On this day, eighty one years ago, a legend was born. Asha
Bhosle is an unparalleled and unmatched name in the Indian music
of the most enthralling, versatile and vibrant voices to have graced
music, perhaps ever, Bhosle's legacy is without doubt unmatched. Today,
gathers to celebrate the birthday of one of the best playback singers in
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
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. She received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2000) and
Padma Vibushan (2008) from the Government of India. In 2011, she was
acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded
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
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.
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!
Writer: Tanisha N.
Editors: Peehu A. and Sonia R.
Graphics: Virina R.
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