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Happy Birthday Asha Bhosle!

On this day, eighty one years ago, a legend was born. Asha Bhosle is an unparalleled and unmatched name in the Indian music industry.

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On this day, eighty one years ago, a legend was born. Asha Bhosle is an unparalleled and unmatched name in the Indian music industry. One of the most enthralling, versatile and vibrant voices to have graced music, perhaps ever, Bhosle's legacy is without doubt unmatched. Today, BollyCurry gathers to celebrate the birthday of one of the best playback singers in the history of music in India.

Commonly known as Ashaji or Asha Tai, she was born in the year 1933 in Sangli to a family of musicians. Her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar, was a renowned Hindustani vocalist. Bhosle received her training in classical music from him. She is also the sibling of two equally celebrated singers in India, Lata Mangeshkar and Usha Mangeshkar, as well as music director, Hridaynath Mangeshkar.

Although she received worldwide acclaim (and a number of awards) over the course of a remarkable career span of six decades, she began on a modest note in the year 1943. After that, throughout the 1940s and early 1950s, she recorded many songs but most of them were for side characters and indistinct. Lata Mangeshkar dominated the music scene at that time. She did, however, record a duet with Mohammed Rafi for "Nanhe Munhe Bachhe" from Boot Polish (1954) and gained immense popularity earning a lot of recognition. Her career took a massive turn in association with music composer, O.P. Nayyar who gave her Tumsa Nahi Dekha (1957) and Naya Daur (1957). In Naya Daur, for the first time Bhosle sang all the songs for leading actress and her duets with Rafi in the movie, "Maang Ke Saath Tumhara", "Saathi Haath Badhana" and "Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri" took her straight to the top! By the end of 1960s, she was dominating the Bollywood music industry and was second only to her sister.

In the 1970s, she forged a new bond with music composer, R.D. Burman and it ultimately paved way for her second marriage. The collaboration was one of the most successful ventures in history and Burman gave a totally different dimension to Bhosle's voice. She recorded some hugely popular hip-hop and rock numbers, including "Aaja Aaja", "O Mere Sona Re" and "Yeh Mera Dil" and thus, she started getting a little typecast with mostly western-styled songs. Music composer, Khayyam helped her break with Rekha starrer, Umrao Jaan (1981). The lyrical, poetic quality to all songs- notably "Dil Cheez Kya Hai", "Inn Aankhon Ki Masti Ke" and "Justagu Jiski Thi"- she recorded for the movie brought out yet another dimension to her singing. Thereafter, she was widely regarded as one of the most versatile singers in Bollywood.

Bhosle's records speak for themselves. In 1977, she became the first Indian singer to be nominated for the Grammy Award for her album with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. She received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2000) and the Padma Vibushan (2008) from the Government of India. In 2011, she was acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in the history of music with over 12,000 recorded songs- right from classical to hip-hop, to bhajans and pop! Therefore, it is not humanely possible to list all of her popular songs. Nevertheless, we bring to you a mini playlist of some of her songs that stood the test of time.

    1) "Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri" - Naya Daur
    2) "Parde Mein Rehne Do" - Shikar
    3) "Dum Maro Dum" -Hare Rama Hare Krishna
    4) "Yeh Mera Dil" - Don
    5) "Dil Cheez Kya Hai" - Umrao Jaan
    6) "Mera Kuch Samaan" - Ijaazat
    7) "Radha Kaise Na Jale" - Lagaan

Did you know?
  • Asha Bhosle is also an excellent cook and quite popular among the Kapoors in Bollywood for her paya curry, Goan fish curry and dal. She even runs a brand of restaurants called Aasha's.
  • Apart from being a great singer, she is also a great mimicry artist and can even mimic the voices of Lata Mangeshkar and Ghulam Ali. 
  • She had initially said no to "Aaja Aaja Main hu Pyaar Tera" as she thought she would not be able to sing it. Eventually she sang the song after ten days of rehearsals and the song went on to become a mega hit.
  • She began her career as a singer who could act too. She made her debut as a leading heroine in a film years later with Mai (2013) and received critical acclaim.
  • She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Amravati and University of Jalgaon in Literature. 

BollyCurry extends its warmest wishes to Asha Tai on her 81st birthday. May her illustrious life and career continue to inspire and shine among the brightest of stars! 

Tanisha N.
Editors: Peehu A. and Sonia R.
Graphics: Virina R.

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Asha Bhosle Lata Mangeshkar Mohammed Rafi Hridayanath Mangeshkar Gulam Ali Hare Rama Hare Krishna  Ijazat  Naya Daur (1957)  Don (1978)  Umrao Jaan  Lagaan 

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