Lata Mangeshkar changed the face of Indian music with her massive contribution in a career spanning over 70 years. She started her musical journey at the age of 5 and went on to become one of the greatest Indian playback singers. Known as the ‘Nightingale of India’, some of her evergreen songs that continue to remain etched in our minds and heart includes- Lag Jaa Gale, Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh, and Tere Bina Zindagi Se among many other. The legendary singer passed away on February 6 2022 due to multi-organ failure. As today we celebrate the 94th birth anniversary of Lata Mangeshkar, let’s have a look at some unknown facts about her.
10 unknown facts about legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar
Lata Mangeshkar had a different name at birth
Lata Mangeshkar comes from a family of performers. Born on 28 September 1929, Lata was not her original name. She was born as Hema but rechristened later as Lata after a famous character Latika from her father’s play Bhaaw Bandhan. Lata Mangeshkar’s father, Dinanath Mangeshkar was an actor in theatre and a classical singer. She started taking training under her father at the age of 5 and even acted in some of his plays.
She never heard her own songs
While the whole world enjoyed listening to her mellifluous voice, the legendary singer never heard her own songs. In an interview, she once revealed she can never listen to her own tracks as she would find “a hundred mistakes” in them.
She was the first female singer to demand better pay and royalties in Bollywood
Lata Mangeshkar was the first female singer who demanded better pay and royalties in Bollywood. Lata Ji has received several notable awards and honors like Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Dada Saheb Phalke Award, and various National Film Awards. The Nightingale of India Lata Mangeshkar was also the recipient of India’s highest civilian honour-Bharat Ratna in 2001. According to estimates, Lata Mangeshkar has sung almost 50,000 songs, and that too in more than 14 languages. The 1974 edition of The Guinness Book of Records listed Lata Mangeshkar as the most-recorded artist. But the claim was contested by Mohammed Rafi. Not only this, she was also the reason a popular award show included the category for best playback singer.
Lata Mangeshkar receiving Bharat Ratna
She too had a love story with Raj Singh Dungarpur
We all know that the Queen of Melodies never got married, but the reason behind it was her incomplete love story. She fell in love with the former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Raj Singh who was Maharaja of Dungarpur. Since the singer didn’t belong to a royal family, Raj’s family was against their marriage. For those unversed, Raj Singh used to call Lata Mangeshkar by the name ‘Mitthu’.
Moved PM Jawaharlal Nehru to tears
Lata’s patriotic song Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon moved Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears. The song was dedicated as a tribute to the valour of soldiers who lost their lives in the 1962 war.
First Indian singer to perform at Alberta Hall
In 1979, she was the first Indian to perform with the Wren Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in London. To note, this was her first concert outside India.
An ardent fan of cricket
Apart from music, Lata Ji was an ardent cricket fan. She had also kept a fast for India’s victory in the 2011 World Cup semifinal. The singer shared a great bond with Sachin Tendulkar, who referred to her as “Aai” (mother in Marathi). She also helped raise funds for the World Cup-winning Indian team that defeated West Indies in 1983.
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar
Lataji was also into politics
Lata had a brief tenure as a member of Rajya Sabha in 1999. Her term ended in 2006. She was criticized for not attending the sessions due to her ill health. However, she did not take a single penny or a salary or a house in Delhi for her services as an MP.
When she was given slow poison
Once she was reportedly given a slow poison by an unidentified person for which she was bedridden for almost 3 months.
Last song by the legendary singer
Lata Mangeshkar recorded her last song ‘Saugandh Mujhe Is Mitti Ki’ and it was released on March 30, 2019. It was composed by Mayuresh Pai, as a tribute to the Indian Army and nation.
Well, even though the legendary singer is no longer amongst us, she definitely has left a strong mark in our memories.