Lata Mangeshkar- The Pride of India
India, one of the highest movie producing countries, has many great singers. One such singer, who has been singing for the past 60 years is non other then my favourite singer Lata Mangeshkar. Lata Mangeshkar is and has been the most heard voice in all of India for some time now. Lata has been active in all Indian popular and classical music, sung film songs, ghazals , bhajans and pop (Nagma, 2004). Lata's mesmerizing melodious voice has won fans all over the Indian subcontinent and the world. Time magazine recognized her as "the undisputed and indispensable queen of India's playback singing." (Answers.com,n.d). Bharat Ratna Latabai Mangeshkar was born in a very conservative and orthodox family on the 28th September, 1929, at Sikh Mohalla, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India (Lata Mangeshkar Unforgettable Lata, n.d). Lata the eldest of the five children, her siblings Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar, Meena Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle also chose music as their careers (Lata Mangeshkar, 2005). Her father was Pt.Deenanath Mangeshkar a classical singer & stage actor, who came from Mangeshi in Goa. He was a classical singer trained in the colourful Punjabi school of Baba Mushelkar. He owned a drama troupe (Gupta, n.d). Lata was introduced to the microscopic intricacies of classical music by her father, at the very young age of four (Lata Mangeshkar Unforgettable Lata, n.d). She also studied with Aman Ali Khan Sahib and later Amanat Khan (Ibid.). Her God-given musical talents meant that she could master the vocal exercises effortlessly on first pass and from early on she was recognized as being highly gifted musically. In Lata's words "her father told her mother that she is going to be a miracle after he studied her stars" (Kumar, n.d). She most definitely has become a miracle of inspiration to all of those who have had the pleasure of listening to her songs. However, her father died in 1942, before she even began to sing. The burden to bring food for the family fell on Lata as the eldest child. She then, only at the age of 12, acted and sang in Pahili Mangalagaur, a Marathi film by Vinayak Rao (Kumar, n.d.). Rao was happy with her work and signed her on as a staff artist with a salary of 60 rupees, which eventually increased to 350 rupees (Ibid). From then until the age of 15, Lata acted and sung in as many as 8 films to support her family (Gupta, n.d.) She also made her debut as a playback singer in the Marathi film Kiti Hasaal (1942) but the song was edited out (Ibid.). As she made her entrance into the film industry, Lata, faced a lot of difficulties because at the time, Punjabi voices controlled the industry. She did not give up even after a few rejections. Finally, director, Ghulam Haider, gave Lata her breakthrough song with Dil Mera Toda from the movie Majboor in 1948. Haider said, "Let me foretell today that this girl will soon put to shade everyone else including Noor Jahan (a famous singer of the 1940's). Producers and signers will fall at her feet begging her to sing in their films." (Kumar, n.d). Initially Lata was heavily influenced by Noor Jahan's whose voice strong and powerful represented the openness, strength and extroversion of the Punjab. In fact Lata was requested by many producers to "alter her voice to sound more like Noor Jahan's" since the perception was that her thin voice would no go down well with the famed strong and powerful voice of Noor Jahan (Parikmunir, 2004). 1949 became a powerful year for Lata's career. She participated in four films, Barsaat, Andaaz, Dulari, and Maha (Kumar, n.d). Songs from all of these led her to fame and fortune, particularly the song, Aaega Aanewaalaa (Ibid.). She climbed the industry and influencing all those around her. Within a year, she changed the industry. Her unique high pitched singing finally became the want of the industry over the heavy, nasal voices. She found her own unique style which no other could copy (Ibid). "A...
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