Updated: February 6, 2022 2:48:34 pm
Legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar passed away early Sunday morning. Often referred to as ‘Nightingale of India’, Lata Mangeshkar gave voice to thousands of songs in an incredible three dozen languages.
Starting her career as a young girl of just 13, she collaborated with other giants of Indian playback music scene of yore like Mohammed Rafi, Kishore, and Mukesh. In the modern era, she had successful collaborations with newer generation singers like Udit Narayan, Roopkumar Rathod, and Sonu Nigam.
When she was young, Lata was asked to sing in front of Noor Jehan, the legendary Pakistani singer who left India after the Partition. Referred to as Malika-e-Tarannum (Queen of Melody), she was the biggest female singer of those days.
Speaking to writer and filmmaker Nasreen Munni Kabir about their book In Her Own Voice, she said, “One day, I was on the Badi Maa set and Master Vinayak introduced us saying, ‘This is Noor Jehanji. Sing her a song.’ So I sang Raag Jaijaiwanti. She then asked me to sing a film song, so I sang R.C. Boral’s ‘Jeevan hai bekaar bina tumhaare’ from the film Wapas.”
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She added that as she was singing she recalled her father’s words that if you sing in front of your guru, consider yourself a guru. “So I sang with that thought in mind and she liked my voice. She told me to practise and said I will be a very good singer someday,” she added.
Needless to say, Lata not only became “a very good singer”, and she turned out to be one of the finest playback singers to come out of the Indian subcontinent.
Lata was not just an Indian singing legend. The lovers of her melodious voice could be found all over the world. She holds the honour of being the first-ever Indian to perform in the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, London. The government of France conferred her with the Officer of the Legion of Honour in 2007, which is the country’s highest civilian award
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