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On Lata Mangeshkar’s birthday, her best songs with different music composers

On Lata Mangeshkar’s birthday today, a look at some of her best work with music composers such as SD Burman, Madan Mohan, RD Burman, Naushad and more.

music Updated: Sep 28, 2018 12:21 IST
Nivedita Mishra
Nivedita Mishra
Hindustan Times
Lata Mangeshkar,Happy Birthday Lata Mangeshkar,Hema Hardikar Mangeshkar
Happy Birthday Lata Mangeshkar: India’s nightingale turns 89 today.(HT Photo)

It would not be wrong to say that the phenomenal talent of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar is hard to define. In her long career, she has dominated the film music scene in ways that many can’t even imagine. The fact that she is a playback singer of superlative ability is to state the obvious (how celebrated is her ability to sing in the rare third octave). The hypnotic quality of her voice, its rare timbre, its amazing range and its sweetness, her voice has been the blithe spirit of popular Indian music, wandering far and wide — from the fruit vendor on the streets of India’s many bazaars, a trucker’s comfort in his long and winding trips criss-crossing Indian landscape, an army jawaan’s solace in a cold bunker in Arunachal Pradesh to the glitzy Bollywood parties of Bombay (now Mumbai).

In many more ways, her voice has been the voice of modern, independent India. It has echoed the desires, aspirations, dreams, pains, tragedies and joys of an old land but a young nation. In her golden voice, Indians have drawn comfort and wept their hearts out in equal measure for over six decades. Though the legendary singer is said to have stopped singing since early 2000s, her songs remain among the most popular ones. The recently launched Carvaan, which has thousands of pre-loaded songs from the golden era of Hindi cinema, is a case in point. Even the millennial can relate to her voice, such is its grip over Indian hearts and minds.

She happens to be the only popular Indian singer to be awarded the highest civilian honour of the land, the Bharat Ratna. Among the other top honours, she has been a recipient of India’s highest film award — Dadasaheb Phalke Award, France’s highest civilian award (Officer of the Legion of Honour), three National Awards and several Filmfare awards.

Hailing from a Marathi-speaking Gomantak Maratha family, Lata was born Hema Hardikar Mangeshkar to a Marathi father and a Gujarati mother. Her music training began at the tender age of five with her father Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar as her guru, while her career began when she was barely 13 (1942) after the passing away of her father due to heart ailment.

From that day to now, she remains the nightingale of India. It may be recalled that Lata formed formidable combinations (and had major differences too) with some of India’s best known music composers. On her 89th birthday today, here’s a playlist of her songs.

Lata - Madan Mohan songs

Lata - SD Burman songs

Lata - RD Burman songs

Lata - Naushad songs

Lata - Laxmikanth Payarelal songs

Lata - C Ramachandra songs

Lata - Hridaynath Mangeshkar songs

Author tweets @mniveditatweets

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First Published: Sep 28, 2018 12:19 IST