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Kishore Kumar

Kishore Kumar (August 4, 1929 October 13, 1987) was an Indian film playback singer and comic actor. He also achieved notable successes as a lyricist, composer, producer, director, screenwriter and scriptwriter.

Kishore Kumar has sung in many Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali (his mother tongue), Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam and Oriya. Along with Mukesh and Mohammed Rafi, he was one of the three leading male Bollywood playback singers from the 1950s to the mid-1980s. He holds the record for most number of Filmfare Awards won for Best Male Playback Singer.

Rise as the top playback singer

In 1969, Shakti Samanta produced and directed the film Aradhana, for which the music was composed by S. D. Burman. S. D. Burman fell ill after recording some duet songs with Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosale, Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar. Afterwards, his son and assistant R. D. Burman took over the recording. R. D. Burman got Kishore Kumar to solo sing the songs Mere Sapno Ki Rani and Roop Tera Mastana, which became smash hits. Kishore Kumar won his first Filmfare award for the song Roop Tera Mastana. Kishore Kumar sang for all leading actors in 1970s, including Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Dev Anand, and Rishi Kapoor.

S. D. Burman and Kishore continued to churn out several hit songs together, including Phoolon Ke Rang Se and Shokhiyon Mein Ghola Jaaye from Prem Pujari (1969), Aaj Madhosh Hua Jaaye Re, Khilte Hain Gul Yahan and O Meri Sharmilee from Sharmilee (1971), Meet na mila from Abhimaan (1973), Pyaar Ke Is Khel Mein from Jugnu, and Phoolon Ke Dere Hain from Zameer (1974). In 1975, Kishore Kumar composed his last song for S. D. Burman. S. D. Burman went into a coma for the second time, soonafter Kishore recorded the song Badi Sooni Sooni Si Hai Zindagi for the film Mili.

R. D. Burman considered Kishore Kumar his favorite singer, and recorded several hit songs with him in the 1970s. In the superhit Bollywood film, Sholay (1975), he asked Kishore Kumar to sing for both Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. Some of the popular Kishore Kumar-R. D. Burman songs include O Maajhee Re from Khushboo, Yeh Shaam Mastaani and Yeh jo mohabbat hai from Kati Patang (1970), Kuchh to log kahenge from Amar Prem (1971), Raat Kali Ek Khwab Mein Aayee from Buddha Mil Gaya (1971), Musafir hoon yaaron from Parichay (1972), Diye jalte hain from Namak Haraam (1973), Meree bheegee bheegee si from Anamika (1973), Zindagee Ke Safar Mein from Aap Ki Kasam (1974), Agar Tum Na Hote, Humein Tum Se Pyaar Kitna, Mere Naina Saawan Bahado, and Chingari Koi Bhadke.

R. D. Burman also recorded several hit duets with Kishore Kumar, and Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar. Some of these duets include Panna Ki Tamana from Heera Panna (1973), Neend Chura Ke Raaton Mein from the film Shareef Badmash, Kya Yehi Pyaar Hai from Sanjay Dutt's debut film Rocky (1981).

Apart from the Burmans, Kishore Kumar worked with other major music directors as well. The composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal (L-P) also composed many hit songs sung by Kishore Kumar. Some of there hit songs include Mere Dil Mein Aaj Kya Hai from Daag, Mere diwanepan ki bhi from Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Mere Naseeb Mein Aye Dost from Do Raaste, Naach Meri Bulbul from Roti, Chal Chal Mere Haathi from Haathi Mere Saathi, Gaari Bula Rahi Hai, Ruk Jaana Nahi (Imtihaan), Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi (Mr X In Bombay), and My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves from Amar Akbar Anthony. L-P, whose favorite singer was Lata Mangeshkar, also composed several hit Kishore-Lata duets, including Achchha To Hum Chalte Hain, Kal Ki Haseen Mulaqat Ke Liye, Gore Rang Pe Na Itna from Roti, and Tu Kitne Baras Ki. L-P also got Kishore Kumar and Rafi to sing duets for the films Dostana and Ram Balram.

Kalyanji-Anandji recorded several hit songs with Kishore Kumar including O Saathi Re from Muqaddar Ka Sikander, Khaike Paan Banaraswala from Don, Mera Jeevan Kora Kagaz from Kora Kagaz, Neele Neele Ambar Par from Kalakar and Pal Bhar Ke Liye from Johny Mera Naam.

The new composers such as Rajesh Roshan, Sapan Chakravarty (who had earlier worked as R. D. Burman's assistant), and Bappi Lahiri also worked with Kishore Kumar. Rajesh Roshan's first hit film Julie featured hit songs sung by Kishore Kumar, Bhool Gaya Saab Kuch (duet with Lata Mangeshkar) and Dil Kya Kare Jab Kisise. Their other hits include Chhookar mere man ko from Yaarana and Tune abhi dekha nahin from Do Aur Do Paanch. Bappi Lahiri also recorded many popular songs with Kishore Kumar, including Pag Ghunghroo from Namak Halal (1982), Manzilen Apni Jagah Hai from Sharaabi (1984) and Chalte chalte(1976).

During the Indian Emergency, Sanjay Gandhi asked Kishore Kumar to sing for a Congress rally in Mumbai, but Kishore Kumar refused. As a result, the Government put a ban on playing Kishore Kumar songs on the All India Radio or television. But Kishore Kumar refused to apologize. Finally, the ban was lifted after some prominent producers and directors lobbied against it.,

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