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You cannot call yourself a true aficionado of music until you have relished and gotten deeply lost in the songs sung by the living legend Lata Mangeshkar. From the early years of 1940s, she has sung for more than thousand Hindi films and has given us many memorable songs to live by. Also called the Nightingale and Queen of Melody, Lata Mangeshkar’s journey was full of ups and downs, however, the splendid and unique gift of a voice made it a journey worth living.

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Let us take a look at this amazing journey from her childhood to being a successful singing sensation by revealing some lesser known facts about her.

1. Birth

She was born to a Goan father and a Gujrati mother in the princely state of Indore on the 28th of September 1929. She was first named Hema, but her parents later renamed her Lata after a character, Latika, from one of her father’s plays, Bhaw Bandhan.

Childhood photo of Lata Mangeshkar

2. Prior to making a career

She learnt Gujrati folk songs from her maternal grandmother and was acting in her father’s musical plays at the age of five.

Lata Mangeshkar Life

3. Only one day of schooling

Lata Mangeshkar only went to school for a day. While some sources say that she was angry and stopped going to school when her teacher found her teaching songs to other children on the very first day. The others say that she left school as they would not allow her to bring her younger sister Asha with her as she did that quite often.

Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle

4. First public performance

In the year 1938, she sang publicly for first time at the age of nine at the Nutan Theatre, Sholapur. She sang two Marathi songs and Raag Khambawati.

Lata Mangeshkar Facts

5. Starting of an evergreen career

At the age of 13, Lata was left to fend for her family when her father, Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar passed away in 1942. She started her career as a singer and an actress.

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About Lata Mangeshkar

6. First song of her career

She sang her first song for a Marathi movie Kiti Hasaal in the year 1942, however, it was later dropped from the movie.



7. Followed by acting

In the year 1945, Master Vinayak, who was a family friend of Mangeshkars and was taking care of them after the father’s death, offered her a minor role in his first Hindi film, Badi Maa.

Young Lata Mangeshkar

8. Her move to Mumbai

In the year 1945, Lata moved to Mumbai when Master Vinayak’s company moved its headquarters there. There she started learning Indian classical music by Ustad Aman Ali Khan of Bhendibazaar Gharana.

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Ustad Aman Ali Khan of Bhendibazaar Gharana

9. When she witnessed rejection

In the year 1948, her voice was rejected by producer Sashadhar Mukherjee for being too thin. However, Ghulam Haider who recommended Lata to Sashadhar was quite annoyed at this and responded saying that in the coming years directors and producers would fall at Lata’s feet and beg her to sing in their movies.

Unknown facts about lata mangeshkar

10. First major hit

The song ‘ayega anewala’ from the movie Mahal (1949) gave her sky high popularity and she never looked back.

Aayega Aanewala by Lata Mangeshkar

11. As a music composer

Lata Mangeshkar composed music for the first time in 1955 for a Marathi movie called Ram Ram Pavhane. However, in 1960s she composed music for many Marathi films under the pseudonym of Anand Ghan.

Lata Mangeshkar birth day

12. Filmfare Best Female Playback Category is because of Lata Mangeshkar

Earlier there was no category for “Best Female Playback Singer”, in Filmfare awards. So Lata refused to sing at the Filmfare award ceremony. And it was in 1958 that Filmfare awarded the first female playback singer award.

Of course it was Lataji to receive it for for the song Ajare Paradesi in Madhumati.

Lata Mangeshkar Singing

13. Endless list of Filmfare Awards

During the years of 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, Lata dominated the Fimfare Awards for best female playback singer.

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Lata Mangeshkar Filmfare award

14. When Lata Mangeshkar was poisoned

In the year 1962, she was hospitalised and had a close shave with death as she was given slow poison by someone. She only began to recover after 10 days and was bedridden for nearly 3 months. The mystery has not been solved till date, however, proofs pointed at her cook who mysteriously and suddenly vanished without even taking his wages.

Lata Mangeshkar was poisoned in 1962

15. When she moved Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru to tears

On 27th January 1963, when she sang ‘Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo’ against the backdrop of the Sino-Indian War, it brought tears to the eyes of Jawahar Lal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India.

Lata Mangeshkar with Jawahar Lal Nehru

16. First Indian singer to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1974.

Lata Mangeshkar at Royal Albert Hall in London

17. Awarded with Padma Bhushan (1969) the third-highest civilian award in India, and Padma Vibhushan (1999) the second-highest civilian award in India.

Lata Mangeshkar receiving Padma Bhusan 1969

18. First National Film Award

In the year 1972, Lata won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the song ‘Beeti Naa Bitaai Raina’ from the movie Parichay.

Lata Mangeshkar receiving award

19. She was also nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha in 1999.

Lata Mangeshkar member of Rajya Sabha

20. Lata Mangeshkar was a recipient of the Bharat Ratna in the year 2001, India’s highest civilian honor.

Lata Mangeshkar receiving Bharat Ratna in 2001

21. Her godfather

As stated in one of her interviews in September 2013, she considers music director Ghulam Haider as her Godfather as he showed immense faith in her talent.

Lata Mangeshkar mentor Ghulam Haider

22. Imitated Noor Jahan initially

Lata is said to have imitated the widely acclaimed singer Noor Jahan in her ealier days, however, she later evolved her singing into a distinct style of her own.

lata mangeshkar with Noor Jahan

23. Favourite co-singer

In an interview in 2015, Lata revealed that her favourite co singer from across eras was Kishore Kumar.

Lata Mangeshkar with Kishore Kumar

24. She has produced four movies out of which, one was Marathi and three were Hindi.

Life of Lata Mangeshkar

25. Lata Mangeshkar is a Lord Krishna devotee.

Who is Nightingale of India

26. She is not fond of make up, lights and grooming. She prefers to stay away from the limelight.

Lata Mangeshkar Interesting Facts

27. Her unfulfilled desires

Her two main desires of meeting K.L. Saigal and singing for Dilip Kumar stay forever unfulfilled.

Things About Lata Mangeshkar
India West

28. Lata Mangeshkar death: End of an era

Lata Mangeshkar passwd away on 6th February, 2022 at 8:12 am in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital due to multiple-organ failure. She was tested COVID-19 positive with mild symptoms on January 8 and was under regular treatment.

The “Nightingale of India” and “Queen of Melody” will remain the voice of screen idols for generations.

As people say, no matter how many new songs we listen to, but while playing Antakshari, the songs that still come to our minds are the good old evergreen ones. And the magical voice behind most of those songs is that of the great legend Lata Mangeshkar. She has not only made a remarkable career for herself but also given the people world over some unforgettably melodious songs.


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