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Happy Birthday Kishore Kumar: Man who walked in a studio with half make-up over payment issues but refused fee from Satyajit Ray

Kishore Kumar was known to be very particular about his remuneration but very few are aware that he refused to take fees from acclaimed filmmaker Satyajit Ray for singing in his 1964 film, Charulata. Kishore Kumar was one of the greatest singers of Indian cinema. The legendary singer had many talents and his music dictated the Hindi film industry for several decades. But he was not only a melodious singer, he was also a successful screenwriter, actor, composer, director and producer.

From various music personalities, we got to know so many unknown facts on Kishore Da. His son Amit Kumar once revealed in his radio show that he was very particular when it came to his payments. He always wanted to be paid in full advance. And one of the directors when paid him half the amount he came to the studio with half make up and when asked about it to which he replied ‘aadha paisa toh aadha make up’.

But at the same time, he was an emotional person. As we know he has also worked with legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray. He sang for his 1964 film Charulata. Not many people know but Kishore didn’t charge any fees for singing in Charulata. He was aware of the fact that Satyajit Ray didn’t have much budget for the film, and though Satyajit was worried that Kishore might charge a big amount, the star refused to take any fees. But he still wanted to have him as he felt it was only Kishore who could do justice to the song. After recording a song in ‘Charulata’, Kishore was called by Ray and asked how much he would charge for the song. He just stood from the chair, touched Ray’s feet and refused to accept any remuneration.

When Ray ran into financial trouble during the making of #PatherPanchali, and was even contemplating giving up the project, it was Kishore Kumar who helped him out with Rs 5,000, getting Pather Panchali back on the Road.

Born on August 4, 1929 in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh as Abhas Kumar Ganguly, Kishore went to the Christian College in Indore after his matriculation. For a man who had no classical training, Kishore went on to be one of the most prolific singers in the Indian popular music industry, singing songs in Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Odia, Urdu apart from Hindi, of course.

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