New Delhi, Oct 3 (IANS) Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni Saturday congratulated legendary playback singer Manna Dey for being named for the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award, saying it was 'richly deserved'.
In a message to the singer, Soni said the award was 'richly deserved and your outstanding contributions to music for over fifty years are an integral part of India's musical heritage'.
'I am also happy that the announcement has been widely acclaimed across the country,' she added.
On Wednesday, Dey's family confirmed that he has been selected for the highest honour in Indian cinema. At that time, the singer was in New York.
Born on May 1, 1919, the singer became a name to reckon with in the Hindi film industry from the 1950s to 1970s.
Dey has recorded more than 3,500 songs in the course of his career.
He started his career in playback singing with the movie 'Tamanna' in 1943. The song was an instant hit.
Some of his evergreen hits are: 'Pyaar hua ikraar hua' from 'Shri 420', 'Aaja sanam madhur chandni mein hum' ('Chori Chori'), 'Laga chunri mein daag' ('Dil Hi To Hai'), 'Tere naina talash kare jise' ('Talash'), 'Chalat musafir moh liyo re pinjrewali muniya' ('Teesri Kasam') 'Aye mere pyaare watan' ('Kabuliwala'), 'Zindagi kaisi hai paheli' ('Anand') and 'Yaari hai iman mera' ('Zanjeer').