Lata Mangeshkar, happy birthday!

We wish living legend and musical maven Lata Mangeshkar a happy and fun filled 83rd birthday

Born on September 28, 1929, Lata Mangeshkar celebrates her 83rd birthday today amid tons of love and a shade of controversy. In spite of all the ups and downs, she will always be a musical giant in an industry where careers are short lived and those of musicians, even more so.

Eldest of five siblings – Lata, Asha, Usha, Meena and Hridaynath – Lata took on the onus of taking care of the family and sang her first song onscreen for the Marathi film Kiti Hasaal (1942), after her father passed away when she was just 13. She moved to Mumbai from Nagpur at 16 and took further training in Hindustani classical music from Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, after which she began her epic journey in Bollywood. A versatile singer, Lata held her own when she sang opposite masters such as Mukesh and Manna Dey. It was her pairing with Mohammed Rafi that was most popular and the two sang hundreds of songs together until they had an ugly falling out, after which they refused to sing together for three years.

In her six decades of professional music she has sung for every almost every big female actor that passed through the hallowed portals of the Hindi film industry, from Madhubala to Meena Kumari and Madhuri Dixit to Kareena Kapoor. And in this decade, as the music wave turns its tide yet again, Lata Mangeshkar’s voice remains timeless, ethereal and every bit as sweet as it ever was.

We wish the nightingale of India a very happy 83rd birthday!