Is Lata Mangeshkar still alive

The voice of India

In 1962, when India lost the war against China, Lata Mangeshkar sang "Ae mere watan ke logon" (Oh, you people of my country). In doing so, she expressed the deep pain of an entire nation and even moved India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears. It was this patriotic piece that made "Lata Didi" (Sister Lata) immortal in India.

Difficult childhood

Latabai Mangeshkar was born on September 28, 1929, the oldest of five children in Indore, but the family soon moved to Maharashtra. Her father Dinanath is a classically trained singer and actor who gives Lata singing lessons at an early age. When he died in 1942, 13-year-old Lata had to look after the family without having completed school.

Bombay, the capital of Maharashtra, has now developed into the center of the Hindi film industry. But films in the national language Marathi are also produced. The fast-growing industry constantly needs new faces. Therefore, Lata made her debut as a child actress in a Marathi film in 1942. Shortly thereafter, she worked as a playback singer for the first time - without success. Lata played a total of eight films by 1948.

In 1947 she tried again as a singer, this time in a Hindi film. But their high, honey-sweet singing goes unnoticed. Because the deep, bitter and nasal voices of renowned artists such as Shamshad Begum, Zohrabai Ambalewali or Noorjehan are in vogue. In addition, there is the damning verdict of the producer S. Mukherji, who describes Lata's voice as "too thin". Only Ghulam Haider, a film music director, believes in them; the breakthrough comes with his "Dil mera toda" ("You broke my heart") from the film Majboor (1948).

Many actresses now insist that their movie songs are sung by Lata. Because they know: the more hits a film produces, the more successful it will be. Lata's fresh voice, which spans three octaves, makes the generation change perfect.

No competition

Lata Mangeshkar becomes a permanent fixture in the Indian film industry and is known as the "singing nightingale" of India. Competition threatens only from her own family, her sister Asha records the first pieces. But Lata now has a monopoly position that she can use in controversies without endangering her career. From 1957 to 1962 she refused to work with the film music director S.D. Burman. In the early 1960s she fell out with duet partner Mohammed Rafi. From the 1970s onwards, complaints from frustrated offspring increased. Lata's superiority and relationships gave them no opportunity to develop. Lata Mangeshkar, who incidentally never married, concentrates on her international career with disappointment. In 1974 she became the first Indian artist to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

New goals

Since the 1990s, Lata has increasingly devoted herself to her hobbies, e.g. photography. She also set up a foundation. However, young directors consider it an honor to work with Lata Mangeshkar. And so almost all top hits from films such as "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge" (1995), "Dil to Pagal Hai" (1997) "or more recently" Kabhi Khushi, Kabhi Gham (2002) - in Germany as "Sometimes happy, sometimes sad "a success - on her account. In March 2001 Lata received the highest civil honor, the "Bharat Ratna" (Indian gemstone) for her services to Indian culture. At the award ceremony, she assured one thing: she is far from thinking about quitting.