Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Mohammed Rafi

Early days

Mohammed Rafi born on December 24, 1924 – July 31, 1980 was an Indian playback singer. He has sung in many Indian languages like Hindi, Merathi and Telugu, but he is chiefly remembered for his songs from Hindi cinema . His songs are widely popular in the Indian subcontinent.

Mohammed Rafi was born at Kotla Sultan Singh (or Kotla Sultanpur), a town near
Amritsar in undivided Punjab. His father was Hajji Ali Mohammad, and he had five
older brothers. Rafi, whose pet name was Pheeko, started singing by imitating
chants of a fakir in his village. In 1935-36, Rafi's father shifted to
Lahore, and the rest of the family followed later. Rafi's family managed a men's
salon in Lahore's Noor Mohalla. His elder brother-in-law Mohammed Hameed was
aware of Rafi's love for music and encouraged it. Rafi learnt Hindustani
classical music from Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, Pandit
Jiwanlal Matto and Firoze Nizami.
One day Rafi and his brother Hameed went to attend a performance by K. L.
Saigal. But the legendary singer refused to sing because there was a power
failure at the venue. Hameed went up to the organizer to ask whether his
brother-in-law could sing to keep the audience quiet. That was Rafi's first
public performance, at the age of 13.[citation needed]
Rafi was noted by the composer Shyam Sunder, who gave him a chance to sing a
duet Soniye nee, Heeriye nee with Zeenat Begum, in the Punjabi film Gul Baloch
in 1942 (the film was released in 1944). Rafi was also invited by the Lahore
radio station to be a permanent singer with them.

Initial days in Bombay

In 1944, Rafi decided to move to Bombay (now Mumbai). He was introduced to some
leading film producers such as Abdul Rashid Kardar, Mehboob Khan and
actor-director Nazeer by Tanvir Naqvi.He contacted the famous music director
Naushad with a letter of recommendation from someone. Initially, Naushad used
Rafi as part of a chorus. Rafi's first song with Naushad was Hindustan ke hum
hain with Shyam Kumar, Alauddin and others, from A. R. Kardar's Pehle Aap
(1944). Around the same time, Rafi recorded another song for the film Gaon ki
Gori (1944) for the composer Shyam Sunder, Aji dil ho kaaboo mein with G. M.
Durrani and chorus. He considered this song as his first Hindi language song.
In 1945, Rafi got married to his cousin Bashira, nicknamed "Majhi", in his
In 1945, Rafi also appeared on the screen for the song "Tera Jalwa Jis Ne Dekha"
in the film Laila Majnu.He sang a number of songs for Naushad as part of a
chorus, including "Mere sapnon ki rani, Roohi Roohi" with K. L. Saigal from the
film Shahjahan (1946). Rafi was first noted for the song Tera Khilona Toota
Balak from Mehboob Khan's Anmol Ghadi (1946). His duet with Noor Jehan in the
film Jugnu 1947, Yahan Badla Wafa Ka became a hit song.
In 1948, Rafi was also noted for the song Suno Suno Aye Duniya Walon Bapuji Ki
Amar Kahani, written by Rajendra Krishan. He was invited by the Indian Prime
Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to sing at the latter's house. In 1948, Rafi
received a silver medal from Nehru on the Indian Independence Day. In 1949, Rafi
was given solo songs by music directors such as Naushad (Chandni Raat, Dillagi
and Dulari), Shyam Sunder (Bazaar) and Husnalal Bhagatram (Meena Bazaar).

Rise to fame

Rafi established himself as the number one playback singer in Bollywood with the
songs of Baiju Bawra (1952).The songs from Baiju Bawra, O duniya ke rakhwale
and Man tarpat Hari darshan ko aaj established Rafi's credentials. The
newly-started radio program Binaca Geetmala also played the songs, leading to an
increase in their popularity. It is said that Talat Mahmood used to be Naushad's
favorite singer. Once Naushad found Talat smoking during a recording. Annoyed,
he hired Rafi to sing for Baiju Bawra. Rafi was a devout Muslim refrained from
smoking and drinking alcohol. Later, Naushad started using Rafi as the male
voice in almost every song composed by him. Rafi sang a total of 149 songs (81
of them solo) for Naushad.
In 1950s and 1960s, Rafi became the favorite singer of other composers too,
notably O. P. Nayyar, Shankar Jaikishan and Sachin Dev Burman. S D Burman
patronized Rafi as the singing voice of Dev Anand in 1950s and 1960s. Rafi's
notable songs with S. D. Burman included songs from the movies Tere Ghar ke
Saamne (1957), Pyaasa (1957), Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959), Guide (1965), Aradhana
(1969) and Abhimaan (1973). O P Nayyar was so impressed with Rafi that he got
Rafi to sing a song Man mora baawara for singer-actor Kishore Kumar, in the
movie Raagini. Rafi sang for Kishore Kumar in many other movies such as Baaghi,
Shehzaada and Shararat. O. P. Nayyar used Rafi and Asha Bhosle for most of
his songs. The team created many hit songs in early 1950s and 1960s for movies
such as Naya Daur (1957), Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957) and Kashmir Ki Kali (1964).
Rafi sang a total of 197 numbers (56 solo) for O P Nayyar. The team of
Shankar Jaikishan and Rafi is noted for the songs picturized on Rajendra Kumar.
Rafi sang a total of 341 numbers (216 solo) for Shankar-Jaikishan.
Rafi got his first Filmfare Award for the title song of Chaudhvin Ka Chand
(1960), composed by Ravi. He got his first National Award for the song Babul Ki
Duaen Leti Ja from the film Neel Kamal (1968), also composed by Ravi. Ravi and
Rafi produced several other hit songs, in the films such as China Town (1962),
Kaajal (1965), and Do Badan (1966). Madan Mohan was another composer whose
favorite singer was Rafi. Rafi's first solo with Madan Mohan in Ankhen (1950)
"Hum ishq mein barbad hain barbad rahenge" was a great hit.They teamed up to
produce many hit songs including Teri Aankhon ke Siva, Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehfil and
Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho. The composer duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal ("L-P") also patronized
Rafi as one of their leading singers since their first released film, Parasmani
(1963). Both Rafi and L-P won the Filmfare Awards for the song Chahoonga main
tujhe saanjh savere from Dosti. Rafi sang a total of 369 numbers (186 solo) for
LP.[7] Rafi sang for many lesser-known composers as well. Once, when a minor
composer, Nisar Bazmi (who migrated to Pakistan in early 1960s), did not have
enough money to pay him, Rafi charged a fee of one rupee and sang for him.
In the 1960s, Rafi was not on good terms with Lata Mangeshkar, the most
sought-after female playback singer in Bollywood, over royalty issues. Lata
wanted Rafi to back her in demanding a half-share from the five percent song
royalty that the film's producer conceded to select composers.But Rafi took
a diametrically opposite view, and believed that a playback singer's claim on
the filmmaker ended with the payment of agreed fee for the song. During the
recording of Tasveer Teri Dil Mein (Maya, 1961), Lata lost her cool with Rafi in
a certain passage of the song. Rafi felt belittled, as music director Salil
Chowdhury sided with Lata.The situation worsened when Lata Mangeshkar
declared that she would no longer sing with Rafi. Rafi stated that he was only
so keen to sing with Lata as she was with him. Later, at the insistence of
S.D.Burman, the two decided to make up and sing duets, but on a personal level,
they were not on good terms.
Between 1950 and 1970, Rafi was the most sought after singer in Bollywood, some
say, at the expense of the careers of contemporaries like Manna Dey, Talat
Mahmood, and Hemant Kumar.In 1965, he was honoured by the Government of
India with the Padma Sri award.
Rafi recorded two hindi songs in English on 7" release in 1968[citation needed]
He also sang a song in Creole language, while his visit to Mauritius in the late
1960s.[citation needed]
Rafi recorded two english albums. One of them is "Pop Hits". "Yodelling" is
generally associated with kishore kumar. But Rafi used yodelling in some of old
songs like "Hello sweety seventeen" with Asha Bhoshle, "O Chale ho kaha","Dilke
Aine main", "Unse Rippy Tippy Ho gayee" with Geeta Dutt.

Last years

Kishore Kumar overshadowed Rafi as the most sought-after singer in Bollywood in
1970s, starting with the film Aradhana (1969).The music for Aradhana
was composed by S. D. Burman, and he had used Rafi as the male playback voice
for the first two recorded duets, Baaghon Mein Bahaar Hai and Gunguna Rahen Hain
Bhanwre.After these two recordings, S D Burman fell ill and his son and
assistant, R D Burman, took over the recordings. R D Burman got Kishore Kumar to
sing the solos Roop Tera Mastana and Mere Sapnon Ki Rani, which led to Kishore
Kumar's popularity. Kishore Kumar's rise and R D Burman's patronage to him
sidelined Rafi's career in early 1970s. Some also say that Rafi was advised
against singing at the Hajj Pilgrimage, so he deliberately spent the next few
months away from the recording studios by living in London.
From 1970-1976, Rafi's output was less, but he sang several hit songs during
this period. Some of his hit songs in early 1970s were with music directors
like L-P, Madan Mohan, R. D. Burman and S. D. Burman. Some of Rafi's popular
songs from this period include Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehfil from Heer Ranjha (1970),
Chura Liya Hain Tumne from Yaadon Ki Baarat, Yeh Jo Chilman Hain and Itna to
Yaad Hain Mujhe from Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho from Hanste Zakhm
(1973), Gulabi Aankhen from The Train, Aaj Mausam bada Beimaan hai from Loafer
(1973), and Jhilmil Sitaron ka from Jeevan Mrityu (1974).
Rafi made a comeback as a leading playback singer in mid-1970s. In 1974, he won
the Film World magazine Best Singer Award for the song Teree Galiyon Mein Na
Rakhenge Qadam Aaj Ke Baad (Hawas) composed by Usha Khanna.In 1977, he won
both Filmfare Award and the National Award for the song Kya Hua Tera Wada from
the movie Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin, composed by R. D. Burman.[8] Rafi did playback
for Rishi Kapoor in films like Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Sargam (1979) and Karz
(1980). The qawwali Pardah Hai Pardah from Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) was a
superhit. Rafi gave many other hit songs in late 1970s, notably for the films
Laila Majnu (1976), Apnapan (1978), Qurbani, Dostana (1980) and The Burning
Train (1980).
On Thursday, July 31, 1980 after composing the song Shaam phir kyun udaas hai
dost for the movie Aas Paas with Laxmikant-Pyarelal (L-P), Rafi asked if he
could leave for home. L-P were surprised because Rafi would be the last person
to leave the recording session.While leaving, Rafi said once again "OK. I
will leave." Rafi died at 10.50 p.m. on the same day due to a massive heart
attack. His funeral procession was one of the largest Mumbai ever witnessed.
Shammi Kapoor rushed back from abroad to attend his funeral in Mumbai. Later,
the Padma Shri Mohammed Rafi Chowk in the Bandra suburb of Mumbai was named
after him.
In his last years, Rafi was involved in controversy over Lata Mangeshkar's entry
in the Guinness Book of World Records. In a letter dated June 11, 1977 to the
Guinness Book of World Records, Rafi had challenged the claim that Lata
Mangeshkar has recorded the maximum number of songs ("not less than 25,000"
according to Guinness). After receiving a rather escapist reply from Guinness,
in a letter dated November 20, 1979, he wrote: "I am disappointed that my
request for a reassessment vis-a-vis Ms Mangeshkar's reported world record has
gone unheeded.". After Rafi's death, in its 1984 edition, the Guinness Book
of Word Records stated Lata Mangeshkar's name for the "Most Recordings" but also
stated: "Mohammad Rafi (d 1 Aug 1980) [sic] claimed to have recorded 28,000
songs in 11 Indian languages between 1944 and April 1980.". Many fans of
Rafi state that he has sung over 28,000 songs. However, according to the
available figures, Rafi has sung 4,516 Hindi film songs, 112 non-Hindi film
songs, and 328 private (non-film) songs from 1945 to 1980. The Guinness Book
entries for both Rafi and Lata were later removed in 1991.

After death

Rafi's song from the film Gumnaam (1966), Jaan Pehechaan Ho, was used on the
soundtrack of Ghost World (2001). The film opens with the lead character dancing
around in her bedroom to a video of Gumnaam. Several of Rafi's unreleased
songs will be used for an upcoming film titled Sorry Madam.
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will be releasing a CD entitled "Rafi
Resurrected" in July 2007 comprising symphonic renditions of 18 songs by Rafi.
Sonu Nigam will provide the vocals for this project.
One of Rafi's son, Ibrahim Rafi, is a playback singer in Pakistan.


In 1948, Rafi received a silver medal from the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal
Nehru, on the first anniversary of the Indian Independence Day.
Rafi won the Filmfare Best Male Playback Award six times:
1960 - Chaudhvin Ka Chand Ho (Chaudhvin Ka Chand)
1961 - Teri Pyaari Pyaari Surat Ko (Sasural)
1964 - Chahunga Mein Tujhe (Dosti)
1966 - Baharon Phool Barasao (Suraj)
1968 - Dil Ke Jharoke Mein (Brahmachari)
1977 - Kya Hua Tera Vaada (Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin)

He was also nominated for Filmfare Award several times:

1961 - Husnwale Tera Jawaab Nahin (Gharana)
1962 - Aye Gulbadan Aye Gulbadan Professor
1963 - Mere Mehboob Tujhe (Mere Mehboob)
1965 - Choo Lene Do Nazuk Hothon Ko (Kaajal)
1968 - Mein Gaaon Tum Sojaao (Brahmachari)
1968 - Babul Ki Duayein Leti Ja (Neel Kamal)
1969 - Badi Mastani Hai (Jeene Ki Raah)
1970 - Khilona Jaan Kar (Khilona)
1973 - Hum Ko To Jaan Se Pyaari (Naina)
1974 - Achha Hi Huva Dil Toot Gaya (Maa Behen Aur Biwi)
1977 - Pardah Hai Pardah (Amar Akbar Anthony)
1978 - Aadmi Musaafir Hai (Apnapan)
1979 - Chalo Re Doli Uthao Kahaar (Jani Dushman)
1980 - Mere Dost Kissa Yeh (Dostana)
1980 - Dard-e-dil Dard-e-jigar (Karz)
1980 - Maine Poocha Chand Se (Abdullah)

Rafi also won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer two times:
1968 Babul Ki Duayein Leti Ja (Film: Neel Kamal), composed by Ravi, lyrics by
Sahir Ludhianvi.
1977 Kya Hua Tera Wada (Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin), composed by RD Burman, lyrics
by Majrooh Sultanpuri.

Friday, July 20, 2007



Born : 02-06-1943
Origin : Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation(s) : Film composer, music director
Instrument(s) : Vocals (playback singing), guitar,piano,harmonium.

Ilaiyaraaja (born June 2,1943 as Gnanadesikan) is an Indian film composer, singer, and lyricist. He has composed over 4,000 songs and provided background music for more than 800 Indian films in various languages in a career spanning 30 years.He is based in Chennai, India.
Ilaiyaraaja was the most prominent composer of film music in South Indian cinema
during the late 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.His work integrated Tamil folk
lyricism and introduced broader Western musical sensibilities into the South
Indian musical mainstream. He has thrice won the Indian National Film Award for
best film scoring.He is married to Jeeva, and the couple's two sons (Karthik
Raja and Yuvan Shankar Raja) and daughter (Bhavatharini) are film composers and


1 Early life and education
2 Career and music
2.1 Impact
2.2 Style
2.3 Non-cinematic output
2.4 Accolades and notable works
2.5 Live performances
3 Awards and honours
4 Partial discography
4.1 Tamil
4.2 Malayalam
4.3 Telugu
4.4 Kannada

Early life and education

Ilaiyaraaja was born into a poor rural family in Pannaipuram, Then district,
Tamil Nadu, India. He was the third son of Daniel Ramaswamy and Chinnathayamma.
Growing up in a farming area, Ilaiyaraaja was exposed to Tamil folk music,
such as the songs sung by farmers working in the fields. His formative contact
with music-making and performance came at the age of 14, when he joined a
travelling musical troupe headed by his elder step-brother, Pavalar Varadarajan,
who was a propaganda musician for the Communist Party of India.He journeyed through numerous villages, towns and cities in South India with his
brothers for about ten years as one of the musical Pavalar Brothers. He first
tried his hand at composing music during this period: he set to music an elegy
written by the Tamil poet laureate Kannadasan for Jawaharlal Nehru, India's
first prime minister.Arriving in Madras (now Chennai) in 1968, Ilaiyaraaja enrolled under the tutelage of Dhanraj, a music teacher, as it became apparent that formal knowledge in music such as musical notation was vital for a professional music career. He was introduced to Western classical music during his training, and the music and compositional styles of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert,among others, were influences that would later become a motif in much of Ilaiyaraaja's compositions (such as the use of counterpoint). Ilaiyaraaja's classical music training culminated in him completing a course with a gold medal in classical guitar (higher local) with the Trinity College of Music,London.

Career and music

In Chennai, Ilaiyaraaja worked in a band for hire involved in performing music
for various stage shows and formal occasions. Ilaiyaraaja also worked as a
session guitarist and keyboardist/organist for film music composers and
directors such as Salil Chowdhury from West Bengal, who often recorded music in
Madras.Later, he was hired as an assistant to the Kannada film
composer G K Venkatesh, an event that marked his entry into film music
composition and direction. He assisted this music director in 200 film projects,
mostly in Kannada.During this stint, he learned the practical methods of
orchestration, and would hone his compositional ability through frequent
experiment accomplished by persuading session musicians to play, during their
break times, the scores that he wrote.
Ilaiyaraaja's break as a full-fledged composer came in 1976, when film producer
Panchu Arunachalam decided to commission him to compose the songs and film score
for a Tamil-language film called Annakkili ('The Parrot'). The resulting
soundtrack, together with others that quickly followed, earned Ilaiyaraaja
recognition for his adaptation of Tamil folk poetry and music to popular film
music orchestration. Ilaiyaraaja helped reinvigorate the Tamil film
music which, by the mid-1970s, was experiencing a stagnation of ideas.As
demand mounted for his 'new' sound, Ilaiyaraaja emerged by the mid-1980s as the
leading film composer and music director in the South Indian film industry.
Besides Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films, he has scored music for
Hindi (or Bollywood) film productions such as Sadma (1983), Lajja (2001) and
Cheeni Kum (2007). He has worked with noted Indian poets and lyricists such as
Gulzar, Kannadasan, Vairamuthu and T.S. Rangarajan (Vaali),and film
directors such as K. Balachander, K. Vishwanath Singeetham Srinivasa Rao and
Mani Ratnam.


Ilaiyaraaja and musicians during a recording session Ilaiyaraaja's arrival onto
the scene of film music composition in South India broke some new grounds in the
industry. It saw increased efficiency in the film scoring process and a greater
centralisation of expressive control in the hands of a musical director.
The Indian filmmaker Mani Ratnam illustrates:
"Ilayaraja would look at the film scene once, and immediately start
giving notes to his assistants, as a bunch of musicians, hovering around him,
would collect the notes for their instrument and go to their places. When the
orchestra played out the notes, they would be perfect, not just in harmony but
also in timing — the background score would commence exactly where it should
and end at the exact place required... A film director can be taken by
surprise at the speed of events.”
Ilaiyaraaja was the first film composer to extensively employ within the Indian
film music framework the harmonies and string arrangements intrinsic to Western
classical music.This allowed him to craft a rich tapestry of sounds for
films, and his themes and background score gained notice and appreciation
amongst Indian film audiences.The range of expressive possibilities in
Indian film music was broadened by Ilaiyaraaja's methodical approach to
arranging, recording technique, and his drawing of ideas from a diversity of
musical styles.According to musicologist P. Greene, Ilaiyaraaja's "deep understanding of so many different styles of music allowed him to create
syncretic pieces of music combining very different musical idioms in unified,
coherent musical statements".Ilaiyaraaja has composed Indian film songs
that amalgamated elements of genres such as pop, acoustic guitar-driven Western
folk, jazz, rock and roll, disco, funk, doo-wop, march, bossa nova, flamenco,
pathos, native folk, Afro-tribal, and Indian classical. By virtue of this
variety and his interfusion of Western, Indian folk and Carnatic elements,
Ilaiyaraaja's compositions appeal to the Indian rural dweller for its rhythmic
folk qualities, the Indian classical music enthusiast for the employment of
Carnatic ragas, and the urbanite for its modern, Western-music sound.


Ilaiyaraaja's music is characterised by the use of an orchestration technique
that is a synthesis of Western and Indian instruments and musical modes. He
pioneered the use of electronic music technology that integrated synthesisers,
electric guitars and keyboards, rhythm boxes and MIDI with large orchestras that
also featured the veena, venu, nadaswaram, mridangam and tabla.The
popularity of Ilaiyaraaja's music is attributed to his flair for catchy
melodies, and to his employment of subtle nuances in chord progressions, beats
and timbres.Ilaiyaraaja's songs typically have a musical form where
vocal stanzas and choruses are layered by orchestral preludes and
interludes.They often contain polyphonic melodies; the lead vocals are
interwoven with supporting melody lines sung by another voice or played by
instruments. Polyrhythms are also apparent, particularly in songs with Indian
folk or Carnatic influences. The melodic structure of his songs demand
considerable vocal virtuosity, and have found expressive platform amongst some
of India's respected vocalists and playback singers, such as K.J. Yesudas, S.P.
Balasubramaniam, S. Janaki, P. Susheela, K.S. Chithra, Malaysia Vasudevan, Asha
Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar.Ilaiyaraaja has sung his own compositions for
films,and is recognisable by his rustic and nasal voice. He has penned the
lyrics for some of his songs in Tamil and other languages.
Ilaiyaraaja is known for his evocative film themes and background music, and
examples of these include his work for Pallavi Anupallavi (1984), Punnagai
Mannan (1986), Mouna Raagam (1986) and Geethanjali (1989).

Non-cinematic output

Ilaiyaraaja's first two non-film albums were explorations in the fusion of
Indian and Western classical music. The first, How To Name It? (1986), is
dedicated to the Carnatic master Tyagaraja and to J. S. Bach. It features a
fusion of the Carnatic form and ragas with Bach partitas and fugues and Baroque
musical textures.The second, Nothing But Wind (1988), was performed by
flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and a 50-piece orchestra and takes the conceptual
approach suggested in the title — that music is a natural phenomenon akin to
various forms of air currents (e.g., the wind, breeze, tempest etc.).He
has also composed a set of Carnatic kritis that was recorded by electric
mandolinist U. Srinivas for the album Ilayaraaja's Classicals on the Mandolin
(1994).Ilaiyaraaja has also composed albums of religious/devotional songs.
His Guru Ramana Geetam (2004) is a cycle of prayer songs inspired by the Hindu
mystic Ramana Maharishi,and his Thiruvasagam in Symphony (2005) is an
oratorio of ancient Tamil poems transcribed partially in English by American
lyricist Stephen Schwartz and performed by the Budapest Symphony
Orchestra.Ilaiyaraaja's most recent release is a world music-oriented
album called The Music Messiah (2006).

Accolades and notable works

The cover of the Ilaiyaraaja album Thiruvasagam in Symphony (2005)Ilaiyaraaja's
composition Rakkama Kaiya Thattu from the movie Thalapathi (1991) was amongst
the songs listed in a BBC World Top Ten music poll.He composed the music
for Nayakan (1987), an Indian film ranked by TIME Magazine as one of the
all-time 100 best movies,a number of India's official entries for the
Oscars, such as Anjali (1990)[53] and Hey Ram (2000), and for Indian art
films such as Adoor Gopalakrishnan's FIPRESCI Prize-winning Nizhalkkuthu
('Shadow Kill') (2002).Ilaiyaraaja has composed music for events such as
the 1996 Miss World beauty pageant that was held in Bangalore, India, and for a
documentary called India 24 Hours (1996).

Live performances

Ilaiyaraaja rarely performs his music live due to heavy commitments to
composing.His last major live performance, the first in 25 years, was a
four-hour concert held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai, India
on 16 October 2005. The show was widely televised both in India and abroad.
Less well-known was his live 2004 performance in Italy at the Teatro Comunale di
Modena, an event-concert presented for the 14th edition of Angelica, Festival
Internazionale Di Musica, co-produced with the L'Altro Suono Festival.
He had done a few small-scale shows early in his career in Sri Lanka and
Malaysia and was involved in a charity concert to raise funds for the
construction of a Hindu temple in India.A television retrospective titled
Ithu Ilaiyaraja ('This is Ilaiyaraja') was produced, chronicling his career.

Awards and honours

Ilaiyaraaja has won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the
films Saagara Sangamam (1984), Sindhu Bhairavi (1986) and Rudraveena (1989).
He won the Gold Remi Award for Best Music Score jointly with film composer M. S.
Viswanathan at the WorldFest-Houston Film Festival for the film Vishwa Thulasi
He was conferred the title Isaignani ('savant of music') in 1988 by Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and received the Kalaimamani Award, an annual
award for excellence in the field of arts from the Government of the State of
Tamil Nadu, India.He also received State Government Awards from the
governments of Kerala (1995), Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh (The Lata
Mangeshkar Award) (1998) for excellence in music.
He was conferred honorary doctorates by Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India
(Degree of Doctor of Letter (Honoris causa)) (March, 1994), the World University
Round Table, Arizona, U.S.A. (Cultural Doctorate in Philosophy of Music) (April,
1994), and Madurai Kamarajar University, Tamil Nadu (Degree of Doctor of
Letters) (1996). He received an Award of Appreciation from the Foundation
and Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (1994), and later that year was
presented with an honorary citizenship and key to the Teaneck township by Mr.
John Abraham, Mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Partial discography


1978 Sigappu Rojakkal1989Karakattakaran
1981 Tick! Tick! Tick!
1990 Mannan
1983 Moondram Pirai
1991 Thalapathi
1985 Muthal Mariyathai
1992 Guna
1985 Sindhu Bhairavi
1997 Kadhalukku Mariyadhai
1986 Mouna Raagam
1999 Sethu
1986 Punnagai Mannan
2002 Azhagi
1987 Nayakan
2007 Ajantha


1982 Olangal
1992 Pappayude Swantham Appoos
1983 Sandhyakku Virinja Poovu
1996 Kaalapani
1984 My Dear Kuttichathan
1997 Guru
1985 Yatra
2000 Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal
1986 Poomukhapadiyil Ninneyum Kathu
2001 Friends
1988 Moonnam Pakkam
2003 Manasinakkare
1989 Adharvam
2005 Achuvinte Amma
1991 Ente Sooryaputhikku
2006 Rasathantram


1983 Mantrigari Viyyankudu
1988 Rudraveena
1983 Sitaara1988Swarna Kamalam
1983 Saagara Sangamam
1990 Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari
1985 Swathi Muthyam
1992 Abhinandana
1987 Anweshana
2007 Anumanaspadam


1978 Maathu Tappada Maga
1981 Geeta
1981 Nee Nanna Gellalaare
1981 Janma Janmada Anubandha
1981 Shikaari1981Bharjari Bete
1983 Accident1984Pallavi Anupallavi
1995 Shivasainya
1996 Nammoora Mandara Hoove
1996 Gulabi
1997 Bhoomigeeta
1998 Hoomale
2003 Usire

Friday, July 6, 2007

Asha Bhosle

Asha Bhosle who was born on September 8, 1933 in the small hamlet of Goar Sangli, Maharashtra, into the musical Marathi family of Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar. Her father was a theater actor and classical singer who had been born in the village of Mangeshi in Goa. When she was nine years old, her father died. The family moved from Pune to Kolhapur and then to Bombay.She is best known as a Bollywood playback singer, although she has a much wider repertoire. Her career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over 950 Bollywood movies and sold many records. Asha Bhosle is considered as one of the most versatile of South Asian singers — her range of songs includes film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian Classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, and Rabindra Sangeet. She has sung in over 14 languages including Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, English, Russian, Czech, Nepali, Malaysia and malayalam. Asha Bhosle is believed to have sung over 12,000 songs, but such estimates are not easy to validate.


She began singing and acting in films to support their family. She sang her first film song Chala Chala Nav Bala for the Marathi movie Majha Bal (1943). The music for the film was composed by Datta Dawjekar. She made her Hindi film debut when she sang the song Saawan aaya for Hansraj Behl's Chunariya (1948).At the age of 16, she eloped with 31-year old Ganpatrao Bhosle (1916-1966),
marrying him against her family's wishes. Ganpatrao was sister Lata's personal
secretary. The marriage failed miserably. Her husband and in-laws mistreated
her. After a few years of marriage, Bhosle was turned out (around 1960) by a
suspicious Ganpatrao and she went to her maternal home with two children and
pregnant with her third child, Anand. She continued to sing in films to earn
money. At that time, prominent playback singers like Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar monopolized the singing for the "heroine" roles and
the big films. Asha Bhosle used to get the assignments they didn't take: singing
for the bad girls and vamps, or songs in the second-grade movies. In the 1950s,
she sang more songs than any other playback singer in Bollywood, but most of
these were in B or C-grade films. Her earliest songs were composed by A R
Qureshi, Sajjad Hussain and Ghulam Mohammed, but none of these were hits. Her
songs in Dilip Kumar-starrer Sangdil (1952), composed by Sajjad Hussain, got her
some recognition. Bimal Roy gave her a chance to sing in Parineeta (1953). Raj
Kapoor also gave her chance to sing Nanhe munne bachche with Mohammed Rafi in
Boot Polish (1954), which became very popular.She also sang many songs for Marathi films such as Majha hoshil Kaa?, Khedyamadhle ghar kaularu, bugadi mazi and Nach re mora which are considered classics today. She also sang many Marathi bhajans, natyageet and bhav-geet in this period which are popular in Maharashtra to this day.
O. P. Nayyar gave Asha Bhosle a big break in C.I.D. (1956). She first achieved
success in B. R. Chopra's Naya Daur (1957), composed by O. P. Nayyar. O.P Nayyar
and Asha Bhosle's collaboration produced many hits. Later, she also received
patronage of composers such as Sachin Dev Burman and Ravi. O. P. Nayyar and Asha
Bhosle had a professional and personal parting of the ways in the 1970s.
In 1966, Asha's performance in the duets from music director R D Burman's first
successful movie, Teesri Manzil won popular acclaim. Their collaboration
produced several hits in the 1970s and resulted in a marriage. In 1960s and
1970s, she became the voice of Bollywood's most famous dancer, Helen. It is said
that Helen would attend her recording sessions so that she could understand the
song better and plan dance steps accordingly. Some of the most popular Asha
Bhosle-Helen numbers are Piya tu ab to aaja ( Caravan), O Haseena Zulfon Wali
(Teesri Manzil), and Yeh Mera Dil ( Don).In Umrao Jaan (1981) and Ijazat (1987), she sang beautiful traditional ghazals and proved her versatility.
Her film activities slowed in the 1990s. Her performance in the 1994 hit
Rangeela was particularly notable. As late as 2005, 62-year-old Asha Bhosle's
numbers for the Tamil film Chandramukhi and Lucky Lips for Salman Khan-starrer Lucky were chartbusters.

Career milestones

Naya Daur, 1957

Asha Bhosle's first big success was B R Chopra's Naya Daur ("The New Age",
1957). Her duets with Rafi like Maang ke saath tumhara, Saathi haath badhana and
Uden jab jab zulfein teri, penned by Sahir Ludhianvi and composed by O P Nayyar,
gave her recognition. Asha and O P Nayyar had worked earlier as well. But it was
the first time that she had got to sing all the songs for the lead actress. B R
Chopra, the producer of Naya Daur recognized her talent and got her to sing in
many of his later films including Waqt and Gumraah, Humraaz, Aadmi Aur Insaan,
Dhund etc.

Teesri Manzil, 1966

Asha Bhosle became a pop crooner with Rahul Dev Burman's Teesri Manzil (1966).
When she first listened to the tune of the song Aaja Aaja, she felt that she
would not be able to sing the Western dance number. R D Burman offered to change
the music. She was offended a bit and took it as a challenge to sing the song.
After rehearsing for 10 days, when she finally sang the song, an impressed R D
Burman handed her a 100-rupee note. Aaja Aaja and other songs of the film, O
Haseena Zulfonwali and O Mere Sona Re (all three duets with Rafi, another
popular Bollywood singer), became rage of the day. Shammi Kapoor, the actor of
the movie, once said – "If I did not have Mohammad Rafi to sing for me, I would
have got Asha Bhosle to do the job".

Umrao Jaan, 1981

By 1980s, Asha Bhosle had been stereotyped as a "cabaret singer" and a "pop
crooner". In Rekha-starrer Umrao Jaan, she sang ghazals like Dil cheez kya hai,
In aankhon ki masti ke, Ye kya jagah hai doston and Justju jiski thi. The songs
proved her capable of doing fairly serious songs. The music director Khayyam,
had lowered her pitch by half a note. Asha herself was surprised that she could
sing so differently. The ghazals won her the first National Award of her career
and proved her versatility.

Rangeela, 1995

In 1995, a 62-year old Asha Bhosle did playback for young actress Urmila
Matondkar in the movie Rangeela. She pleasantly surprised her fans with superhit
songs like Tanha Tanha and Rangeela Re. The songs were composed by iconoclastic
music director A. R. Rahman, who went on to record many more songs with her.
Particularly notable was Asha Bhosle's first song with A R Rahman, Tanha Tanha,
an oomph-oozing number.

Partnership with music directors

O.P. Nayyar

Music director O.P. Nayyar's association with Asha Bhosle is part of Bollywood .When her talent was not recognized by anybody in Bollywood, Nayyar
recognized her potential and gave patronage to her. He was the composer who
first gave Asha her own distinct identity. Many people have speculated about a
romantic relationship between the two. Nayyar first met Asha in 1952, at the music recording of Chham Chhama Chham. He first called her for a film called Mangu (1954)). He gave her a big break in CID (1956). However, it was the success of Naya Daur (1957),that made the duo very popular. After 1959, she was emotionally and professionally involved with Nayyar.
The team of O.P. Nayyar and Asha Bhosle is best remembered for their breezy and
sometimes sirenish songs. Some good examples of their sensuous numbers are Aaiye
meherbaan picturized on Madhubala ( Howrah Bridge, 1958) and Yeh hai reshmi
zulfon ka andhera picturized on Mumtaz (Mere Sanam, 1965).They recorded songs for many hit movies like Naya Daur (1957), Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957), Howrah Bridge (1958), Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962), Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), etc. Some of their most popular songs include Aao huzur tumko (Kismat),Jaaiye aap kahan (Mere Sanam) etc. O.P. Nayyar used the Asha Bhosle-Mohammad Rafi duo for his most popular duets. some of these songs include Ude jab jab zulfein teri (Naya Daur). Main pyaar ka rahi hoon (Ek Musafir Ek Haseena),Deewana Hua Baadal, Ishaaron hi isharon mein (Kashmir Ki Kali) etc.Asha recorded her last song for O.P. Nayyar in the movie Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974). The solo number Chain se got many awards, but it wasn't included in the movie.
They split on August 5, 1972. It is not clear what made them part their ways. On
being asked the reason for their parting, O P Nayyar once said, "I know
astrology very well. I knew that one day I had to part with her. Something also
happened, that upset me, so I left her." Nevertheless, he also said "
that I am seventy-six, I can say that the most important person in my life was
Asha Bhosle. She was the best person I ever met."The parting of Asha Bhosle and O.P. Nayyar was bitter, and probably therefore she has hesitated to give Nayyar his due. While talking about O.P. Nayyar in an interview with The Times of India, she once remarked - "Whichever composer gave me work, it was because my voice was suited to his music at that point. No one musician did me any favor by asking me to sing for him." She gives the credit for her first big break to B. R. Chopra, the producer of Naya Daur.


Another music director who recognized Asha Bhosle's talent early was Khayyam.
His partnership with Asha Bhosle dates back to his first movie Biwi (1948).
Khayyam gave her some good assignments in the 1950s, including Dard and Phir
Subah Hogi. But the team is chiefly remembered for the songs of Umrao Jaan.


Music composer Ravi considered Asha as one of his favorite singers. She sang for
his first movie Vachan (1955). The melodious lullaby from the movie, Chandamama
door ke became an overnight hit among young mothers in India. Ravi got her to
sing bhajans for the movies Gharana, Grihasti, Kajal and Phool Aur Patthar, at a
time when most of the composers remembered her only when they needed to record
B-grade songs picturized on the vamps or the side-heroines. Ravi and Asha Bhosle
recorded a variety of songs, including the popular funny duet with Kishore Kumar
- C A T...Cat maane billi (Dilli Ka Thug). The bhajan Tora man darpan (Kajal) is
considered one of Asha Bhosle's best songs.
Sachin Dev Burman

One of Bollywood's most famous composers, Sachin Dev Burman and his favorite
singer, Lata Mangeshkar, were not on good terms from 1957 to 1962. During this
period, S D Burman used Asha Bhosle as his lead female voice. She and S D Burman
gave many hit songs in movies such as Kaala Pani, Kaala Bazaar, Insaan Jaag
Utha, Lajwanti, Sujata and Teen Deviyaan (1965). They recorded many songs
together after 1962 as well. Most famous of these songs were Asha Bhosle's duets
with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar.The song Ab ke baras in Bimal Roy's Bandini (1963) consolidated her position as a lead singer. The seductive song Raat Akeli Hai from Jewel Thief (1967), picturised on Tanuja, became very popular.

Rahul Dev Burman (Pancham)

Asha first met Rahul Dev Burman (a.k.a. "Pancham") when she was a mother of two
and he was in 10th grade having dropped out to pursue music. Their partnership
was first noticed in Teesri Manzil (1966). She went on to record a variety of
songs with him - cabarets, rock, disco, ghazals, Indian classical music and many
more.In the 1970s, Asha Bhosle and Pancham's youthful, Western songs took Bollywood music by storm - the raunchy cabaret Piya tu ab to aaja ( Caravan, 1971, picturized on Helen), the rebellious Dum Maro Dum ( Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1971), the sexy Duniya mein (Apna Desh, 1972), the romantic Chura liya (Yaadon Ki Baaraat).


The prolific south Indian film composer Ilaiyaraaja began employing Asha
Bhosle's vocals in the early 1980s, their earliest collaboration being for the
film Moondram Pirai (1982) (or Sadma, its Hindi remake in 1983). Their
association continued, mostly through the latter half of the 1980s and early
1990s. Some of their notable songs from this period include Shenbagamae (Enga
Ooru Paattukkaaran, 1987, Tamil). In 2000, Asha sung Ilaiyaraaja's theme song
for Kamal Haasan's political film Hey Ram. The song, Janmon Ki Jwala (or Aparna's Theme), was a duet with ghazal singer Hariharan.

A. R. Rahman

A. R. Rahman is given the credit for Asha Bhosle's "comeback" with Rangeela
(1994). Songs like Tanha Tanha and Rangeela Re were chartbusters. She and Rahman
went on to record more hits like Mujhe Rang De (Thakshak), Radha kaise na jale
(Lagaan), duet with Udit Narayan), Kahin aag lage (Taal, 1999), O Bhanware
(Daud, duet with K J Yesudas), Venilla Venilla (Iruvar,1999). Rahman once said,
"I think of them (Lata and Asha) only when I feel I have composed something that
fits their stature".[5]

Other composers

Asha Bhosle has worked with many other composers too, most notably Jaidev and C
Ramchandra. Asha recorded one of the Bollywood's first Rock n' Roll numbers
Eeena Meena Deeka with C Ramachandra . C Ramachandra used Asha Bhosle as the
chief singer in many of V. Shantaram's films, the most notable being Navrang
(1959). When S D Burman's assistant, Jaidev started giving music independently,
he got Asha to sing some of his songs as well. They worked in Hum Dono, Mujhe
Jeene Do and other movies.Whenever Kishore Kumar composed music for his films such as Jhumroo and Door Gagan ki chhaon mein(1964).
Asha has also worked with many other composers like Naushad, Madan Mohan,
Shankar-Jaikishan, and Salil Chaudhary among others. Shankar Jaikishan worked
very little with Asha. However, the team produced quite a few hits including the
seductive Parde mein rehne do ( Shikar, 1968). Asha got her second Filmfare
Award for the song. Asha also sang the song Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana (
Andaz) for Shankar Jaikishan, in which she tried to yodel like Kishore Kumar,
whose version of the song is more better known. When Raj Kapoor was not on
speaking terms with Lata Mangeshkar, Asha got to sing the songs of Mera Naam
Joker (1970), composed by Shankar-Jaikishan. Madan Mohan also recorded few songs
with Asha, including the popular folk number Jhumka gira re from Mera
Saaya(1966). In Chhoti Si Baat (1975), Asha sang the Jaaneman Jaaneman number
with K J Yesudas for Salil Chowdhury. Composer Anu Malik and Asha have recorded many hit songs together, including songs for his first movie Sohni Mahiwal (1984). Their most popular songs include Filhaal (Filhaal), Kitabein bahut si (Baazigar) among others. The four lines sung by Asha in Anu Malik's Jab dil mile (Yaadein) stood out among voices of Sukhwinder Singh, Udit Narayan and Sunidhi Chauhan. Another Asha patron is the young composer Sandeep Chowta, who got her to sing Kambakht Ishq (A duet with Sonu Nigam) (Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, 2001). The song was very popular among the Indian youngsters.
Asha has worked with Lata-patrons like Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Naushad, Ravindra
Jain, N Dutta, Hemant Kumar. Once when Naushad was asked to sum up the essential
difference between Lata and Asha, he said that Asha "lacks certain something
which Lata, and Lata alone has". Later he accepted in an interview, "May be I
said it because I then had a closed ear on Asha". Naushad, later in his life,
also admitted that he has been unfair to Asha Bhonsle. Asha has also worked with
other noted Bollywood composers like Jatin Lalit, Bappi Lahiri, Kalyanji-Anandji, Usha Khanna, Chitragupt, and Roshan.

Non-Bollywood music

Marathi music

Asha Bhosle is regarded as an icon of Marathi music (Marathi is her mother tongue). She has sung several non-film songs of the genre commonly referred to as Bhaav Geet, which consist mostly of poems written by notable poets. A good example of is the popular album Rutu Hirawa ("Green Season"), composed by Shreedhar Phadke.
Asha's renditions of her brother Hridayanath Mangeshkar's compositions have been
very popular with Marathi music lovers. As in Hindi; her Marathi songs also
represent her wide range, from westernized tunes like Ruperi Walut ("meet me on
the silver sands in the coconut groves") to complex classical compositions such
as Tarun aahe Ratra Ajuni ("The night is still young"). Here Marathi bhajans are
also very popular among Maharashtrians. A good example is her rendition of
saint-poet Dnyaneshwar's Kanadawo Vithallu. Her rendition of Marathi natya
sangeet composed by her father Dinanath Mangeshkar are still popular.
Asha is endearingly referred to as Ashatai (tai is Marathi for elder sister) by
Maharashrians. She performs a very popular Marathi concert titled Nakshtranche
Dene ("Gift from the constellation").

Private albums

In 1995, Asha underwent the gatha bandan (thread-tying) ceremony with Hindustani
classical music maestro Ali Akbar Khan to learn a classical repertoire held
within the Maihar gharana (stylistic school of Indian classical music), as
handed down to Khan by his father Allauddin Khan (the guru of Ravi Shankar).
Later, Asha and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan recorded eleven fixed compositions (or
bandishes) in California for Legacy, a private album that won them a Grammy
Award nomination. In 1990s, Asha experimented with the remixed R D Burman songs. She was criticized by many, including Khayyam for tampering with old melodies.
Nevertheless, albums like Rahul And I became quite popular. In 1997, Asha did a
private Indipop album Janam Samjha Karo with Leslie Lewis. The album was hugely popular and won her many awards including the 1997 MTV Award.
Asha had been once asked by the director B R Ishaara to compose music for one of
his films, but she had politely declined. In 2002, she turned music composer
with the album Aap Ki Asha, an eight-song music and video album. The lyrics were
written by Majrooh Sultanpuri (his last lyrics) and the music was composed by
Asha herself. The album was released by Sachin Tendulkar on May 21, 2001 at a
lavish party in Mumbai. The album received mixed reviews.
Asha had spotted Pakistani singer Adnan Sami's talent when he was about 10 years
old. At that time was performing in London, with R D Burman. It was she who had
asked him to pursue his interests in music seriously. When Adnan grew up and
became a professional musician, Asha sang the title duet with him for his
best-selling album Kabhi to nazar milao. The two came together again in the
album Barse Badal. The album comprises eight songs, based on Indian Classical
music. She contributed the song Yun Na Thi to the recording Womad Talking Book
Volume Four: An Introduction to Asia 1 on Womad Records.


Asha has sung ghazals for many albums like Meraj-E-Ghazal, Aabshar-E-Ghazal and
Kashish. In 2005, Asha released a self-title album (Asha), a tribute to the four
ghazal maestros - Mehdi Hasan, Ghulam Ali, Farida Khanum and Jagjit Singh. The
album features eight of her favorite ghazals like Farida Khanum’s Aaj Jaane Ki
Zid Na Karo, Ghulam Ali’s Chupke Chupke, Aawargi and Dil Mein Ek Lahar, Jagjit
Singh’s Ahista Ahista and Mehdi Hassan’s Ranjish Hi Sahi, Rafta Rafta and Mujhe
Tum Nazar Se. These classic ghazals were recreated with modern sounds by the
musician Pandit Somesh Mathur. The album was aimed at the younger generation,
who, according to Asha, are "turned off" by the traditional sounds of tabla and

Concerts and collaborations with foreign artists

In 1980s and 1990s, Asha went globe-trotting, staging concerts in Canada, Dubai,
UK, USA and many other countries. In 1989, during a world tour, she performed in
13 US cities in 20 days. Immediately after this, she had an already sold-out
concert scheduled in Stockholm, Sweden. Due to the stressful schedule, Asha
suffered a massive attack of colitis, together with fever, cough and weakness.
In Stockholm, a pre-concert crisis meeting was called, attended by Asha's son
(and manager) Anand and the sponsors. It was decided that the orchestra will
play many instrumental tracks, the accompanying singers like Suresh Wadkar will
shoulder the load, and Asha will make a small appearance. But Asha rejected all
such "insane" proposals. Asha's sang at the concert with great difficulty, in a
not-so-good voice. Her first set of six Bollywood songs didn't receive any
response from the audience, which consisted mostly of Indian and Pakistani
expats. Before the start of the second set of songs, a fan in the crowd
requested her to sing a Marathi song. Asha obliged and sang Naach-naachuni ati
mi damale ("I'm very tired of this endless dancing"). The mood took her over,
and she rendered the song very beautifully. When the song ended, the auditorium
erupted with claps and the encores started. After the concert, Asha was in bed
for a month, recuperating from overexertion. In October 2002, she did a concert
with Sudesh Bhosle and others, in London, for "Help the Aged" to help raise
funds for older people in India. In 2007 she toured the USA, Canada, and West
Indies in a tour called the incredibles. In this tour she was accompanied by
Sonu Nigam, Kunal Ganjawala and Kailash Kher. This tour went on to hold more
than 20 concerts and was originally scheduled for only 12.
In the mid-1980s, Asha sang with Boy George (Bow down mister) and Stephen
Lauscombe. In 1997, she sang a love song with the boy band Code Red, at the age
of 64. She also recorded the song The Way you Dream (One Giant Leap, ) with
Michael Stipe that was used in the English movie, Bulletproof Monk. In 1997, the British band Cornershop paid tribute to Asha with their song Brimful of Asha, an international hit which was later remixed by Fatboy Slim. In 2001, the CD single of Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like A Bird" included a "Nellie vs. Asha Remix" created by Digital Cutup Lounge.In 2002, she appeared along with Michael Stipe on the track "The Way You Dream" on the self-titled album by 1 Giant Leap.
In 2003, British opera pop singer Sarah Brightman sampled her song "Dil Cheez
Kya Hai" on her album Harem. It was used as the intro for her song "You Take My
Breath Away".In 2005, American string quartet Kronos Quartet re recorded the R D Burman compositions like Chura liya, Piya tu, Mera Kuchh Saaman among others and got Asha to sing them. Despite her age (she had crossed 70), she recorded three to four songs in a day, leaving the quartet members stupefied. On August 23, 2005, You've stolen my heart - Songs From R D Burman's Bollywood was released in US. The album was nominated for Grammy Awards 2006 in the category of "Best
Contemporary World Music Album".
Also in 2005, the Black Eyed Peas sampled her song "Yeh Mera Dil" in their hit
single "Don't Phunk With My Heart". In late 2006, Asha collaborated with
Australian test cricket star, Brett Lee. The single, "you're the one for me"
debuted at number 4 on the charts and reached a peak position of number 2.
In 2006 Asha Bhosle recorded one song for the soundtrack of Pakistani movie Mein
Ek Din Laut Kay Aaaonga. She sang the song Dil Key Taar Bajey with famous
Pakistani pop singer Jawad Ahmed. The song was aired as the part of the film's
promortional campaign and became very popular, featuring on top music charts.


Asha Bhosle has won eight Filmfare awards (one special award for "Rangeela").
She won the award in 1967 and 1968, when Lata Mangeshkar still used to accept
the award (Lata asked not to be considered for the award after 1969 to promote
new talent). After receiving the award in 1977, Asha emulated her elder sister
and requested that her name not be considered for the awards hereafter. She was
later given the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. Following is the
list of her Filmfare Awards:
1967 — Garibon ki suno (Dus Lakh, 1966)
1968 — Parde mein rahne do ( Shikar, 1968)
1971 — Piya Tu Ab To Aaja ( Caravan, 1971)
1972 — Dum Maro Dum ( Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1971)
1973 — Hone Lagi Hain Raat (Naina, 1973)
1974 — Chain se Humko Kabhi (Pran Jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye, 1974)
1977 — Yeh Mera Dil ( Don, 1978)
2000 — Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
Asha has won two Indian National Awards:
1981 — Dil Cheez Kya Hai (Umrao Jaan)
1986 — Mera Kuch Samaan (Ijazat)
In 1997, she became the first Indian singer to be nominated for the Grammy
Award, for Legacy, an album with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. She has received
seventeen Maharashtra State Awards. She received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in
2001 for her outstanding contribution to Indian cinema.

Asha has won numerous other awards, some of which include:

1987 — Nightingale Of Asia Award (from the Indo–Pak Association, UK)
1989 — Lata Mangeshkar Award (Government of Madhya Pradesh)
1997 — Screen Videocon Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo)
1997 — MTV Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo)
1997 — Channel V Award (for the album Jaanam Samjha Karo)
1998 — Dayawati Modi Award [2][3]
1999 — Lata Mangeshkar Award (Government of Maharashtra)
2000 — Singer of the Millennium (Dubai)
2000 — Zee Gold Bollywood Award (for Mujhe rang de from Thakshak)
2001 — MTV Award (for Kambakht Ishq)
2002 — Zee Cine Award (for Radha kaise na jale from Lagaan)
2002 — Zee Cine — Hall of Fame
2002 — Screen Videocon Award (for Radha kaise na jale from Lagaan)
2002 — Sansui Movie Award (for Radha kaise na jale from Lagaan)
2002 — Swaralaya Yesudas Award for outstanding contributions to Indian music
2005 — Most Stylish People in Music [5]

Rivalry with Lata Mangeshkar

Asha's sibling rivalry with her sister Lata Mangeshkar is often talked about, in
spite of their insistence that these are just tales. As young children, they
were very close. As a child, Lata used to carry Asha all the time. They were so
inseparable that when Lata went to school she would take Asha with her, but one
day the teacher protested and said that they cannot have two students on one
fee. Lata refused to return to school without Asha and quit her studies.
Lata considered Asha's act of eloping with her lover as irresponsible, leaving
her alone to sing and earn for the family. This led to tensions among them. Asha
herself accepted in an interview — "It was a love marriage and Lata didi
(elder sister) did not speak to me for a long time. She disapproved of the
alliance." It is a well-known fact that at one time, their relationship was very
adversarial and there have been periods of non-communication.
In her initial days in the industry, Asha always played second fiddle to her
elder sister. Some say that Lata had once said something criticising Asha's
relationship with O P Nayyar. This widened the rift between the two sisters and
O P Nayyar also decided that he would never work with Lata. O.P. Nayyar had once
revealed — "Asha and Lata staying in opposite flats at Bombay's Peddar Road,
shared a common maidservant. Now this maidservant had merely to come and tell
the younger sister that Lata had just recorded something wonderful for Asha to
lose her vocal poise. Such was her Lata phobia that it took me some months to
convince Asha that she had a voice individualistic enough to evolve a singing
style all of her own."Asha once said that she has worked for years to create
a voice and a style that was different from her Lata, so that she could carve
her own niche and not be banished to live her shadow.
Asha and Lata have sung many songs together. Their first duet was for the film
Daman (1951). Some of these include Man Bhawan Ke Ghar aye (Chori Chori,
1956), Sun ri sun papiha bole (Miss Mary, 1957), O chaand jahaan woh jaaye
(Sharada, 1957), Mere Mehboob Mein Kya Nahi (Mere Mehboob, 1963), Ai kash kisi
deewane ko (Aaye Din Bahar Ke, 1966), Main Chali Main Chali (Padosan, 1968),
Chhap tilak sab (Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, 1978), and Man kyun behka (Utsav,
1984). While singing, Lata used to hold her notebook in her right hand, while
Asha held her notebook in her left hand. This meant Lata had her face away from
Asha, making it difficult for them to "anticipate" each other.
The movie "Saaz", was supposedly based on Lata and Asha's rivalry. Asha said
about the movie — "To have two women in long plaits, take a couple of incidents
and exaggerate them into a 3-hour film is such a waste of time." In last few
years, Asha and Lata have often been seen in public, enjoying each other's
company. In an interview with Times of India, Asha once said - "I remember,
sometimes both of us would be at a function and some industry types would ignore
me and interact only with her, as if to prove their loyalty. Later, didi (elder
sister) and I would have a good laugh!"

Personal life


Asha's house is situated in Prabhukunj Apt on Peddar Road area of South Mumbai.
She has three children and five grandchildren. The eldest of her three children
is Hemant Bhosle (named after Hemant Kumar), who initially dabbled in music
direction but then quit to become a pilot. Asha's daughter Varsha, who is
younger than Hemant, worked as a columnist for The Sunday Observer and Rediff.
The youngest child is Anand Bhosle, who has studied business and film direction.
He manages Asha's career. Her grandson, Chaitanya (Chintu) Bhosle (Hemant's son)
also ventured in the world of music, as a member of a successful boy band, "Band
of Boys". Her sisters Lata and Usha Mangeshkar are playback singers. The other
two siblings, sister Meena Mangeshkar and brother Hridayanath Mangeshkar are
music directors.

Asha in Kitchen

Asha is an excellent cook and cooking is her favorite hobby. She often gets
flooded with requests by Bollywood celebrities for kadai ghosht and biryani and
has rarely turned down a request. In fact, her paya curry, Goan fish curry and
dal are very popular with the Kapoor family of Bollywood. Once, when asked in a
Times of India interview, what if her singing career hadn't taken off, she said
"I'd have become a cook. I would have cooked in four houses and made money."
Asha is a successful restaurateur and runs a restaurant in Dubai.

Asha in fashion mode

Asha's fashion statement is white sarees with sparkling embroidery, pearls
around her neck and diamonds. Harrington of Kronos Quartet said "The first time
I met Ashaji she was dressed in the most beautiful sari with diamonds and looked
very regal. Then I looked down and saw that she was wearing tennis shoes! I
thought I love this woman."

Footnotes and references

Asha Bhosle has been credited variously as Asha, Asha Bhosle, Asha Bhonsale,
Asha Bhonsle, Asha Bhonsley, Asha Bhosale and Asha Bhosley . She is often referred to as Ashaji — the Hindi suffix ji denotes respect.

Many fans of Asha Bhosle say that she has sung over 20,000 songs. In an
interview Asha Bhosle: Sa Re Ga Ma… Retrieved on 2006-05-03.), Asha Bhosle was asked "You must have sung around 25,000 songs till date…". She replied, "…no singer in the entire world can humanly sing 25,000 songs. In fact I would like to state humbly that I am the only singer who has sung the maximum number of songs — 12,000. If you sing one song a day, you can humanly sing 365 songs a year and 3650 songs in ten years.
In around 60 years of my career I could sing 12,000 songs because there were
times I had sung even four songs a day." In 1980s and 1990s, the Guinness Book
of World Records mentioned the names of Lata Mangeshkar ("reportedly recorded
not less than 25,000") and Mohammad Rafi ("claimed to have recorded 28,000
songs") for the record of "Most Recordings". However, it has been pointed out
that Rafi recorded only 4,956 songs, and Lata Mangeshkar recorded only about
6,000 songs, while Asha Bhosle has recorded over 12,000 songs.The Guinness entry was removed in 1991.