1929 to Forever: A Tribute to Lata Mangeshkar’s Exceptional Career

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Lata Mangeshkar

The Nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshkar left the world at the age of 92 on 6 February 2022. The singer was tested Covid positive with mild symptoms and was then admitted to the ICU of the Breach Candy Hospital, South Mumbai on 8 January 2022. The demise of the legendary singer has left India mourning. But her soulful voice will remain eternal. Let’s explore the life, career and achievements of Lata Mangeshkar.

Birth28 September 1929
Born to Deenanath Mangeshkar (father) Shevanti Mangeshkar (mother)
SiblingsMeena, Asha, Usha, and Hridaynath
Also known as Queen of Melody
Nightingale of India
Voice of the Millennium
Years active1942–2022
OccupationPlayback Singer
Music Composer
GenresFilmi Classical GhazalsBhajansFolkBengali Music
HonoursPadma Bhushan (1969)
Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1989)
Maharashtra Bhushan (1997)
Padma Vibhushan (1999)
Bharat Ratna (2001)
Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour (2006)
Died6 February 2022 (aged 92)
Place of DeathMumbai, Maharashtra, India

How did Lata Mangeshkar Change the Music Industry?

Born as Hema Mangeshkar in 1929 on September 28, Lata Mangeshkar was introduced to music at an early age of 13 when she recorded her first-ever song for a Marathi Movie ‘ Kiti Hasaal’ 

Lata Mangeshkar
Source: IWMBuzz

Before getting into the music industry, she worked as an actress in her father’s musical plays. She was only 5 years old at that time. 

In 1942, at the age of 13, Lata Mangeshkar lost her father due to heart disease. A close family friend and the owner of Navyug Chitrapat movie company Master Vinayak took care of her family. He was the one who helped her start a career as a singer and an actress. He gave her small roles in Marathi films and she even sang her first Hindi song “Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu ” for the Marathi film Gajaabhaau. She moved to Mumbai in 1948, where she started taking lessons in Hindustani classical music from Ustad Aman Ali Khan of Bhindibazaar Gharana. Moving on, one of her first major hits was “Ayega Anewaala” for a horror classic movie Mahal.  The song was lip-synced by one of the most legendary Bollywood actresses of all time, Madhubala. 

She sang many hits for iconic movies such as  Mother India, Shree 420, Devdas and more. From Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya to Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh, Lata Mangeshkar has contributed a lot to the Indian Cinema.

Jawaharlal Nehru’s Appreciation

How can we forget the legendary patriotic song “Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo” played any time, gives us goosebumps. Lata Ji sang the patriotic song against the backdrop of the Sino-India War in 1963 in the presence of the then Prime Minister of India’ Jawaharlal Nehru. It is said that the song brought the prime minister to tears. In 2019, Lata Ji also released the song “Saugandh Mujhe Is Mitti Ki”, which was composed by Mayuresh Pai. The song was a tribute for the Indian army and Nation. 

Lata Mangeshkar’s Music Career

With a career spanning more than six decades, Lata Mangeshkar was the singing voice for many legendary Bollywood actresses, from Meena Kumari, Nargis, Madhubala to Madhuri Dixit and Preity Zinta. The iconic singer has sung over 20,000 songs in 36 languages across India.

Awards Received by Lata Mangeshkar

Lata Mangeshkar was awarded the following prestigious cinematic awards:

  • National Film Awards
  • BFJA Awards
  • Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer
  • Filmfare Special Awards
  • Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award

Lata Mangeshkar is also a recipient of honorary doctorates from  Sangeet Natak Akademi, Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh, and Shivaji University in Kolhapur.

A Timeline of Lata Mangeshkar’s Achievements

Lata Ji won several awards and honours throughout her career as mentioned below:

  • 1959, 1963, 1966, and 1970: Four Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards.
  • 1972, 1974, and 1990: Three National Film Awards 
  • 1984: State Government of Madhya Pradesh instituted the Lata Mangeshkar Award of Lata Mangeshkar
  • 1992: State Government of Maharashtra also instituted a Lata Mangeshkar Award
  • 1969: Padma Bhushan 
  • 1999: Padma Vibhushan 
  • 1999: Zee Cine Award for Lifetime Achievements
  • 1999: NTR National Award 
  • 1997: Maharashtra Bhushan Award 
  • 1989: Dadasaheb Phalke Award 
  • 2009: ANR National Award 
  • 2007: Legion of Honour  
  • 2001: Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award
  • 2009: She was awarded the title of Officer of the French Legion of Honour, France’s highest order.
  • 2012: She was ranked number 10 in Outlook India’s poll of the Greatest Indian.

Beyond Lata Mageshkar’s Bollywood Career

Marathi Movie Industry

In 1995, Lata Mangeshkar composed music for the first time for the following Marathi movies:

  • 1960 – Ram Ram Pavhana
  • 1963 – Maratha Tituka Melvava
  • 1963 – Mohityanchi Manjula
  • 1965 – Sadhi Manase
  • 1969 – Tambadi Mati

Movie Production

Lata Ji has also produced the following movies:

  • 1953 – Vaadal (Marathi)
  • 1953 – Jhaanjhar (Hindi)

Lata Ji co-produced with C. Ramchandra

  • 1955 – Kanchan Ganga (Hindi)
  • 1990 – Lekin (Hindi)


Lata Ji was also Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from 22 November 1999  to 21 November 2005.

The demise of the icon has definitely brought a great loss to our nation. Her contribution to the Indian Cinema is exceptional. Lata Mangeshkar has physically left the world but her divine voice will remain till the end of the world. 

Which is your favourite Lata Mangeshkar song? Let us know in the comment section below.

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