The legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar was born in Indore, (Madhya Pradesh) on September 28, 1929. She started her musical journey at the age of five by taking musical lessons from her father, Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar who was a well-known classical singer. As a young child, Lata used to idolize her favourite singer K L Sigal.
Following her father’s untimely demise in 1942, Lata began to work as a part-time actress while continuing her singing lessons. After six years of struggle, she got her first major breakthrough in 1948 through the song ‘Dil Mera Toda’ from the film Majboor . Lata initially used to imitate Noor Jehan, but soon devised her own style.
In 1949, Lata gave her first super-hit song in ‘Aayega Aanewaala” from a movie entitled Mahal. The song was enacted by popular actress Madhubala on screen. From 1950 onwards, her popularity started to increase as she started singing several raga-based tracks composed by Naushad. Mangeshkar also collaborated with several other composers like S.D. Burman, Shankar Jaikishen, C. Ramachandra and Hemant Kumar to deliver timeless melodies. Her most popular songs in the 50s include ‘Tum na jaane kis jahaan mein kho gaye’, ‘Man dole mera tan dole’ and ‘Dheere se aaja. She won the Filmfare Award for the Best Female Playback Singer for Salil Chowdhury’s Aaja Re Pardesi’ in Madhumati (1958)
In the 1960s and 70s, Lata continued to prove her mettle with songs like Pyar kiya to darna kya, ‘Ajeeb dastaan hai yeh’, ‘Kahin deep jale kahin dil’ (for which she got her second Filmfare award), ‘Aaj phir jeene ki tamanna hai’, ‘Piya tose’, ‘Hothon pe aisi baat’, ‘Chalte chalte’ ‘Inhi logon ne and many others. In 1973, Lata won the National Film Award for ‘Beeti na bitai’ from the film Parichay.
From I980 onwards, Lata became much more selective about her songs. In 1993, she won her third National Award for the song ‘Yaara silli silli’ from the critically acclaimed movie Rudali. At the same time, she worked extensively with the Yash Raj Films and teamed up with new music directors like Anand Milind, AR Rehman, Nadeem Shravan and Jatin Lalit to give many more hits.