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Lata Mangeshkar Biography

Lata Mangeshkar Biography: Lata Mangeshkar is one of the best-known Indian playback singers. She is said to have sung songs in 36 Indian and foreign languages. Singing professionally from the age of 13, Lata has lent her voice to four generations of Bollywood actresses.

By sahil khanPublished 2 years ago 4 min read

Lata Mangeshkar was born on Saturday, 28 September 1929 (age 92 years; as of 2021) in Indore, Indore City, Central India Agency, British India. She was born as ‘Hema’ but was later renamed Lata by her parents, after the female character Latika is one of her father’s play, ‘BhaawBhandhan’. Lata was inclined towards music from a very young age. On her very first day of school, she started teaching songs to the children and when teachers intervened, she got so annoyed that she stopped going to school.

Lata took her first lesson in music from her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar. At the age of 5, she started working as an actress in her father’s musical plays. In 1942, when she was just 13, her father died of heart disease. It was then that Master Vinayak, a close friend of her father, took care of her family and helped Lata start a career as an actress and singer.Her father, Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar, was a classical singer and theatre actor and her mother, Shevanti, a Gujarati woman, was the second wife of her father. She has a younger brother Hridyanath Mangeshkar and 3 younger sisters, Meena Khadikar, Asha Bhosle, and Usha Mangeshkar. The family’s surname was earlier Hardikar which was later changed to Mangeshkar by her father as he wanted to identify his family with his native town of Mangeshi in Goa. She is unmarried but was romantically linked to music director Bhupen Hazarika allegedly.Mangeshkar sang her first song, “Naachu Yaa Gade, Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhaari” for the Marathi film, “Kitni Hasaal” in 1942. However, the song was dropped from the final cut. She played a minor role in Navyug Chitrapat’s Marathi movie Pahli Manglaa-gaur, in which she also made her singing debut with “Natali Chaitraachi Navalaai”, in 1943, she sang her first Hindi song “Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu” for the Marathi Film Gajaabhau.

She moved to Mumbai in 1945 and started taking classical music lessons from Ustad Amanat Ali Khan. Lata, along with her sister Asha played small roles in Vinayak’s first Hindi movie, Badi Maa (1945). In Badi Maa, she also sang a bhajan, “Maata Tere Charnon Mein.” In her initial days, she faced many rejections as the composers found her voice “too thin,” to which Ghulam Haider replied, “in coming years producers and directors would “fall at Lata’s feet” and “beg her” to sing in their movies.” It was later under the guidance of Ghulam Haider that Mangeshkar received her breakthrough ‘Dil Mera Toda, Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhora’ from the movie Majboor (1948). At that moment she declared Haider as his Godfather.

Mangeshkar gained a lot of popularity after singing ‘Ayega Anewala’ presented on-screen by actress Madhubala in the film Mahal. It was the turning point in her life as she started to get work from all the leading music directors of that time. She did playback singing for directors like S D Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Naushad, Shankar-Jaikishan, Madan Mohan, Kalyanji Anand Ji, Khayyam and Pandit Amarnath Hushan Lal Bhagat Ram.During the 1950s, Lata sang for successful film like Mother India, Devdas and Chori Chori and also won her first Filmfare for the best female playback singer for the song ‘Aaja Re Pardesi’ from the film Madhumati. She sang songs of different genres for several music directors from westernised song like ‘Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh’, to Rugas like ‘Mohe Bhool Gaye Sanwariya’ and bhajans like ‘Allah Tero Naam’ she did justice to all of them. In the 1960s, Lata was the voice behind the most glamorous actress of the time. On 27th January 1963, Mangeshkar dignitaries like Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, to tears with her rendition of the patriotic song ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’ during the Sino- Indian War. Lata collaborated with prominent male playback singer like Kishore Kumar, Hemant Kumar, Mukesh, Mahendra Kapoor, Manna Dey and Mohammad Rafi for various songs. Her duets with Kishore Kumar like ‘Kora Kagaz’, ‘Tere Bina Zindagi se’ and ‘Aapki Aankhon Mein’ spelt some unforgettable musical magic. Apart from singing, she also composed music for Marathi movies, Ram Ram Pavane, Maratha Tituka Melvana, Mohityanchi Manjula, Sadhi Manase and Tambadi Mati. Lata has also produced three Hindi films namely Jhanjhar (1953), Kanchan (1955), Lekin (1990) and one Marathi film title Vaadal (1953). In 1990s, she gradually reduced the volume of her work owing to health issues and singing only selective songs.


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