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Lata Mangeshkar

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Lata Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929 in a Marathi speaking family in Madhya Pradesh. Her mother Shevanti (Shudhamati) who was from Thalner, Maharashtra, was Deenanath's second wife. The family's last name used to be Hardikar; Deenanath changed it to Mangeshkar in order to identify his family with his native town, Mangeshi in Goa. Lata was named "Hema" at her birth. Her parents later renamed her Lata after a female character, Latika, in one of her father's plays, BhaawBandhan. Lata is the eldest child of her parents. Meena, Asha, Usha and Hridaynath are her siblings in sequence.

Mangeshkar took her first lessons from her father. At the age of five, she started to work as an actress in her father's musical plays (Sangeet Natak in Marathi). On the first day in school, she started teaching songs to other children. When the teacher stopped her, she was so angry that she stopped going to the school. Other sources cite that she left school because they would not allow her to bring Asha with her, as she would often bring her younger sister with her.

 

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Career

Tragedy struck the family in 1942 when Deenanath Mangeshkar succumbed to heart disease leaving behind a young family. His eldest daughter, Lata, who was just 13 years old at that time had to start working to fend for the family. The first song that Lata sang was ‘Naachu Yaa Gade’ for the Marathi movie, ‘Kiti Hasaal’ in 1942. However the song was dropped from the final movie cut. Her father’s friend Master Vinayak gave the little girl a small role in the Marathi movie, ‘Pahili Mangalaa-gaur’ in 1942 in which she also sang a song. Even though she started her career as a Marathi singer and actress little did people know that this young girl would one day grow up to dominate the music of Hindi filmdom. Incidentally, her first Hindi song was also from a Marathi movie in 1943. The song was "Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu" from the movie ‘Gajaabhaau’. She moved to Mumbai in 1945 along with Master Vinayak’s company. During this time she also started taking classes in Hindustani Classical music from Ustad Amanat Ali Khan. The death of Vinayak in 1948 left another void in Lata’s life and her initial years in the Hindi film industry were a struggle. However, she scored her first hit with the song ‘Aayega Aanewala’ from the movie, “Mahal’ in 1949. The 1950s was a period of great success for the lady who got the opportunity to sing songs composed by various music directors of those times like Anil Biswas, Shankar Jaikishan, S.D. Burman, Khayyam, etc. A big turning point in her career was when she won a Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the composition ‘Aaja re Pardesi’ from the film ‘Madhumati’ in 1958. The 1960s began with a bang for the singer with the superhit song ‘Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya’ followed by another soulful number, ‘Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh’ from ‘Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai’ the same year. She might have already made her mark as a filmi singer, but when Lata sang the patriotic song, ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’ in the presence of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1963, she brought the then Prime Minister to tears. The 1960s also marked the beginning of the association between the singer and the music directors Laxmikant-Pyarelal for whom she would go on to sing over 700 songs over a period of 35 long years. Mangeshkar’s success continued over the 1970s and 1980s and she also branched out much into regional songs. Over this period she also gave many concerts and toured all around the world. In the 1990s many new female singers had entered Bollywood yet no one could topple the reigning queen of voice of Hindi filmdom. She continued performing well into the new millennium, recording her first Hindi song with the Tamil composer, Ilaiyaraaja in 2001.

 

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Personal Life

Lata Mangeshkar has never been married and keeps her personal life a closely guarded secret. As the eldest sister among her siblings, she has always maintained close relations with her younger sisters and brother. Her love for cooking, reading, photography and cricket is well known.

 

Awards

1958 - "Aaja Re Pardesi" from Madhumati

1962 - "Kahi Deep Jale Kahi Dil" from Bees Saal Baad

1965 - "Tumhi Mere Mandir Tumhi Meri Pooja" from Khandan

1966 - Best Playback Singer for Sadhi Mansa

1966 - Best Music Director for Sadhi Manas (Marathi) under the name 'Anandghan'

1969 - Padma Bhushan

1969 - "Aap Mujhe Achhe Lagne Lage" from Jeene Ki Raah

1974 - Recorded in the Guinness Book of World Records for having sung the maximum number of songs in the world

1977 - Best Playback Singer for Jait Re Jait

1989 - Dada Saheb Phalke Award

1993 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award

1994 - Filmfare Special Award for "Didi Tera Devar Deewana" from Hum Aapke Hain Koun.

1996 - Star Screen Lifetime Achievement Award

1997 - Maharashtra Bhushan Award

1997 - Rajiv Gandhi Award

1999 - Padma Vibhushan

1999 - NTR Award

1999 - Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievement 2000 - Lifetime Achievement Award by IIFA in London

2001 - Bharat Ratna

2001 - Noorjehan Award

2001 - Best Playback Singer of the Millennium (female) by Hero Honda and magazine "Stardust"

2001 - Maharashtra Ratna (First Recipient)

2008 - "One Time Award for Lifetime Achievement" honour to commemorate the 60th anniversary of India's independence

 

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