Lata Mangeshkar, Bollywood's most beloved voice, dies at 92

Lata Mangeshkar, a beloved Indian singer who captivated generations of Bollywood viewers as the singing voice behind the performances of...


Lata Mangeshkar, a beloved Indian singer who captivated generations of Bollywood viewers as the singing voice behind the performances of many actresses, died Sunday at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai, India. She was 92 years old.

She died of complications from Covid-19 after weeks of hospitalization, said Pratit Samdani, a doctor at the hospital, according to Indian media. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he was “anguished beyond words”.

Ms. Mangeshkar leaves a legacy of tens of thousands of songs, mostly in Hindi but also in several other Indian languages. She was what is known as a playback singer – not appearing on screen herself, but contributing a character’s voice to be dubbed for singing and dancing scenes.

But in India, she was far from anonymous. Her decades of work have made her a revered figure. She was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest honour, in 2001.

Ms Mangeshkar was known for her range – she could sing across four octaves – and her gift for singing in character, tailoring her voice and emotions to the actress she voiced on screen. She sang some of Bollywood’s biggest hits, including “From Pyaar Kiya to Darna Kyafrom the 1960 film Mughal e-Azam. Film star Dilip Kumar once called his voice “a miracle of nature’s creativity”.

“She leaves a void in our country that cannot be filled,” Modi said on Twitter.

Early in her career, in the 1940s, Ms. Mangeshkar played minor screen roles. “I never liked it – the makeup, the lights,” she said in an interview for a book published in 2009. “People who command you, say this dialogue, say this dialogue. I felt so uncomfortable.

“The day I started working as a playback singer, I prayed to God: ‘No more comedy in movies,'” she said. “He listened to me and I got a pretty good position in playback singing.”

A complete version of this obituary will be published later.

Mujib Mashal contributed reporting.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Lata Mangeshkar, Bollywood's most beloved voice, dies at 92
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