Born On: September 8, 1933
Born In: Goar, Maharashtra
Career: Playback singer
Wonderful, vivacious and versatile are the words best suited to describe the reigning diva of Hindi film industry, Asha Bhonsle. She has totally proved the fact that you don't quit singing because you grow old, you grow old because you quit singing. Even at the age of 77, she is still extremely youthful and a tough contender to the other Bollywood playback singers who are half her age. Be it a ghazal, a mujra, a dance number or a sensational song, nobody has ever outdone Asha Bhonsle's style. Her voice has the capability to bring life in any song. Her life has been full of trials and tribulations, yet she remained determined to achieve success. Read her life history in this biography of Asha Bhonsle.
Asha Bhosle was born in a musical family of Master Deenanath Mangeshkar who lived in Sangli which is a small district in Maharashtra. Her father was a theatre actor and a classical singer who passed away when she was just 9 years old. Asha, along with her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar started to sing and act in films to support the family. At the age of 16, she eloped with 31-year-old Ganpatrao Bhosle, marrying him against her family's wishes. However, the marriage failed badly as her husband and in-laws treated her like a prisoner. After a few years, she decided to move out and that brought her back to the singing world so as to make a living.
Her first song was 'Chala Chala Nav Bala' for the Marathi movie "Majha Bal" that was released in the year 1943. She made her Hindi film debut when she sang the song 'Saawan Aaya' for Hansraj Behl's "Chunariya" in the year 1948. Her first solo Hindi film song was for the movie "Raat Ki Rani". Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar were the prominent singers of that time and were the first preference by directors for the female lead and the big films, which left Asha with the assignments they refused. Her assignments usually included singing for the bad girls and vamps, or songs in the second-grade movies. In the 1950s, she sang more songs than most playback singers in Bollywood (not counting Lata). 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. Singing in Dilip Kumar-starrer "Sangdil", composed by Sajjad Hussain, she got reasonable recognition. Consequently, film director Bimal Roy gave her a chance to sing in Parineeta. Raj Kapoor signed her to sing 'Nanhe Munne Bachche' with Mohammed Rafi in "Boot Polish" (1954), which gained popularity.
During 1960s and 1970s, Asha Bhosle became the voice of the most famous dancer of Bollywood, Helen. Popular Asha Bhosle-Helen numbers include 'Piya tu ab to aaja' (Caravan), 'O Haseena Zulfon Wali' (TeesriManzil) and 'Yeh Mera Dil' (Don). She took up the challenge of showing her versatility by taking up the challenge of singing ghazals in the films "Umrao Jaan" (1981) and "Ijazat" (1987). Her work was widely applauded. In 1995, the 62-year-old could not be stopped for any zeal and vigor in the movie "Rangeela" when she sang the super hit songs like 'Tanha Tanha' and 'Rangeela Re' which were composed by music director A. R. Rahman, who went on to record many more songs with her. In 2005, Bhonsle sang for the Tamil film "Chandramukhi" and the pop song 'Lucky Lips' for Salman Khan-starrer "Lucky", both of which were chartbusters. Some of the other popular Tamil songs sung by her are 'Oh! Butterfly', 'September Maadham' and 'Vennila Vennila'.
Awards & Accolades
Asha Bhosle has been awarded with the Best Filmfare Female Playback Singer Award 7 times. She also won herself a special award for "Rangeela" in 1996 and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. She won the National Film Award For Best Female Playback Singer twice for the songs 'Dil Cheez Kyaa Hai' in 1981 and 'Mera Kuch Saaman' in 1986. In 1997, Asha became the first Indian singer to be nominated for the Grammy Award, for "Legacy", an album with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. She received the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 2000 for her outstanding contribution to Indian cinema. She was also honored with the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India. The Birmingham Film Festival also paid her a special tribute in November 2002. Additionally, she has been felicitated with seventeen Maharashtra State Awards and The Freddie Mercury Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts. Asha Bhosle also holds the honorary doctorates from the University of Amravati and University of Jalgaon in Literature and is among top 20 music icons of the past 50 years.
1933: She was born.
1942: Her father passed away.
1943: Her career started as a singer.
1948: Made her debut in Hindi songs.
1949: Married Ganpatrao Bhosle
1950: Her struggle to settle in the industry started because of the competitors.
1966: Gained popularity for her performance in "Teesri Manzil".
2000: Was honored with the Dada Sahib Phalke Award.
2004: "The Very best of Asha Bhonsle" album was released.
2008: Honored with Padma Vibhushan.