Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar dies aged 92

“Lata Di died at 8:12 a.m. due to multi-organ failure after more than 28 days of being diagnosed with Covid-19,” Dr Pratit Samdani told reporters outside Breach Candy Hospital.

Mangeshkar was a playback singer – providing music to be mimed by actors – for countless Indian films. Her soft voice, which could reach a high pitch with unsurpassable ease, became a part of almost every Indian household.

“The kind and caring Lata Didi (sister) has left us. She leaves a void in our country that cannot be filled,” he said. wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “Generations to come will remember her as a pillar of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerize people.”

The Indian government has ordered two days of national mourning for the late singer. The national flag will fly at half mast from Sunday to Monday, India’s Home Ministry said in a statement on Sunday. “There will be no official entertainment,” the ministry added.

From the age of 5, Mangeshkar began to train with his father in Indian classical music. Her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar, was an accomplished classical singer and stage actor. His daughter began her career singing in his musical pieces.

Mangeshkar first performed in public when she was just 9 years old and recorded her first song when she was 13. A month after recording his first song, his father passed away. Left to support four younger siblings and her mother, Mangeshkar began working in the Indian film industry. At first, the music directors fired her, saying her voice was too thin and high pitched. In 1948, she lent her voice to half a dozen films.

Movie voices

Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929 in Madhya Pradesh. Due to her father’s reputation in the classical music scene, she was introduced to several composers, such as Aman Ali Khan, who mentored and trained her for several years.

As her career took off, Mangeshkar delivered back-to-back hits that made her one of the most sought-after playback singers in the country. In Indian films, it is common for a music director to insert eight to ten songs which play in sync with the plot of the film.

Singers like Mangeshkar were hired to record the songs ahead of time and which the actors would lip-synch to or a sequence would play out on screen. Unlike in Hollywood, where artists record albums and music is purchased for a particular film, in India singers exclusively generate music and lyrics for the film.

Her break came in 1949 with the movie “Mahal”, for which she sang the tumultuously famous song, “Aayega Aanewala”. She won her first film award for the song “Aaja Re Pardesi” in the film “Madhumati” in 1958 and her first national film award in 1973 for the song “Beeti Na Bitai” in the film “Parichay”.

She gave her voice to music and lyrics written by great composers and lyricists of the time like Madan Mohan, RD Burman, Gulzar and AR Rahman. Music directors stalled their projects to fit his tight schedule, and composers wrote their music with his voice in mind.

She also sang “Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon”, a song meant to inspire the people of the country after the Indochina War in 1963. It became an anthem with Mangeshkar being craved for requests at every concert.

In 2001, she was awarded the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honor in India. She was also awarded the Padma Vibushan in 1999, the second highest civilian honor in India. Mangeshkar has acted in over five languages ​​for different film industries in India.

In an interview with a news channel in 2009, Mangeshkar expressed regret. “I really wanted to become a classical singer. But when I started working, I had so many responsibilities that I couldn’t get interested in classical music. I didn’t have time to practice”, she said.

Mangeshkar has lent his voice to over 1,300 films and sung over 25,000 songs. His music has been used in Hollywood movies like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “Life of Pi”, “Lion” and “The Hundred-Foot Journey”.

Over the past two decades, Mangeshkar had slowly reduced his workload to just a few films a year. Preferring to stay out of the spotlight, she rarely spoke about her personal life.

In an interview, Mangeshkar was asked what contributed to her success as a playback singer.

“Natural talent contributes about 75% and the rest is hard work, training and dietary restrictions,” she said. “I don’t do the restrictions…I just sang my whole life.”


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