15 Interesting Facts About Lata Mangeshkar
1. It was at the age of 13 that Lata Mangeshkar’s father Deenanath Mangeshkar died of cardiac arrest and the teenager had to enter the world of singing and acting to earn bread for her family.
2. It was Vasant Joglekar who gave her the first chance to sing in his Marathi film ‘Kiti Hasaal’ in 1942. However, the song ‘Naachu Yaa Gade, Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhaari’ was dropped from the film.
3. Lataji finally bagged a small role in Navyug Chitrapat Limited’s Marathi film ‘Pahili Mangalaagaur’. She also sang a song – ‘Natali Chaitraachi Navalaai’ in the film.
4. She was trained in Indian vocal classical under Ustad Amanat Ali Khan from the Patiala gharana.
5. Her real name was Hema Hardikar. It was her father who changed the surname to Mangeshkar, while Lata rechristened herself when she entered the Hindi film industry. ‘Lata’ is inspired from “Latika”, a popular character from her father’s play ‘Bhaaw Bandhan’.
6. To her major dismay, Lataji’s voice was initially rejected by most music composers of Bollywood as they alleged it was ‘too thin’ to compete with the popular voices of Noor Jehan and Shamshad Begum.
7. Lataji dropped out from school at an early age since her teacher did not allow her to bring her 10-month-old sister Asha (Bhosle) with her.
8. Though she debuted in Bollywood with the song “Dil Mera Toda” from the film “Majboor” (1948), she shot to fame with the hit song from Mahal (1949) – “Aayega Aanewaala” – where she playbacked for actress Madhubala.
But the Gramophone Company Of India did not gave her the credit for the song since she was not popular at that time.
However, Madhubala was so impressed with her that she used to put in all her film contracts that Lataji will sing all her songs.
9. Veteran actor Dilip Kumar did not used to approve her vernacular accent. She made an effort to rectify it and learnt Urdu from a teacher named Shafi.
10. She is an ardent fan of singer-actor K L Saigal since childhood. She bought a radio when she was 18. But returned it immediately after the first news she heard on it was of Saigal’s death.
11. Lata Mangeshkar holds the record for the Oldest (age 61) National Film Award winner for the Best Female Playback Singer for the songs in movie- Lekin (1990).
12. Once she was given a slow poison by an unidentified person for which she was bed-ridden for almost 3 months.
13. She is also a good music composer and composed music for the first time in 1955 for the Marathi film- Ram Ram Pavhana.
14. She is the only playback singer after M. S. Subbulakshmi to be awarded with India’s highest civilian award- Bharat Ratna Award.
15. According to estimates, she has sung almost 50000 songs and that too in more than 14 languages.