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Asha Bhosle

Asha Bhosle (born September 8, 1933) is an Indian singer. She is best known as a Bollywood playback singer, although she has a much wider repertoire. Her career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over 950 Bollywood movies and sold many records.She is the sister of the equally accomplished Lata Mangeshkar.

Bhosle is considered one of the most versatile South Asian singers her range of songs includes film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian Classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, and Rabindra Sangeet. She has sung in over 14 languages including Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, English, Russian, Czech, Nepali, Malay and Malayalam.

Asha Bhosle is believed to have sung over 12,000 songs. Though her sister, Lata Mangeshkar was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records during 1974-1991, for having sung the most songs in the world, reputed sources have introduced concerns to its veracity, claiming that the Guinness counts were exaggerated and Bhosle has recorded more songs than Mangeshkar. Bhosle herself pointed out that she has sung the maximum recordings by any singer - 12,000.

Biography

Asha Bhosle was born in the small hamlet of Goar in Sangli, Maharashtra, into the musical Marathi family of Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar. Her father was a theater actor and classical singer who had been born in the village of Mangeshi in Goa. When she was nine years old, her father died. The family moved from Pune to Kolhapur and then to Bombay. She and her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar began singing and acting in films to support their family. She sang her first film song Chala Chala Nav Bala for the Marathi movie Majha Bal (1943). The music for the film was composed by Datta Dawjekar. She made her Hindi film debut when she sang the song Saawan aaya for Hansraj Behl's Chunariya (1948).

At the age of 16, she eloped with 31-year old Ganpatrao Bhosle (1916-1966), marrying him against her family's wishes. Ganpatrao was sister Lata's personal secretary. The marriage failed miserably. Her husband and in-laws mistreated her. After a few years of marriage, Bhosle was turned out (around 1960) by a suspicious Ganpatrao[6] and she went to her maternal home with two children and pregnant with her third child, Anand. She continued to sing in films to earn money.

At that time, prominent playback singers like Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar (her sister) monopolized the singing for the "heroine" roles and the big films, whilst Asha Bhosle used to get the assignments they did not take: singing for the bad girls and vamps, or songs in the second-grade movies. In the 1950s, she sang more songs than any other playback singer in Bollywood, yet most of these were in low budget B or C-grade films. Her earliest songs were composed by A R Qureshi, Sajjad Hussain and Ghulam Mohammed, most of which failed to do well.[5] Singing in Dilip Kumar-starrer Sangdil (1952), composed by Sajjad Hussain, she got reasonable recognition. Consequently, film director Bimal Roy gave her a chance to sing in Parineeta (1953). Raj Kapoor signed her to sing the song Nanhe Munne Bachche with Mohammed Rafi in Boot Polish (1954), which gained popularity.

O. P. Nayyar gave Asha Bhosle a big break in C.I.D. (1956). She first achieved success in B. R. Chopra's Naya Daur (1957), composed by him. His collaboration with Bhosle produced many hits. Later, she established herself and received patronage of composers such as Sachin Dev Burman and Ravi. Bhosle and Nayyar had a professional and personal parting of ways in the 1970s.

In 1966, Asha's performance in the duets from music director R D Burman's first successful movie, Teesri Manzil won popular acclaim. Their collaboration produced numerous hits in the 1970s and resulted in a marriage. In 1960s and 1970s, she became the voice of Bollywood's most famous dancer, Helen. It is said that Helen would attend her recording sessions so that she could understand the song better and plan dance steps accordingly.[citation needed] Some of the most popular Asha Bhosle-Helen numbers are Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Caravan), O Haseena Zulfon Wali (Teesri Manzil), and Yeh Mera Dil (Don).

In Umrao Jaan (1981) and Ijaazat (1987), she sang traditional ghazals and proved her versatility, winning the coveted National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer.

Her film activities continued into the 1990s. Her performance in the 1995 hit Rangeela was particularly notable. As late as 2005, 72-year-old Asha Bhosle's numbers for the Tamil film Chandramukhi and the pop song Lucky Lips for Salman Khan-starrer Lucky were chartbusters. Some of the other popular Tamil songs sung by Bhosle are Oh! Butterfly, September Maadham and Vennila Vennila.
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