Lata Mangeshkar, India’s most renowned and celebrated singer, passed away on Sunday February 6 in Mumbai. She was affectionately given such titles as the Nightingale of India, Voice of the Millennium, and Queen of Melody. She is also often referred to as India’s “Didi,” or sister.
She was admitted to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on January 8 when she tested positive for COVID-19. Fans from all over the world paid their respects, reflecting on the end of an extraordinary era for the singer.
The legendary singer recorded thousands of songs in 36 languages. The singer sang during India’s Independence Day in 1988 with numerous other artists. Lata Mangeshkar’s singing is the soundtrack to hundreds of Indian films, as well as weddings, funerals and events in the lives of so many admirers. Her songs are famously lip-synced by so many of Bollywood’s heroines during dance musicals.
The singer was born in Indore in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on 28 September 1929. She began learning music at age five from her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar, who was active in the world of theater. Her younger sister, Asha Bhosle, is also well recognized and a prolifer Bollywood singer in her own right.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, offered his solemn appreciation.
“I am anguished beyond words. The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people. Didi’s songs brought out a variety of emotions. She closely witnessed the transitions of the Indian film world for decades. Beyond films, she was always passionate about India’s growth. She always wanted to see a strong and developed India. I consider it my honour that I have always received immense affection from Lata Didi. My interactions with her will remain unforgettable. I grieve with my fellow Indians on the passing away of Lata Didi. Spoke to her family and expressed condolences. Om Shanti.”
Anand Mahindra expressed his feelings saying “What can you say when you no longer have your voice? Om shanti” and adding to that, he tweeted:
The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, said, “The subcontinent has lost one of the truly great singers the world has known. Listening to her songs has given so much pleasure to so many people all over the world.”
The singer has been actively winning hearts ever since the 1940s, in an extraordinary career spanning more than seven decades. She always believed her voice was her identity.
“It was not really the external influences that made me a singer. Music was within me. I was full of it.”Lata Mangeshkar
In Sanskrit, the mantra “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti” is spoken to represent peace in body, speech, and mind. There is also a saying, “Mile surr mera-tumhara toh surr bane humara, which translates to “When your voice and my voice will come together, we’ll be united with one voice.”
It is truly a very heartbreaking moment for India and the world. Lata Mangeshkar’s legacy will live forever in the hearts of fans around the world. She gave her voice to the world and shall be forever remembered for her gifts of song.