meant for information only.

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