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Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar(born September 28, 1929) is an Indian singer. Focusing mainly on Hindi and Marathi film music (playback singing), she has sung in over twenty major Indian languages.

Lata Mangeshkar is only the second Indian singer to have received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, the other being M. S. Subbulakshmi. In fact, no other Indian singer of non-classical music has been awarded anything higher than the Padma Bhushan, the nation's third highest civilian honour as of April 2007.

Mangeshkar was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records from 1974 to 1991 for "most recordings" in the world. The claim was that she has reportedly recorded not less than 25,000 solo, duet and chorus-backed songs in 20 Indian languages between 1948 to 1974 (30,000 songs between 1948 and 1987, according to 1987 edition). However, reputed sources introduced concerns for its veracity, claiming that the number of songs was highly exaggerated, and Mangeshkar's sister, singer Asha Bhosle has recorded more songs than her.

Biography

Childhood
Lata Mangeshkar was born in a Maharashtrian family at Sikh Mohalla, Indore in Central India Agency now in Madhya Pradesh. Her father Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar was a classical singer and theatre actor. Her mother Shudhhamati was Deenanath Mangeshkar's second wife. The family's original surname was Hardikar, but Pandit Deenanath later changed it to Mangeshkar to identify with his native village, Mangeshi in Goa. Lata was originally named "Hema", but was later renamed after Latika, a character in one of her father's plays, Bhaan Bandhan. She was the firstborn child, to be followed by siblings Hridayanath, Asha, Usha and Meena.

Lata Mangeshkar's first music teacher was her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar. Raised in Maharashtra, she started working as an actress in her father's musical plays (sangeet nataks) at the age of five. Deenanath's recitals and lessons left a strong impression on his daughter, as did the songs of K.L. Saigal, who was her favorite singer and idol. Her formal education was limited to one day in the school. On the first day in the school, she started teaching songs to other children. When the teacher stopped her, she was so angry that she stopped going to the school.

Early cinema career in 1940s
n 1942, when she was just 13 years old, Lata Mangeshkar's father died of heart disease. She was taken care of by Vinayak Damodar Karnataki (better known as Master Vinayak), a close friend of the Mangeshkar family. Master Vinayak was the owner of Navyug Chitrapat film company, and the father of actress Nanda. He helped Lata Mangeshkar get started with her career, and was a godfather to the five Mangeshkar siblings.

To earn money, Lata Mangeshkar played cameo roles in many Hindi and Marathi films. Her first film as an actress was Navyug Chitrapat's Marathi movie, Pahili Mangalagaur (1942), in which Master Vinayak ensured a bit part for her. Her first film song was Naatli Chaitrachi Navalai from the same film, composed by Dada Chandekar. She had arlier recorded the song Naachu Ya Gade Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhari, composed by Sadashivrao Nevrekar, for the Marathi movie Kiti Hasaal (1942), produced by Vasant Joglekar. However, the song was dropped from the film. Her first Hindi song was Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu for a Marathi film Gajabhau (1943).

Lata Mangeshkar moved to Mumbai in 1945, when Master Vinayak's company shifted its headquarters to the city. She learnt Hindustani classical music under Ustad Amanat Ali Khan Bhendibazaarwale. Her first song in a Hindi film was Paa Lagoon Kar Jori, composed by Datta Davjekar, for Vasant Joglekar's Aap Ki Seva Mein (released in 1946). She and her sister Asha played minor roles alongside Noor Jehan in Master Vinayak's first Hindi film, Badi Maa (1945). Lata also sang a bhajan, Maata Tere Charnon Mein, which was picturized on Asha. She was introduced to major music director Vasant Desai during the recording of Master Vinayak's second Hindi film, Subhadra (1946). After Ustad Amanat Ali Khan migrated to Pakistan following the partition of India in 1947, she learnt classical music under Amanat Khan Devaswale. She was also trained by Pandit Tulsidas Sharma, a pupil of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.

After Master Vinayak's death in 1948, the music director Ghulam Haider mentored Lata Mangeshkar as a singer. At that time, the most popular female singers in Hindi film industury were the ones with heavier, and often nasal voices, such as Noor Jehan, Shamshad Begum and Zohrabai Ambalewali. Haider introduced Lata Mangeshkar to the producer Sashadhar Mukherjee, who was working on > the movie Shaheed (1948). Mukherjee dismissed her voice as "too thin". Haider was annoyed and stated that in coming years, the producers and the directors will fall at Mangeshkar's feet, begging her to sing in their films. He gave Lata Mangeshkar her first major break with the song Dil Mera Toda in the film Majboor (1948).

Initially, Lata Mangeshkar tried to imitate Noor Jehan, the most popular singer of that time, but later, she developed her own unique style of singing. After a remark from Dilip Kumar about her Maharashtrian accent, Lata Mangeshkar took Urdu lessons from a maulvi called Shafi, as many of the Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) film songs were composed by Urdu poets in that period.

In late 1940s, several mainstream music directors started patronizing Lata Mangeshkar. Her first superhit song was Aayega Aanewaala from the movie Mahal (1949), composed by Khemchand Prakash and picturized on Madhubala. Mahal was a hit film, and a turning point for both Madhubala and Mangeshkar.

Rise as a notable playback singer

In 1950s, Lata Mangeshkar recorded songs for all the major composers of the period, including Anil Biswas, Shankar-Jaikishan, Naushad, S. D. Burman, C. Ramchandra, Hemant Kumar, and Salil Chowdhury. One notable exception was O. P. Nayyar, who never recorded songs with Lata Mangeshkar, and patronized her younger sister Asha Bhosle instead.

Lata Mangeshkar sang many classical raga-based songs for Naushad, in films like Baiju Bawra (1952), Mughal-E-Azam and Kohinoor. Her first song for Naushad was Ae Chorre Ki Jaat Badi Bewafa, a duet with G. M. Durrani. Shankar-Jaikishan used Lata as their female singer in all the movies they scored, mainly for Raj Kapoor. These movies include Aag, Aah (1953), Shree 420 (1955), and Chori Chori (1956). Sachin Dev Burman Burman used Lata as his leading female singer for many films, including Sazaa (1951), House No. 44 (1955), and Devdas (1955). However, the two had a major falling-out in 1957, and she refused to record for him again until 1962. During this time, Burman utilized Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle.

The 1960s saw Lata Mangeshkar become the undisputed number one female playback singer in Hindi cinema. She recorded songs for nearly every major composer in the industry, many of which became all-time hits.

In 1971, Meena Kumari's last film, Pakeezah was released. It featured the superhit songs Chalte Chalte and Inhi Logon Ne sung by Lata Mangeshkar, and composed by Ghulam Mohammed. She recorded many popular songs for S. D. Burman's last films, including Rangeela Re from Prem Pujari (1970), Khilte Hain Gul Yahaan from Sharmeelee (1971), and Piya Bina from Abhimaan (1973). Her songs from the film Chhoti Si Baat (1974), the title song and the song Na Jaane Kyon, composed by Salil Chowdhury, also became very popular.

1980s onwards:1980s onwards, Lata Mangeshkar got selective and cut down on her film singing. She recorded mainly for films by well-known banners, such as Yash Raj Films, and Rajshri Productions. She worked with many new music directors, including Ravindra Jain, Bappi Lahiri, Shiv-Hari, Ram Laxman, A. R. Rahman. She also recorded many non-film songs, including ghazals with Jagjit Singh. In 1981, she recorded her first duet with S P Balasubrahmanyam for the film Ek Duje Ke Liye.

Mangeshkar sang for all the Yash Chopra films, and films from his production house Yash Raj Films, including Lamhe (1992), Darr (1993), Yeh Dillagi (1994), Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997) and later on Mohabbatein (2000) and Veer Zaara (2004). The Yash Raj Films banner's songs have been known for their romantic melodies identified with Mangeshkar's voice, and songs such as Kabhi Main Kahun, Hothon Pe Bas , Hogaya Hai Tujhko, Humko Hamise Churalo and Tere Liye have become classics. A. R. Rahman recorded a number of songs with Mangeshkar during this period, the most popular sogs include "Jiya Jale" (from Dil Se, featuring Preity Zinta), "Khamoshiyan Gungunane Lagin" (One Two Ka Four), and "O Paalanhaare" (Lagaan).

In 1999, she was nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha.However, she did not attend the Rajya Sabha sessions regularly, inviting criticism from several members of the House, including the Deputy Chairperson Najma Heptullah, Pranab Mukherjee and Shabana Azmi. She stated the reason for her absence as ill-health; it was also reported that she had not taken a salary, allowance or a house in Delhi for being a Member of Parliament

In 2001, Lata Mangeshkar was awarded Bharat Ratna, Indian's highest civilian honor. In the same year, she established the Master Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune, managed by the Lata Mangeshkar Medical Foundation (founded by the Mangeshkar family in October 1989). In 2005, she designed a jewellery collection called Swaranjali, which was crafted by Adora, an Indian diamond export company. Five pieces from the collection raised 1,05,000 at a Christie's, and a part of the money was donated for the 2005 Pakistan earthquake relief. Also in 2001, she recorded her first Hindi song with the composer Ilaiyaraaja, for the film Lajja (2001); she had earlier recorded Tamil and Telugu songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja.

n 2000s, Lata Mangeshkar, along with other residents of the Peddar Road area in Mumbai, opposed the construction of a flyover in the area, creating a controversy. She believed that construction of the flyover would increase air and noise pollution in the area, and threatened to quit the city if the flyover was built. In 2006, it was reported that she and her sister Asha Bhosle had purchased apartments in Parel and were planning to move out of Peddar Road.

Lata Mangeshkar's song Wada Na Tod is also heard playing in the background of the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and can be found on the film's soundtrack. On June 21, 2007, she released an album Saadgi, featuring eight ghazal-like songs written by Javed Akhtar and composed by Mayuresh Pai.
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