Birthday Love: Five of Lata Mangeshkar’s memorable songs


Lata Mangeshkar’s talent needs no introduction. Often addressed as the “Nightingale Of India,” Mangeshkar’s soulful voice has been part of Bollywood for over 70 years. A recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Bharat Ratna, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, three National Film Awards and seven Filmfare awards, the legendary playback singer is an icon of Indian cinema, having sung playback for an extensive list of Hindi films and several regional languages including Punjabi and Bengali.

To mark the 91st birthday of Lata ji, looks back to some of her greatest hits over the years.

Aaja Re Pardesi – ‘Madhumati’ (1958)
The enchanting and timeless music from the 1958 blockbuster was nominated for a then record eight times at the Filmfare awards and won Lata Mangeshkar her first award for ‘Best Playback Singer’. In an interview with a leading daily some years back, Mangeshkar pronounced this song as “my first super-hit which scored on lyrics, tune and acting.”

Pyaar Kiya Toh Darna Kya – ‘Mughal-E-Azam’ (1960)
The epic historical drama released in 1960 received universal acclaim and quickly became a milestone in the history of Indian cinema. It is said that, as there was no technology to provide for the reverberation of sound heard in the song, Lata Mangeshkar was asked to sing the song in the studio bathroom. Describing her association with the film, Mangeshkar had said, “I love the song’s lyrics, music, choreography and the mood. Many rebellious emotions are conveyed through it beautifully.”

Allah Tero Naam – ‘Hum Dono’ (1961)
A highly popular devotional song sung by the celebrated singer, Allah Tero Naam remains one of the most melodious and all encompassing prayers even six decades after its release. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s version of the popular poem ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’, this bhajan has since been used by various Bollywood films to promote harmony between Hindus and Muslims.

Tujhe Dekha Toh Ye Jaana Sanam – ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ (1995)
Highly regarded as one of the most iconic love songs in Bollywood, this track not only saw the beginning of a successful collaboration between music directors Jatin-Lalit and Lata Mangeshkar but also immortalised Punjab’s golden mustard fields forever. In 2005, the album was judged the top Hindi soundtrack of all time by voters on the BBC Asian Network website.

Tere Liye – ‘Veer Zaara’ (2004)
At a time when remixes and synthesised sounds ruled the roost in Bollywood films, the nostalgic feel of Veer Zaara’s songs brought alive the magic of real instruments. Plucking at the heart strings of all those who listened to it, Tere Liye felt as it was created especially for the soulful voice of Lata Mangeshkar. Gaining over 47million views on YouTube, the album sold over five million units, making it one of the highest for that year. sends warm wishes to Lata Mangeshkar for her birthday.

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