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Lata Mangeshkar Birthday: Lesser-Known Facts About 'The Nightingale Of India'

The melodious voice of Lata Mangeshkar needs no introduction to music connoisseurs. Popularly known as the 'Nightingale Of India', she was one of the most popular and successful singers of all time in the world. It won't be wrong to say that the music industry in India and globally is incomplete without her voice. She has given her beautiful voice to 30,000 songs in more than 36 regional languages.

On her birthday, here are some interesting and lesser-known facts about Lata Mangeshkar:

1. Lata Mangeshkar was born on 28 September 1929 in Indore as Hema Mangeshkar to parents Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar, a Konkani and Marathi classical singer and Shevanti, a Gujarati mother.

2. Her paternal grandfather, a Brahmin priest used to sing devotional songs, especially at the Abhishek ritual of Lord Shiva.

3. Initially the family had the last name Hardikar. But Lata Mangeshkar's father started using 'Mangeshkar' to identify his native town Mangeshi in Goa.

4. Lata Mangeshkar was the eldest of five children of Deenanath Mangeshkar and his wife Shevanti. Her siblings, Meena Khadikar, Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar and Hridyanath Mangeshkar are all renowned singers.

5. At the age of five, Lata Mangeshkar started receiving music lessons from her father and also worked as an actress in her father's plays.

6. In the year 1942, when she was barely 13, she lost her father due to some heart ailment.

7. This was when Lata Mangeshkar's career as a singer began. At such a young age, she took up the responsibility to look after her family after her father's demise.

8. Her first song was Naachu Yaa Gade, Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhaari, composed by Sadashivrao Nevrekar for the movie Kiti Hasaal in 1942. However, the song was cut from the final release.

9. In the same year, she also got a small role in the movie Pahili Mangalaagaur, directed by Navyug Chitrapat. In the same movie, she sang Natali Chaitraachi Navalaai.

10. Lata Mangeshkar's first Hindi song was Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu, sung for the Marathi movie Gajaabhau released in 1943.

11. Lata Mangeshkar soon moved to Mumbai and took lessons from Ustad Aman Ali Khan of Bhindibazar Gharana.

12. Her mentor Vinayak Damodar Karnataki died in the year 1948 and this is when Lata Mangeshkar received the guidance of music director Ghulam Haider who later introduced her to producer Sashadhar Mukherjee.

13. However, the producer rejected Lata Mangeshkar as her voice seemed 'too thin' to him.

14. After this, Haider gave the first major break to Lata Mangeshkar through the song Dil Mera Toda, Mujhe Kahin Ka Na Chhora for the movie Majboor, released in 1948.

15. Aayega Aanewaala was one of the first hits of Lata Mangeshkar composed by Khemchand
Prakash for the movie Mahal starring renowned Bollywood actress Madhubala.

16. In the 1950s, she sung many songs for several music directors such als Shankar Jaikishan, Anil Biswas, Amarnath, SD Burman, Bhagatram and Husanlal.

17. In 1956, she made her debut in Tamil playback singing with the song Vanaradham.

18. Lata Mangeshkar also sang many raga-based songs composed by Naushad, a famous Indian music director, for movies such as Barsat (1949), Baiju Bawra (1952), Aah (1953), Uran Khatola (1955), Mother India (1957), Shree 420 (1955), Chori Chori (1956), Devdas (1955) and many more.

19. Lata Mangeshkar won her first Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for her song Aaja Re Pardesi composed by Salil Chowdhary for the movie Madhumati.

20. Her song Jab Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya from the 1960 classic Mughal-e-Azam still remains one of the most loved songs of all time.

21. Apart from movie songs, Lata Mangeshkar also has given her melodious voice to many Bhajans and devotional songs such as Allah Tero Naam Ishwar Tero Naam, Om Jai Jagdish Hare and many more.

22. On 27 January 1963, Lata Mangeshkar sang the patriotic song Aye Mere Vatan Ke Logon in the presence of the then Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. The song was against the backdrop of the Indo-China War in 1962. After listening to the song, Pandit Nehru was moved to tears and he blessed Lata Mangeshkar. To date, the song remains one of the most-loved patriotic songs of all time.

23. Some of Lata Mangeshkar's popular songs are Jab Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya, Chalte Chalte, Inhi Logon Ne, Lag Ja Gale, Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha, Gaata Rahe Mera Dil, Hothon Pe Aisi Baat, Solah Baras Ki, Mere Naseeb Mein, Piya Tose, Tune O Rangeele, Tujhse Naraz Nahi, Kya Yahi Pyar Hai, Bhuri Bhuri Aankhon, Jab Hum Jawaan Honge, Yeh Galiyan Yeh Chaubara, Jiya Jale, and hundreds of others.

24. She has also given her voice in many duets for the 1900s and 2000s movies with singers such as Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Kumar Sanu, Roop Kumar Rathod, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Mohammad Aziz, SP Balasubramaniam and Hariharan, among others.

25. She has sung for many films of the late filmmaker Yash Chopra such as Chandni (1989), Lamhe (1991), Ye Dillagi (1994), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Mohabbatein (2000), Mujhse Dosti Karoge (2002), Veer-Zara (2004) and more. Yash Chopra respected and revered her.

26. In the year 1969, she was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, after which she received Padma Vibhushan in 1999.

27. In 1993, she was honoured with the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Awards and Filmfare Special Awards in 1994 and 2004.

28. She also received the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Awards in 1989, the NTR National Award in 1999 and India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 2001.

29. Lata Mangeshkar has won four Filmfare Awards for the Best Female Playback singer.

30. Lata Mangeshkar has won three National Film Awards.

31. In 2009, she was honoured with the title of Officer of the French Legion of Honour, France's highest civilian award.

32. Lata Mangeshkar passed away on 6 February 2022 at the age of 92.

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