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Biography of Lata Mangeshkar: Everything You Need to Know About India’s “Nightingale”

We look at the biography of Bharat Ratna awardee Lata Mangeshkar, who passed away recently.

Lata Mangeshkar, who was born on September 29, 1929, died today, leaving everyone in a state of shock. She was a well-known and well-respected playback vocalist. She sang in around thirty-six Indian languages and recorded songs for over a thousand Hindi films.

Early Years of Lata Didi’s life

Lata Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929, in Indore, Madhya Pradesh, to classical vocalist and theatre artist Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar and Shevanti. Meena, Asha, Usha, and Hridaynath, her siblings, are all talented singers and musicians. Lata began acting at the age of five with Deenanath’s theatre group, which performed musical plays.

Lata Ji Attended school for one day

When she was five years old, she began singing and performing in her father Deenanath Mangeshkar’s musical productions. She began giving music lessons to other students on her first day of school, and when the teacher asked her to stop, she was so offended that she resolved never to return to school. According to other sources, she dropped out of school because she would always go to school with her younger sister Asha, which the school would frown upon.

After her Father’s death, the real struggle started in her life

 Lata Mangeshkar’s father died of heart disease when she was just 13 years old, leaving her as the family’s sole breadwinner. In the 1940s, she attempted to make a name for herself as a singer, recording her debut song in the Marathi film Kiti Hasaal (1942). The song was eventually cut from the film. She relocated to Mumbai in 1945, but it wasn’t until the song ‘Aayega aanewala’ from the movie Mahal (1949) that she became one of Hindi cinema’s most sought-after voices. Master Vinayak, a family friend of the Mangeshkars who was caring for them after their father died, offered her a minor role in his first Hindi film Badi Maa in 1945.

Lata Mangeshkar’s Music Career

Lata’s music career began when her father died of heart illness when she was 13 years old. Lata’s career was aided by Vinayak Damodar Karnataki, the owner of the Navyug Chitrapat film company and a close friend of hers. For Vasant Joglekar’s Marathi film Kiti Hasaal, Lata sung the song “Naachu Yaa Gade, Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhaari,” composed by Sadashivrao Nevrekar (1942). It was, however, removed from the final cut. Following this, Vinayak cast her in the Marathi film ‘Pahili Mangalaa-gaur (1942)’ directed by Navyug Chitrapat. Dada Chandekar penned ‘Natali Chaitraachi Navalaai,’ which she performed.

‘Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu’ was Lata’s debut Hindi song, written for the Marathi film Gajaabhaau (1943). When Vinayak’s company relocated its headquarters to Mumbai in 1945, Lata moved with him. She began taking music lessons from Ustad Aman Ali Khan of the Bhindibazaar Gharana. She sang “Paa Lagoon Kar Jori” in Vasant Joglekar’s Hindi film “Aap Ki Seva Mein” in 1946. Vinayak’s debut Hindi-language film, ‘Badi Maa,’ was released in 1945, and her sister Asha had tiny roles in it. In that film, she also sung the bhajan ‘Maata Tere Charnon Mein.’ During the recording of Vinayak’s second Hindi-language film, ‘Subhadra,’ she met Vasant Desai in 1946.

After Vinayak’s death in 1948, Lata was taught by music director Gulam Haider. Sashadhar Mukherjee, a producer, was introduced to her by him. Mukerjee, on the other hand, criticised Lata’s voice as “very thin.” Producers and filmmakers would “fall at Lata’s feet” and “ask her” to sing in their films in the coming years, Haider predicted. Later, with the song ‘Dil Mera Toda, Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhora’ for the film ‘Majboor’ in 1948, Haider gave Lata her first huge break. It was a huge success. “Ghulam Haider is actually my Godfather,” Lata proclaimed on her 84th birthday in September 2013. He was the first music director who fully believed in my abilities.”‘Aayega Aanewaala’ was one of her first great hits, released in 1949 with the film ‘Mahal.’

Mangeshkar has contributed her voice to many films and recorded over a thousand songs in over 36 Indian languages during her seven-decade career. Mangeshkar, the voice behind soulful numbers like ‘Lag Jaa Gale’ and ‘Aajkal Paaon Zameen Par,’ is one of the country’s most revered vocalists. She has had a huge influence on Indian film music. Lata has been pushing the boundaries of music with her mind-boggling abilities since 1942. Lata has sung for a variety of actresses over the years, including Madhubala and Priyanka Chopra. She is most recognised for her diverse voice quality, and she has recorded a wide range of CDs (ghazals, pop, etc).

Madan Mohan, R D Burman, the pair Laxmikant-Pyarelal, and A R Rahman are just a few of the famous music directors with whom Lata has collaborated. For 1960s films like Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha from Anpadh, Lag Jaa Gale, and Naina Barse Rim Jhim from Woh Kaun Thi?, she paired up with Madan Mohan. Lata has performed almost 700 songs for Laxmikant-Pyarelal, including Naseeb’s Mere Naseeb Mein and Asha’s Sheesha Ho Ya Dil Ho. S D Burman recorded songs like Gata Rahe Mera Dil and Piya Tose in Guide (1965).

R D Burman’s first and last songs, Chote Nawaab (1961) and Kuch Na Kaho in 1942: A Love Story (1994), were both performed by Lata. Popular tracks from her collaborations with A R Rahman include Luka Chupi from Rang de Basanti (2006) and O Paalanhaare from Lagaan (2001). The vocalist has provided her voice to a variety of timeless songs over the years, from Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya from Mughal-e-Azam (1960) to Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh, from Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960) to Rangeela Re from Prem Pujari (1970) or even Jiya Jale in Dil Se. Her most recent full-length record was for the 2004 film “Veer Zaara,” produced by the late filmmaker Yash Chopra.

Lata ji recorded her final song, a song based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s catchphrase

In the year 2019, Lata recorded her final song, a song based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s catchphrase, “Saugandh Mujhe is Mitti Ki.” “I was listening to PM Modi’s address a few days ago,” Lata was heard saying in the music video. In it, he stated a few phrases that I believed represented the feelings of every Indian. They had an impact on me as well. I took notes on them. Today, I give it as a homage to all Indian warriors and citizens. “Jai Hind…”, says the narrator.

Lata Mangeshkar’s Achievements

Lata Mangeshkar, widely known as the Indian Nightingale, has received numerous awards including National Film Awards, BFJA Awards, Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer, Filmfare Special Awards, and Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award. Aside from this, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1969, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1989, the Maharashtra Bhushan in 1997, the Padma Vibhushan in 1999, and the Bharat Ratna in 2001. (2007). From November 22, 1999, to November 21, 2005, she served in the Rajya Sabha.

She was also active in  politics

In 1999, she was also nominated for a seat in the Rajya Sabha. Her term ended in 2006, despite the fact that she was chastised for not attending the meetings. She had previously claimed that her absence from Parliament was due to illness. For her efforts as an MP, Lata didi did not accept a single cent, a salary, or a home in Delhi.

Lata didi was a generous person

Lata Mangeshkar created a design for Adora, an Indian diamond export enterprise. Swaranjali was the name of the collection, and five items from it were auctioned at Christies for £105,000. She contributed the money to the Kashmir disaster relief fund in 2005 because she was such a generous person.

Lata Mangeshkar’s favourite food

Lata Mangeshkar is claimed to have eaten a lot of green chillies in order to keep her pleasant voice. She also chewed gum, which aided with her singing. In terms of her diet, the veteran enjoyed fish and ate dal-rice or phulka with sabzi on a daily basis. Gajar ka Halwa and Pani Puri were additional favourites of hers. She adored preparing Kolhapuri mutton and sabzi as well as other cuisines.

Her Favourite backup singer

In a 2015 interview, Lata said that Kishore Kumar was her favourite co-singer of all ages.

Let’s see some of the Controversies in her life

She was rumoured to be dating Bhupen Hazarika, a well-known musician. The late singer’s estranged wife revealed to Zee News that the two would spend evenings together and that her husband informed her that if a musician wants to succeed, he must have his compositions sung by Lata Mangeshkar. This is reported to have outraged Hazarika’s partner Kalpana Lajmi, as well as the entire Mangeshkar family. Lata didi’s alleged decade-long love affair with the late Raj Singh Dungapur was exposed, according to media reports. He was a prince’s son, and he had reportedly promised his parents that he would not marry a commoner.

According to legend, the two met in Mumbai when Raj Singh Dungapur was invited to play cricket with Lata didi’s brother at their Walkeshwar home. They came from various backgrounds, and perhaps those things were not permitted in those days since family commitment came first. Even though the two remained unmarried, if legends of their true love are to be believed, this was proof of their lifelong love.

The reason why she got rejected

Lata, a young and aspiring vocalist, was rejected by producer Sashadhar Mukherjee in 1948, who considered her voice as “too thin.” Lata Mangeshkar’s songs are popular among young people as well as those who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s.

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