Lata Mangeshkar – The Nightingale of Bollywood

Lata Mangeshkar – The Nightingale of Bollywood

Lata Mangeshkar (1929-2022) was the most popular and legendary playback singer in India. She had recorded songs in over thousands of Hindi films, and also sang songs for thirty-six regional Indian languages and foreign languages, though most songs were in Marathi and Hindi language.

Lata Mangeshkar’s wonderful and distinctive voice has a vocal range that is extended over more than three octaves. She is the great playback singer of many centuries and is known as one of India’s most famous, best, and respected playback singers. Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar has been giving her sweet voice to Indian cinema for many decades. She has been giving her melodious voice to Indian cinema since she was just 13 years of age.

When Lata Mangeshkar sang “A Mere Watan ki Logo, Just fill me in the eyes“, India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehruji also had tears in his eyes. She has also been awarded several awards for her unprecedented contribution to the field of music and Bharat Ratna is one of them. In 1989, she has also been awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest honor of Indian cinema, by the Government of India. She is the second women singer after MS Subbulakshmi who was awarded Bharat Ratna.

Lata Ji has faced many ups and downs and struggles in her life, but she never gave up and she continued to achieve her goal and touched the infinite heights of life. Today, Lata Ji is ideal for everyone and her life is inspiring for many people – so let us know about Lata Mangeshkar’s life, music career, and some special things related to her life.

Lata Mangeshkar died on 6th February 2022 at age of 92 due to COVID-19.

Early life

Lata Mangeshkar, the voice of India’s Nightingale, was born on 28 September 1929 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, to a Maharashtrian Brahmin family. His father Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar was a classical singer and theater actor, so it can be said that Lata Ji has inherited music.

Lata’s mother’s name was Shevanti (Shudhamati) who was from Thalner in Maharashtra and was the second wife of Dinanath. Lata Mangeshkar’s family’s surname was Hardikar, but his father changed it to Mangeshkar after the name of his hometown, so that his name would represent his family village Mangeshi, Goa. However, shortly after Lata Ji’s birth, her family moved to Maharashtra.

Lata Mangeshkar was called by the name “Hema” in her childhood, but later her father changed her name to Lata, inspired by a play “Bhava Bandhan”. Lata is the eldest and first child of her parents. There are four siblings younger are, namely, Meena, Asha Bhosle, Usha, and Hridaynath.

Lata Mangeshkar, the magician of music, learned her first lesson from her father because of her interest in music since childhood. She used to learn classical music from her father along with all her siblings. When Lata ji was just 5 years old, she started working as an actress for her father’s musical play. Lata Mangeshkar is a marvel in the field of music, her father Dinanath Mangeshkar realized this in her childhood.

Lata took classical music training from Ustad Amanat Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, and Pandit Tulsidas Sharma, and Amanat Dev Devsale because of her interest in music from the very beginning.

In 1942, a mountain of sorrow broke over Lata Mangeshkar when her father suffered from heart disease and left his large young family in the middle. At that time Lata Ji was only 13 years old while being the eldest in the family, Lata Ji came to bear the financial responsibility of her siblings. After which Lata Ji started working for the upbringing of her family as the sole bread earner.

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Lata Mangeshkar Career

Lata Ji started her career at the age of 13 and since then she has been giving her sweet voice to her Indian cinema. Lata sang her first song in 1942 for the Marathi film Kitty Hassal, “Nachu Ya Na Gadhe Khedu Saari, Mani Haus Bhari“, a song composed by Sadashivrao Navrekar, but while editing the film, this song was removed from the film.

After this, Master Vinayak, the owner of Navayuga Chitrapat Film Company and friend of Lata Ji’s father, helped her to manage the family, and also helped Lata Mangeshkar in making her career as a singer and actress. In the year 1942, Master Vinayak gave a small character to Lata Ji in the Marathi film Pahili Mangla-Gaur, in which Lata also sang a song.

Even though Lata started her career as a Marathi singer and actress, at that time nobody knew that this little girl would one day become the most famous and sweetest singer of the Hindi cinema.

Her first Hindi song was also from the 1943 Marathi film. The song was “Mata Ek Saput Ki Duniya Badal De Tu” which was a song from the Marathi film “Gajabhau”. After this, Lata Ji moved to Mumbai with Master Vinayak Company in the year 1945. And from here, she started learning Hindustani classical music from Ustad Amanat Ali Khan to enhance her musical talent.

She was rejected by many music composers as she got a thin and shrill voice, and because her voice was completely different from the songs people liked at that time. At the same time, Lata Ji was also asked to sing for the famous singer Nur Jahan of that period.

Unfortunately, in 1948 Vinayak died and another storm came in Lata’s life, thus her early years in the Hindi film world were full of struggle. However, after Vinayak Ji’s death, Ghulam Haider Ji had greatly influenced Lata Ji’s career.

In the year 1948, Lata Mangeshkar was recognized with the song “Dil Mera Toda, Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhoda” from the film Mazdoor. Also in the film ‘Mahal’, which came in the year 1949, she sang his first super hit song “Aaya Aanewala“. After this song, many big music directors and playback singers of the music world had caught sight of Lata, after which she got offers for several songs one after the other.

In the year 1950, Lata Ji got a chance to work with many big music directors like Anil Biswas, Shankar Jaikishan, S.D. Burman, Khayyam, Salil Chaudhary, Madan Mohan, Kalyanji-Anandji, etc.

The turning point of his life came when he received the first Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer in 1958 for the song “Aaja Re Pardesi” by music director Salil Chaudhary for the film Madhumati. During this time, Lata Mangeshkar Ji did some raga based songs like “Mohe bhoolge saawariya” on bhairav ​​for Baiju Bawra. During that time Lata Ji, who ruled her heart with her voice, also started singing songs in local languages ​​from Marathi and Tamil, she sang “Anthan Kannalan” for “Vanaradham“.

After this, Lata Ji sang a song for her younger brother Hadaynath Mangeshkar, who was the music director of a film like Jait Ke Jait. Apart from this, Lata has given a new identity to Bengali language music with her melodious voice. In the year 1967, Lata made her debut in the Kannada language with the song “Bellane Belagayithu” composed by Lakshman Verlekar in the film “Krantiveera Sangoli“. Lata ji also sang the song “Kadli Chenkadali” composed in Malayalam for the film Nellu by Salil Chaudhary. Then later by singing songs in many different languages, he gave the music a new identity with his voice.

During this time Lata Ji did many big projects with many big music composers like Hemant Kumar, Mahendra Kapoor, Mohammed Rafi, Matra Dey. Lata Ji’s career was on the seventh sky, due to her melodious and melodious voice, she became a singing star, it was a period when the greatest producer, music composer, actor, and director wanted to work with Lata.

The time of 1960 was full of successes for Lata Ji, during this time she sang many super hit songs like “Pyar kiya to darna kya“, “Ajeeb dasata hai yeh“. The year 1960 was also known for its relationship with singer and music directors Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Lata Ji, Lata Ji sang more than 700 songs in her long career of nearly 35 years.

This magic of Mangeshkar’s success and the voice continued in the 1970s and 1980s as well. Duet sang along with Kishore Kumar was well-liked during this period. Some songs like “Kora Kagaz” (1969), “Aandhi” film’s Tere Bina Zindagi Se (1971), Abhimaan’s film “Tere Mere Milan Ki” (1973), Ghar Ka Aap Ki Aankhon Kuch “(1978) Those are songs that even today, people hear them relieve their mind.

Apart from this, Lata Ji also sang some religious songs. At this time, due to her melodious voice, she had established her identity in the whole world. In 1980, the great singer Lata Ji worked with Sachin Burman’s son Rahul Dev Burman and with RD Burman.

RD Burman is the husband famous Hindi playback singer Asha Bhosle who is also the younger sister of Lata Ji. He went with Lata Ji in Agar Tum Na Hote …Humse Aur Jeene Ki, Rocky’s “Kya Yeh Pyaar Hai“, Masoom’s “Tujse naraz nahi hai zindagi“.

After a few years, Lata Ji’s health gradually deteriorated and she started giving voice in a few songs, Lata Ji has not only sung songs for films but also launched many music albums in her career. Many new female singers entered Bollywood in the year 1990, but who can win her when Goddess Sarwasti is herself seated in her voice.

At this time also, the lamp of Lata’s success continued to burn. And even today, people love Lata ji as much as they used to in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Among the memorable songs sung by Lata Ji, some films have special mention – Anarkali, Mughal-e-Azam, Amar Prem, Guide, Asha, Premrog, Satyam Shivam Sundaramiya. She sang songs for the new films and her voice was not only melodious as before but has also improved and new tone, like Hina, Ramlakhan.

At one time, her songs also went well in films like ‘Barsaat’, ‘Naagin’, and ‘Pakija’. She has sung more than 30,000 songs and also has a record of singing in all Indian languages.

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Lata Mangeshkar Awards

Lata Mangeshkar has not only made many lyricists and musicians successful, but her films have proved popular due to her melodious singing. Lata Mangeshkar has also received many big and national honors in her career, including Padma Shri and Bharat Ratna among the highest awards in India.

Apart from this, Lata Ji has also received Filmfare Awards in 1958, 1960, 1965, and 1969 for singing. He has also been especially honored by the Guinness Book of World Records. A reward of Rs 1 lakh is given every year on behalf of the Madhya Pradesh government. In 1989, Lataji was honored with the ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Award‘.

The awards given to Lata Ji are as follows –

  • Filmfare Awards – Awards (1958, 1962, 1965, 1969, 1993 and 1994)
  • National Film Award (1972, 1974 and 1990)
  • Maharashtra Government Award (1966 and 1967)
  • 1969 – Padma Bhushan
  • 1974 – Guinness Book Record of most song songs in the world
  • 1989 – Dadasaheb Phalke Award
  • 1993 – Filmfare’s Life Time Achievement Award
  • 1996 – Lifetime Achievement Award of Screen
  • 1997 – Rajiv Gandhi Award
  • 1999 – NTR Award
  • 1999 – Padma Vibhushan
  • 1999 – Zee Cine’s Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2000 – I.I.A. F. Lifetime Achievement Award of
  • 2001 – Stardust Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2001 – India’s highest civilian honor “Bharat Ratna”
  • 2001 – Nur Jahan Award
  • 2001 – Maharashtra Bhushan
  • 2008 – Lata Ji was also awarded the “One Time Award for Lifetime Achievement” on the occasion of India’s 60th Independence Day.

Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar is the most popular and respected Singer of India, whose career has been filled with many achievements. Lata Ji has honored the world of music with her melodious notes for more than 7 decades with her voice. India’s ‘Swar Kokila’ Lata Mangeshkar has sung thousands of songs in many languages.

Hearing her voice, sometimes tears came in someone’s eyes, and sometimes the soldiers standing on the border got support. Lata Ji has dedicated herself completely to music even today. Lata Ji is a legend, which every Indian takes pride in she is one of the greatest singers India has ever produced. She is the real gem of India.

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.