10 lesser-known facts about India’s ‘Nightingale’

Known as the ‘Nightingale of India’, Lata Mangeshkar has left behind a treasure trove of songs vocalized in her mellifluous voice, sung across a career that lasted for over 70 years. Her solos and immortal duets with Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, and Mukesh, along with a legion of other prominent Indian singers, are among Hindi cinema’s most memorable songs.

Here are some of the lesser-known facts about the Nightingale of India:

  1. Lata Mangeshkar belonged to a family of performers. Her father ran a theatre company, and Lata grew up with a love of music. The aim of the sisters (Lata and Asha Bhosle) when they took up singing was to carry forward their father’s legacy.
  2. Lata recorded the first song of her career “Naachu Yaa Gade, Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhaari” in 1942 for a Marathi movie ‘Kiti Hasaal’. But unfortunately, the song was removed from the film’s final cut.
  3. She once fainted while recording a song with music composer Naushad.
  4. Lata Mangeshkar once said while speaking to Bollywood Hungama that she does not listen to her own songs as if she did, she would find a hundred faults in her singing.
  5. In Lata’s words, the best music director she worked with and with whom she had a special bond was Madan Mohan.
  6. She was nominated to the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) in 1999. She described her tenure as an unhappy one and claimed she was reluctant to be inducted.
  7. She holds the honor of being the first-ever Indian to perform in the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, London.
  8. The government of France conferred her with the Officer of the Legion of Honor in 2007, which is the country’s highest civilian award.
  9. In her long career, Lata worked with the greatest of Indian composers and music directors, but she never worked with O P Nayyar.
  10. She recorded her last song ‘Saugandh Mujhe Is Mitti Ki’, which was composed by Mayuresh Pai, as a tribute to the Indian Army and nation. It was released in 2019.

Image courtesy of (Photo courtesy: bhaskar.com)

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