Music of India
Pandit Ravi ShankarUstad Amjad Ali KhanMusical Instruments of IndiaPandit Hari Prasad ChaurasiaMusic of India

Her commitment and passion for music earned her the Bharat Ratna award which is the highest award any civilian can be honored with. Read the biography to take a sneak peek at the life and profile of Lata Mangeshkar.

Lata Mangeshkar

Born On: September 28, 1929
Born In: Indore, Madhya Pradesh
Career: Singer
Nationality: Indian

Lata Mangeshkar is one of the most celebrated Indian playback singers and does not require an introduction of any sorts. She is a well known singer who has managed to won many hearts in the music industry and among her audiences. Lata is an iconic figure in the music business and is also highly revered in Bollywood even by the younger generation. She has innumerable hits and has sung over 25,000 including solo and duets. Despite being in her eighties, her voice still possesses the magnetism to charm her audience. This is the reason she is nicknamed by the members of the film and music fraternity as the "Nightingale of Yesteryears". With a successful career that has lasted over six long decades, Lata Mangeshkar has left behind a last impression in the minds of millions of people across the nation.

Early Life
Lata Mangeshkar was born in Sikh Mohalla which is located in Indore and within the state of Madhya Pradesh. Her father Deenanath Mangeshkar was not only a classical singer but also a theater personnel and Lata's earliest gurus. Her mother Shevanti (Shudhamati) initially named her "Hema" but later changed it to "Lata" which was derived for the character "Lathika", a play her father was a part of. Lata was the eldest among her five siblings and is said to be close to all of them. Lata started to train as a singer at a very early age even before she started formal schooling, her father being her first guru. Several sources state that her love of music could be seen in a very early age when she began to teach singing in her school. Some believe that she started teaching singing to other children on her first day at school. When the teacher bunged her from doing so, she left going to school. Another story states that Lata used to take her sibling, Asha to school but when the school authorities impeded her, Lata saw the last of what school was. Music has always remained her passion; and she continued to train under her father in classical singing until the age 13.

Deenanath Mangeshkar passed away when Lata was just 13 in the year 1942. It was Master Vinayak who was the owner of Navyug Chitrapat, a film production house and a close friend to the family, who not only helped Lata in her singing career but also gave her opportunities to sing in films. "Naachu Yaa Gade, Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhaari", which was composed by Sadashivrao Nevrekar for a Marathi language film "Kiti Hasaal" in 1942 was Lata's first song as a playback singer. During her initial years as a singer Vinayak continued to support and encourage her by giving more than a few chances to sing for his movies, at times he would also refer her to other music directors. Her first Hindi song was "Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu" for the Marathi film, "Gajaabhaau". In 1945, Master Vinayak moved to Mumbai, so did Lata and her family. Besides singing in films she also trained in Hindustani music under the guidance of Ustad Amanat Ali Khan. Meanwhile, she continued her singing in Hindi films but in 1947 during the partition days her guru Ustad Amanat Ali Khan migrated to Pakistan. As such, she went under the tutelage of Amanat Khan Devaswale and Pandit Tulsidas Sharma. After the death of Vinayak in 1948, music director Ghulam Haider took her under his wing and tutored her. During this time, Lata faced much criticism for her Marathi accent and feeble voice as it was been said that she was imitating Noor Jehan, another popular playback singer and actress during her time.

However, backed by good mentors, Lata managed to bring about a change in her singing and adopted a distinctive style that set her apart from the remaining singers. In the 1950's, Lata had become a popular singer and was already introduced by Ghulam Mohammed to Bollywood. She had not only become famous but was also sought-after by some of the best music directors and composers in Hindi cinema. She was the leading female playback singer for most of films that was produced in the 1950's to the 1970's and also worked with the children of many music directors in the following years. During this time, Lata won many Filmfare awards and National film award under the category of best female playback singer. Apart from Hindi songs, she also sang for Marathi and Bengali films, bhajans and occasionally ghazals. During the 1980's, Lata also made her presence felt in Tamil and Telugu films. She sang many songs composed by IIaiyaraaja. Apart from her singing career, she also undertook the role of a music director and also produced few films.

Awards and Accolades
Padma Bhushan (1969)
Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1989)
Maharastra Bhushan Award (1997)
Padma Vibhushan (1999)
NTR National Award (1999)
Bharat Ratna (2001)
ANR National Award (2009)
Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award (1993)

Additionally, Lata Mangeshkar has also won 3 National Film Awards, and 12 Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards and 4 Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards. In 1974, The Guinness Book of Records listed Lata Mangeshkar as the most recorded artist in the history, stating that she had reportedly recorded not less than 25,000 solo, duet and chorus backed songs in 20 Indian languages between 1948 and 1974. Her record was contested by Mohammed Rafi, who was claimed to have sung around 28,000 songs. In the year 1984, the State Government of Madhya Pradesh instituted the Lata Mangeshkar Award in honor of Lata Mangeshkar. Later in 1992, the State Government of Maharashtra instituted a similar award, Lata Mangeshkar Award.

1929: Born in Indore, Madhya Pradesh
1942: She started her singing career by singing for a Marathi film.
1945: Moved to Mumbai.
1948: Master Vinayak, her early mentor passed away.
1950's: Lata had become a popular playback singer in Bollywood.
1969: She won the Padma Bhushan
1993: Bestowed with Life time achievement award
1999: She was honored with the Padma Vibhushan
2001: Winner of the Bharat Ratna award .