A file photograph of Lata Mangeshkar.
Music legend Lata Mangeshkar, 90, was taken to the Intensive Care Unit of Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital early Monday morning, reports news agency PTI. Ms Mangeshkar was hospitalized after complaining of breathing difficulty. “She was brought to hospital at 2 am. She is critical and in ICU,” hospital sources told PTI.
Lata Mangeshkar, a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Awards, is an icon of Indian cinema, having sung playback for a thousand-plus Hindi films; she has also sung in several regional languages including Marathi and Bengali. Ms Mangeshkar, who belongs to a prominent musical family, has also composed music as well as produced a handful of films.
Lata Mangeshkar, born in 1929, is the eldest of five siblings, among them singer Asha Bhonsle. Their father was classical musician Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar, who gave the young Lata Mangeshkar her first music lesson. In 1942, when her father died, 13-year-old Lata Mangeshkar began her career in music, juggling singing with acting parts in Marathi films. In 1945, Ms Mangeshkar had an early hit in the song Aayega Aanewala from the film Mahal, starring Madhubala. From there, Lata Mangeshkar’s voice and career soared to the greatest of heights. She sang raga-based compositions by Naushad in films like Baiju Bawra, Mother India and Mughal-E-Azam, Shankar-Jaikishan’s melodic hits in Barsaat and Shree 420; Salil Chowdhury’s lilting tracks in Madhumati won her a Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer; three more Filmfare Awards came by way of Bees Saal Baad, Khandan and Jeene Ki Raah. Lata Mangeshkar won three National Awards for Best Female Playback Singer for the films Parichay, Kora Kagaz and Lekin. Other memorable films in her credits include Pakeezah, Abhimaan, Amar Prem, Aandhi, SIlsila, Chandni, Sagar, Rudali and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge.
Among Lata Mangeshkar’s most iconic songs is the patriotic composition Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo; the song, commemorating Indian soldiers who died in the 1962 war with China, was performed on Republic Day in 1963 at the National Stadium in New Delhi. Lata Mangeshkar sang it live in the presence of President S Radhakrishnan and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Lata Mangeshkar has composed music for a handful of Marathi films, winning the Maharashtra State Government’s award for Best Music Director in 1965 for the film Sadhi Manase. She has also produced some films, among them 1990’s Lekin, for which she also sang.
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