Mumbai, Sep 28: Legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar, known as the 'Nightingale of India', celebrated her 77th birthday quietly with her close family members today.
'Latadidi', as she is popularly called, has ruled the hearts and souls of millions of her listeners during a career spanning over six decades. One can never find her at 'Prabhukunj', her Peddar Road residence in Mumbai on this day. She leaves the city either for Pune or Kolhapur with her family members.
''I do not like celebrating my birthdays. Even if I am in Mumbai I go and stay in a hotel'', she told Sonu Nigam in a recent live radio interview.
Born in 1929 in Indore, Lata Mangeshkar has been the evergreen face of Indian music. She has sung more than 30,000 songs in different Indian languages. Her popularity and influence transcends barriers of region and language.
Beginning her career with a Marathi film 'Kiti Hasaal' in 1942, Lata has sung for almost every major Bollywood actress and is also one of the only two singers who have been awarded the country's highest civilian honour - the 'Bharat Ratna'.
Lata was the first born of a classical singer Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar. Her siblings are Hridayanath Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Mangeshkar. She, along with her younger sister Asha is regarded as the best female singers India has ever seen.
She started singing at an early age of four. When she was 13, her father passed away forcing young Lata to don the greasepaint for few films like 'Pahili Mangalagaur' , 'Maaze Baal', 'Jeevan Yatra' between 1942-46.
Her debut song in a Marathi film 'Kiti Hasaal' in 1942 did not see the light of the day. The breakthrough came in 1948 with 'Dil Mera Toda (Majboor)'. Films like 'Barsaat', 'Andaz', 'Dulari' and 'Mahal' followed, and by 1950 Lata was reigning the scene.
The magic that began more than half a century ago continues to make waves even today. Contemporary hits like 'Dil To Paagal Hai', 'Maachis', 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun' and 'Dil Se' have proved that. From 'Aaayega Aane Waala' to 'Didi Tera Dewar Diwana', Latas versatility has known no bounds.
Her soulful rendition of 'Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon' had moved the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears.
Apart from Bharat Ratna, she has also received the Dadasaheb Phalke award.
This year, Kulswamini Mata Charitable Trust has organised a musical programme in her honour and Lata is scheduled to attend the programme being held at the Shanmukhanand Hall in the evening, the programme's convenor Hemantkumar Mahale said.