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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nightingale of India

                                                                      
Lata Mangeshkar is the pride of Indian music industry. Blessed with beautiful voice, she is the most well known Indian vocalist. To honor and give recognition to her works, Lata Mangeshkar is also known as the Nightingale of India.She is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in the world. It is estimated that she has more than 30,000 solo, duet and chorus backed songs in 20 different languages from 1948 to 1987.   She has recorded songs for over a thousand Bollywood movies and has sung songs in over thirty-six regional Indian languages and foreign languages, but primarily in Hindi.She is the second vocalist ever to have received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour. Mangeshkar's career started in 1942 and has spanned over six and a half decades.
 
Lata Mangeshkar ( Born September 28, 1929) is a singer from India.Lata Mangeshkar was born in Sikh Mohalla, Indore, in the Central India Agency (now part of Madhya Pradesh). Her father, Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar who belonged to a Kalavant family from Goa, was a classical singer and theater actor. Her mother Shudhhamati, who was from Thalner, Maharashtra, was Deenanath's second wife. The family's last name used to be Hardikar; Deenanath changed it to Mangeshkar in order to identify his family with his native town, Mangeshi in Goa. Lata was named "Hema" at her birth. Her parents later renamed her Lata after a female character, Latika, in one of her father's plays, BhaawBandhan. Lata is the eldest child of her parents. Asha, Hridayanath, Usha, and Meena are her siblings in sequence.

Mangeshkar took her first music lessons from her father. At the age of five, she started to work as an actress in her father's musical plays. 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. Other sources cite that she left school because they would not allow her to bring Asha with her, as she would often bring her younger sister with her.

1942 proved to be a very crucial year in her life.  This was the year that the film "Kit Haaal" was release.  This was the first film that Lata recorded for; unfortunately her song would be cut and not make it to the finished version.  More traumatically for the young Lata, is that this was the year that her father died of a heart attack.
Lata was only 13 years old when her father died, but as the oldest child, responsibility fell upon her to help take care of her families financial needs.  She took to acting in small films in order to do this.  Her first appearance was a very small role in Pahili Mangalagaur (1942).  Later she acted in such films as "Maajhe Baal" (1944), "Chimukla Sansar" (1943), "Gajabhau" (1944), "Jeevan Yatra" (1946), "Badi Maa" (1945).

However, in 1948, she got her big break with Ghulam Haider in the film Majboor (1948), and 1949 saw the release of four of her films: Mahal (1949), Dulari (1949), Barsaat (1949), and Andaz (1949); all four of them became runaway hits, with their songs reaching to heights of what was until then unseen popularity. Her unusually high-pitched singing rendered the trend of heavily nasal voices of the day totally obsolete and, within a year, she had changed the face of playback singing forever. The only two lower-pitched singers to survive her treble onslaught to a certain extent were Geeta Dutt and Shamshad Begum.

Her singing style was initially reminiscent of Noor Jehan, but she soon overcame that and evolved her own distinctive style. Her sister, Asha Bhosle, too, came up in the late 1950s and the two of them were the queens of Indian playback singing right through to the 1990s. Her voice had a special versatile quality, which meant that finally music composers could stretch their creative experiments to the fullest. Although all her songs were immediate hits under any composer, it was the composers C. Ramchandra and Madan Mohan who made her sound her sweetest and challenged her voice like no other music director.
 
No matter which female playback singer breaks through in any generation, she cannot replace the timeless voice of Lata Mangeshkar. She is an icon beyond icons....

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