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Legendary singer Shamshad Begum dies

bollywood Updated: Apr 25, 2013 12:14 IST
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Legendary singer Shamshad Begum, one of the first playback singers in the Hindi film industry and voice behind hit songs like Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon, Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar and Kajra Mohabbat Wala, has died at her Mumbai residence. She was 94.

"She was not keeping well for past few months and was admitted to the hospital. She passed away last night. The funeral was a solemn affair with a few friends present," Begum's daughter Usha said.

Begum was born on April 14, 1919 in Amritsar, Punjab. She made her debut on Peshawar Radio on December 16, 1947, captivating the hearts of her listeners with her enchanting voice.

The singer has been living with her daughter Usha Ratra and son-in-law in Mumbai, ever since her husband Ganpat Lal Batto died in 1955.

Shamshad Begum also sang hit songs like Teri Mehfil Mein Kismat in the classic film Mughal-E-Azam.

Her other hit tracks include Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana, Boojh Mera Kya Naam Re, Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re, Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar and Chod Babul Ka Ghar.


Born on April 14, 1919, Shamshad Begum was one of the first playback singers in Bollywood.

Shamshad Begum was a humble singer. In an interview with BBC, Naushad said, Shamshad was not fond of getting her pictures clicked or getting publicity. Further in the interview, Naushad said that while recording songs with both Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar, Shamshad had to maintain ten times greater a distance from the mike than Lata due to the former's voice. Naushad was speaking about the training of singers in Punjab.

Talking about her transition from live performance to playback singing, in an interview with Doordarshan, the legendary singer said, "When I was called at Bombay for Mehboob Khan's Taqdeer, recordist Billimoria had arranged three mikes. I was initially surprised but was extremely happy when he told me that one mike was specially reserved for me. Thereafter, I became spoilt and felt extremely uncomfortable by the thought of sharing the mike ."

Shamshad's personal favourite song

Chodd Babul Ka Ghar Mohe Pee Ka Ghar was one of Shamshad's personal favourite. Begum told DD, "chhod babul ka ghar mohe pee ke nagar'....without fail this song is played at all marriages. In fact when my daughter got married the band played this song and though initially I was sobbing, as soon as I heard this tune I started laughing that they were playing my song on my daughter's wedding."

Shamshad Begum earned Rs 12 per song for her first assignment in the 60s, which was huge in that age. SHAMSHAD BEGUM SPEAKS

Which of her songs is your favourite? VOTE HERE

(With inputs from PTI)