Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar turns 87

Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar who has lent her soulful voice to many actresses across generations, turns 87 on Wednesday. She has been singing for over seven decades now. From Madhubala, Meena Kumari in the 1940s-50s to Waheeda Rahman, Sharmila Tagore in 60s and 70s, Dimple Kapadia in the 80s to her daughter Twinkle Khanna, Karishma Kapoor, Kajol in the 90s to Priety Zinta in the 2000s, are among the few for whom she sang.

Known as the ‘Nightingale of India’ she is one such singer who has also worked with composer fathers and their composer sons – S D Burman and R D Burman, Chitragupta and Anand-Milind, Roshan and Rajesh Roshan, Sardar Malik and Anu Malik and others.

Lata Mangeshkar comes from a family of musicians. Her father Pandit Deenanath Mageshkar was a classical singer. She is the eldest of her siblings – Asha Bhosle, Usha mangeshkar, Meena Mangeshkar and Hridaynath Mangeshkar – all of whom are singers.

The Bharat Ratna awardee started her career in 1942 by singing for Marathi movies and then moved on to sing in for Bollywood films and also for many regional languages films. She has given the Indian music industry innumerous memorable songs.

Here are a few path-breaking songs from her career spanning over 70 years.

Lata’s song ‘Dil Mera Toda, Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhora’ from film ‘Majboor’ was her first breakthrough playback which became a hit at a time when many composers rejected her voice as they found it ‘high-pitched and thin’.

She sang ‘Aayega Aanewaala’ for Madhubala in ‘Mahal’ which was one of her first major hits. The song was composed by Khemchand Prakash.

‘Aaja Re Pardesi’ from Bimal Roy’s ‘Madhumati’ composed by Salil Chowdhury earned Lata her first Filmfare Award. She received another three Filmfare Awards thereafter for the song ‘Kahin Deep Jale Kahin Dil’ from ‘Bees Saal Baad’, Tumhi Mere Mandir Tumhi Meri Pooja’ from ‘Khandan’ and ‘Aap Mujhe Acche Lagne Lage’ from ‘Jeene Ki Raah’.

She received three National Awards for her songs ‘Bite Na Bitaye Raina’ from ‘Parichay’, ‘Roothe Roothe Piya’ from ‘Kora Kagaz’ and ‘Yaara Seeli Seeli’ from ‘Lekin’ which was her home production.

Her songs ‘Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya’, ‘Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh’ and innumerous others are unforgettable. Her patriotic song during the Indo-China war of 1963 ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logo’ is said to have brought tears in the eyes of the country’s first and then prime minister Pt Jawaharlal Nehru. The song still brings out a strong emotion giving the listeners goose bumps.