As a teenager she struggled to help support her family and to establish herself as a playback singer in the Hindi film industry of the 1940s, at a time when the profession was dominated by such divas as Shamshad Begum and Noor Jehan.
She represented every generation of Hindi cinema from Nargis and Waheeda Rehman to Madhuri Dixit and Kajol.
Mangeshkar was trained from age five by her father Dinanath Mangeshkar, a disciple of the (a community of performers who share a distinctive musical style), and she was also tutored by maestros such as Aman Ali Khan Sahib and Amanat Khan.
Her first song as a playback singer in hindi films was in 1947 - Aapki Sewa Mein (paa laagu kar jori...)but this song did not give lata recognition as a singer,her first major break was in 1948-Majboor (Dil Mera Toda) given by Music Composer Ghulam Haider.After she recorded the hit “
Uthaye ja unke sitam” in Andaz (1949), her destiny was sealed,the year 1949 was the turning point of a great career.The year saw the rise of Lata Mangeshkar The song Aayega Aane Wala from Mahal and the songs of Barsat came the same year.After that she never looked back.She became the voice of all the Major Heroines.In an interview when asked who according to you enacted your songs really well onscreen?.She said that Actresses like Sadhana, Meena Kumari, Nargis, Madhubala and Kajol, took the effort to understand the song and act accordingly. Jaya Bachchan observed me well and got my mannerisms right - starting with how I stand, how I sing and how I drape my sari. In Abhimaan (1973), she even chose to wear white saris like me. It was commendable.
From the 1940s to the 1970s, Mangeshkar sang duets with Asha Bhosle, Suraiya, Usha Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Manna Dey, Hemant Kumar, and Mahendra Kapoor. In 1964, she sang "Chanda Re Hoga" with P.B. Sreenivas from Main Bhi Ladki Hoon. she continued to sing with Shabbir Kumar, Shailendra Singh, Nitin Mukesh (Mukesh's son), Manhar Udhas, Amit Kumar (Kishore Kumar's son), Mohammed Aziz, Vinod Rathod, and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam.Udit Narayan,Kumar Sanu and Sonu Nigam
In the 2000s, Mangeshkar's duets were mainly with Udit Narayan and Sonu Nigam. 2005-06 were the years of her last well-known songs: "Kaise Piya Se" from Bewafa and "Shayad Yehi To Pyaar Hai" from Lucky: No Time For Love, with Adnan Sami and " Lukka Chhupi" in Rang De Basanti (2006 film) with A.R.Rahman. She sang "Ek Tu Hi Bharosa" from Pukar. Other notable songs of this decade were from Veer-Zaara, sung with Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam, Jagjit Singh, Roop Kumar Rathod, and Gurdas Mann. One of her latest songs was "Jeena Hai Kya" from Dunno Y2 (2014).
Lata Mangeshkar has won several awards and honours, including Bharat Ratna (India's Highest Civilian Award), Padma Bhushan (1969),Padma Vibhushan (1999), Dadasaheb Phalke Award (1989)
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