PETALING JAYA: Bollywood singing legend Lata Mangeshkar, who has sung more than 30,000 songs in 36 languages, died today at the age of 92.
She was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai in January after she tested positive for Covid-19 and was also diagnosed with pneumonia.
According to the Times of India, the singer was taken off the ventilator on Jan 28, after she showed slight signs of improvement.
“However, on Feb 5, her condition deteriorated and she was back on ventilator support.
“Since her condition was critical, the veteran singer was put under aggressive therapy and was tolerating the procedures before her unfortunate demise,” the report said.
Lata had an extraordinary career spanning over half a century, singing more than 30,000 songs in 36 languages.
But it was her work in Bollywood, India’s Hindi film industry, that made her a national icon.
Lata was born in Indore city, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, on Sept 28, 1929.
She began learning music at the age of five from her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar, who was active in theatre.
After her father’s death, the family moved to Mumbai, where a teenage Lata began singing for Marathi movies.
She also acted in small roles in a few films to support her family, but would say later that her heart wasn’t in it. “I was happiest singing,” she told interviewers.
She got a big break in 1949 with what was a haunting song called Aayega Aanewala for the movie Mahal. She went on to sing in more than 1,000 movies.
She received India’s highest honour for civilians, the Bharat Ratna, in 2001.
Lata never married. Her younger sister, Asha Bhosle, is also a celebrated Bollywood singer. Lata has another sister and a brother, both involved in the music industry.
“The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter.