Asha Bhosle: Timeless at 90

Asha Bhosle, the unforgettable entity in the world of music, turned 90 on Friday. Her musical journey has completed eight decades. But she has not retired.

She started playback singing for a Marathi film ‘Majha Bal’ in 1943 when she was only 10 years old. Like her older sibling Lata Mangeshkar, she never looked back.

Her first Hind film song assignment was for ‘Chunariya’ (1948), and then a solo in Hindi for ‘Raat Ki Rani’ (1949).

Her big break came with Mohammed Rafi for ‘Boot Polish’ (1954). And then came the evergreen number, ‘Nanhe Munne Bachche Teri Mutthi Me Kya Hai’.

Legendary O P Nayyar proved to be the turning point for Asha when he made her sing ‘Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar’ (‘CID’, 1956) with Rafi.

Nayyar used Asha’s voice in all the female lead numbers for ‘Naya Daur’ (1957) which bagged him his first Filmfare Award (1958). She is remembered for ‘Umrao Jaan’ that won four National Awards (1982) including for Khayyam as Best Music Director and Asha (‘Dil Cheez Kya Hai’).

Asha soared high in the musical skies because of her unique singing style. She made her place in the formidable ‘G5 of Music’ – Rafi-Kishore-Mukesh, Lata-Asha.

She has sung different genres ranging from regular songs, ghazals, bhajans, qawwalis, pacey-husky-sexy numbers, cabarets, pop, fusion, and what not.

She has even clicked with a modern brigade of music directors like Bhappi Lahiri, Ilaiyaraja, A. R. Rahman, Anu Malik, Jatin-Lalit.

Asha became the first Indian Grammy nominee (2006), collaborating with albums with global artistes and cricketer Brett Lee (‘You’re the One for Me’ – 2006), belting songs in nearly two dozen Indian and foreign languages.

She has been honoured with the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award and Padma Vibhushan.



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