Lata Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929, in Indore, and went on to become the most famous playback vocalist in Bollywood heritage. Dinanath Mangeshkar, the proprietor of a theatrical company and a renowned classical vocalist in his own right, was her father. Dinanath Mangeshkar, Mangeshkar’s dad, was a well-known Marathi theatre figure regarded as Master Dinanath. Lata, the eldest of all her siblings, was exposed to music from a young age. He began teaching Lata to sing when she was five years old, and she went on to study with legendary vocalists Aman Ali Khan Sahib and Amanat Khan. She demonstrated a God-given singing aptitude from an early age, mastering vocal techniques for the first time. However, she entered Bollywood at the worst moment for somebody with her calibre, in the 1940s, while bass vocalists with extremely husky vocals, such as Noor Jehanand Shamshad Begum, were popular. Several ventures were turned down since her voice was seen to be excessively high-pitched and fragile. She struggled as a youngster to aid her family and carve herself a career as a playback vocalist in the Indian cinema business of the 1940s.
Journey from a struggling playback singer to “Nightingale of India”
Lataji’s debut into the business was hampered by the fact that her father passed away in 1942, leaving her with the burden of generating resources to sustain her siblings. Between 1942 and 1948, she appeared in approximately eight Hindi and Marathi films to make ends meet. She made her playback singing breakthrough in the Marathi movie Kiti Hasaal (1942), but the track was humorously cut. Eventually, she had her major breakthrough in 1948 with Ghulam Haider in the movie Majboor (1948), and four of her movies were released in 1949: Mahal (1949), Dulari (1949), Barsaat (1949), and Andaz (1949); all of them were huge blockbusters, with their music attaining previously unheard-of heights of fame. Mangeshkar’s future was secured once she delivered the blockbuster “Uthaye ja unke sitam” in Andaz (1949).
Her extraordinarily high-pitched vocals left the then-fashionable excessively loud voices irrelevant, and within a year, she had completely transformed the image of playback singing. Geeta Dutt and Shamshad Begum were the only two lower-pitched vocalists who managed to withstand her tenor assault to some degree. Her performing technique was firstly similar to Noor Jehan’s, but she quickly grew out of it and developed her individual unique sound. Her sibling, Asha Bhosle, rose to prominence in the late 1950s, and then both of them ruled Indian playback music until the 1990s. Her voice possessed a unique versatility that allowed song composers to ultimately push their creative boundaries to their limits. Despite the fact that all of her compositions were instant blockbusters under any composer, it was C. Just like every other music director, Ramchandra and Madan Mohan made her sound loveliest while still challenging her vocals.
She sang for celebrities ranging from Nargis to Preity Zinta for over five decades, along with recording music of various genres. The Guinness Book of World Records identified her as the most-recorded artists of all time from 948 and 1987, when her listing vanished. She recorded over 30,000 single, duo, and melody compositions in 20 Languages of india. Currently, that figure might be as high as 40,000. During the 1960s and 1970s, she grew in popularity, despite charges that she was monopolising the playback-singing field. In the 1980s, nevertheless, she reduced her schedule to focus on her international programmes.
Despite a recent revival in her fame, Lata still sings seldomly, but her iconic voice can be heard in a few of Hindi cinema history best tracks, such as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil to Pagal Hai (1997), and Veer Zaara (2004). Whatever female playback singer succeeds in whatever generation, she would never be able to match Lata Mangeshkar’s eternal voice. She was a legend among legends. Her battlefield version of the writer Pradeep’s patriotic song “Ae mere watan ke logo,” which brought Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears, was remarkable amongst her theatrical performances .