Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday expressed deep anguish over the death of legendary singer Manna Dey, saying India has lost a genius.
She said that in the passing away of Dey, the nation has lost a veteran playback singer, a versatile artiste of
extraordinary ability, and a creative genius who mesmerised listeners with his enchanting voice.
Gandhi said that the legend will always be remembered and will continue to enthral music lovers forever.
Dey, who cast his musical spell for over five decades with all-time hits like 'ay mere pyara watan', 'laaga chunri me daag' and 'poocho na kaise', died at a hospital in Bangalore today at the age of 94 after prolonged illness.
Dey, who was in and out of Narayana Hrudayalaya hospital in the last five months for respiratory and renal problems, died of cardiac arrest at 3:50 AM.
His daughter Shumita Deb and his son-in-law Jnanranjan Deb were by his bedside when the end came. His wife Sulochana died in January last year. His second daughter lives in the US.
Along with Rafi, Mukesh, and Kishore Kumar, Dey was the last member of the famous quartet of singers who dominated the Hindi music industry from 1950s to 1970s.
Born in Kolkata in 1919, Dey went on to sing over 3,500 songs in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada and Assamese films before quitting movies in the '90s. His last song was 'Hamari hi mutthi mein' for 1991 film 'Prahaar'.
Union Minister Manish Tewari too expressed his condolence at the death of Dey, describing him as a legend who enthralled a whole generation.
"Deepest condolences on the sad demise of Manna Dey. His voice and unique style enthralled a whole generation. Another legend has left us," the Information and Broadcasting Minister twitted.
Dey, 94, died at a Bangalore hospital early today after a prolonged illness.