Lata Mangeshkar was born on 28th September 1929, in Indore into a simple Marathi family. Lata’s father Deenanath Mangeshkar was an adroit classical singer who imparted classical singing training to her right from the tender age of five. During her training, she also fostered her innate interest to sing devotional songs, or Bhajans. Throughout a career spanning more than 65 years, she is reported to have sung over 5,000 Bhajans!
Lata Mangeshkar sang her first Bhajan ‘Maata Tere Charnon Mein’ in the movie Badi Maa, which was released in 1945. Incidentally, she and her younger sister Asha played a role in that movie. Lata gained prominence as a singer in 1948 through the commercial Hindi film song, ‘Dil Mera Toda’, but continued to sing Bhajans sporadically for the next 15 years. In 1961, she recorded two bhajans for Jaidev, the assistant of the legendary music composer Rahul Dev Burman. These were ‘Allah Tero Naam’ and ‘Prabhu Tero Naam’ which became so iconic over a period of time that they continue to be adored even now.
In 1967, Lata teamed up with music director duo Lakshmikant Pyarelal to create the popular bhajan ‘Kanha aan padi main tere dwaar’. Six years later, she partnered with her brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar to launch their first Bhajan album of Mirabai- Chala Vaahi Des. One of the most popular tracks from that album was ‘Saanware Rang Rachi’, which also happens to be one of Mangeshkar’s favourite songs of all times. Another commercially successful bhajan from that album was the melodious ‘Ud Jaa Re Kaaga’.
In the early 70s, Lata launched a new album of Ganesh artis, which were composed by Hridaynath, in addition to abhangs of Saint Tukaram. Over the past three and a half decades, she has continued to render her voice for individual bhajans and/or bhajan albums, albeit sporadically.