Lata Mangeshkar (लता मंगेशकर)
(लता मंगेशकर) says, "I feel God has sent me to earth to sing. I started singing when I was five, but I don’t think I’ve worked as hard as many other people."
Lata Mangeshkar (लता मंगेशकर) was born on September 28, 1929 in a Maharashtrian family at Sikh Mohalla, Indore in
Madhya Pradesh. Her father Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar was a classical singer and theatre actor. Her mother Shudhhamati was
Deenanath'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. She was the firstborn child, to be followed by siblings Hridayanath, Asha, Usha and Meena.
Lata Mangeshkar is only the second Indian singer to have received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian
honour, the other being M. S. Subbulakshmi. Mangeshkar was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records from 1974 to 1991
for "most recordings" in the world.
Lata Mangeshkar's first music teacher was her father, Deenanath
Mangeshkar. Shri K.L. Saigal, was her favorite singer and idol. 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 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. Her first film as an actress was Navyug Chitrapat's Marathi movie, Pahili
Mangalagaur (1942) and her first film song was Naatli Chaitrachi Navalai from the same film, composed by Dada Chandekar.
Lata Mangeshkar moved to Mumbai in 1945. 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. She and her sister Asha played minor roles alongside Noor
Jehan in Master Vinayak's first Hindi film, Badi Maa in 1945. She learnt
classical music under Amanat Khan Devaswale. She was also trained by Pandit Tulsidas Sharma, a pupil of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. In 1948
the music director Ghulam Haider mentored
Lata Mangeshkar as a singer. Lata Mangeshkar took Urdu lessons from a maulvi called Shafi.
In late 1940s, several music directors started patronizing Lata
Mangeshkar. Her first superhit song was Aayega Aanewaala from the movie Mahal
in 1949, composed by Khemchand Prakash and picturized on Madhubala. Mahal was a
hit film, and a turning point for Lata Mangeshkar. 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.
Lata Mangeshkar sang many classical raga-based songs for Naushad, in films like
Baiju Bawra, Mughal- E- Azam and Kohinoor. Shankar Jaikishan used Lata for Raj
Kapoor's movies include Aag, Aah (1953), Shree 420 (1955), and Chori Chori (1956).
Lata won her first Filmfare Best Female Playback Award, for the song Aaja Re Pardesi from Madhumati (1958), composed by
Chowdhury. Lata 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 Usha Khanna. In 1960
Lata Mangeshkar's association with Laxmikant-Pyarelal, the music directors
she sang the most songs in her career. Lata Mangeshkar's most notable songs in 1970s were composed by
Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Rahul Dev Burman.
In 1973, she won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer.
In 1975, she again won the same award. From 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. In 2001, Lata Mangeshkar was awarded Bharat Ratna, Indian's highest civilian honor.
In 2001, she established the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in
Pune, managed by the Lata Mangeshkar Medical Foundation. Lata sang her
most of songs in Hindi. She also recorded Tamil and
Telugu songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja. She composed music for Marathi movies
and won Maharashtra State Government's Best Music Director Award for the film Sadhi Manase.
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 was later awarded Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993.
In 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. It is estimated that she has recorded thousands of songs,
as large as 50,000.