Asha Bhosle

Date of Birth: September 08, 1933
Occupation:
Singer
Awards:
Filmfare Best Female Playback Award, Special Award, Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award, National Film Awards, Nightingale Of Asia Award, Lata Mangeshkar Award, Screen Videocon Award, MTV Award, Channel V Award, Dayawati Modi Award, Lata Mangeshkar Award.
Years Active:
1943–present
Asha Bhosle
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Birth name Asha Mangeshkar
Born
September 8, 1933 (1933-09-08) (age 77)
Sangli, Bombay Presidency, British India
Genres
Pop, folk, Indian classical music
Occupations
Singer, playback singer
Years active 1943–present

Asha Bhosle1 (Marathi:) (born September 8, 1933) is an Indian singer. She is one of the best-known and most highly regarded Hindi playback singers in India, although she has a much wider repertoire.234 Her career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over 1000 Bollywood movies, and among other activities she has recorded many private albums and has participated in numerous concerts in India and abroad.56 Bhosle is the sister of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.

Renowned for her voice range and often credited for her versatility,278 Bhosle's work includes film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian Classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, Rabindra Sangeets and Nazrul Geetis. She has sung in over 18 languages including Assamese, Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, English, Russian, Czech, Nepali, Malay and Malayalam.9

In 2006, Asha Bhosle stated that she had sung over 12,000 songs,10 a figure repeated by several other sources.911 The World Records Academy, an international organization which certifies world records, recognized her as the "Most Recorded Artist" in the world, in September 2009.12

Biography

Asha Bhosle was born in the small hamlet of Goar in Sangli, Bombay Presidency (now in Maharashtra), into the musical family of Master Deenanath Mangeshkar. Her father was a theater actor and classical singer. When she was nine years old, her father died. The family moved from Pune to Kolhapur and then to Mumbai. She and her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar began singing and acting in films to support their family. She sang her first film song Chala Chala Nav Bala for the Marathi movie Majha Bal (1943). The music for the film was composed by Datta Dawjekar. She made her Hindi film debut when she sang the song Saawan aaya for Hansraj Behl's Chunariya (1948).13 Her first solo Hindi film song was for the movie Raat Ki Raani (1949).

At the age of 16, she eloped with 31-year-old Ganpatrao Bhosle, marrying him against her family's wishes. Ganpatrao was sister Lata's personal secretary. The marriage failed miserably. Her husband and in-laws mistreated her. After a few years of marriage, Bhosle was turned out (around 1960) by a suspicious Ganpatrao14 and she went to her maternal home with two children and pregnant with her third child, Anand. She continued to sing in films to earn money.

At that time, prominent playback singers like Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar (her sister) monopolized the singing for the "heroine" roles and the big films, whilst Asha Bhosle used to get the assignments they did not take: singing for the bad girls and vamps, or songs in the second-grade movies. In the 1950s, she sang more songs than most other playback singers in Bollywood (not counting Lata), yet most of these were in low budget B or C-grade films. Her earliest songs were composed by A R Qureshi, Sajjad Hussain and Ghulam Mohammed, most of which failed to do well.13 Singing in Dilip Kumar-starrer Sangdil (1952), composed by Sajjad Hussain, she got reasonable recognition. Consequently, film director Bimal Roy gave her a chance to sing in Parineeta (1953). Raj Kapoor signed her to sing the song Nanhe Munne Bachche with Mohammed Rafi in Boot Polish (1954), which gained popularity.

O. P. Nayyar gave Asha Bhosle a big break in C.I.D. (1956). She first achieved success in B. R. Chopra's Naya Daur (1957), composed by him. Her duets with Rafi like Maang ke saath tumhara, Saathi haath badhana and Uden jab jab zulfein teri, penned by Sahir Ludhianvi earned her recognition. It was the first time that she had got to sing all the songs for the lead actress. B R Chopra, the producer of Naya Daur recognized her talent and got her to sing in many of his later films including Waqt and Gumraah, Humraaz, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Dhund etc. Nayyar's collaboration with Bhosle also produced many hits. Gradually, she established herself and received patronage of composers such as Sachin Dev Burman and Ravi. Bhosle and Nayyar had a professional and personal parting of ways in the 1970s.

In 1966, Asha's performance in the duets from music director R D Burman's first successful movie, Teesri Manzil won popular acclaim. When Asha first listened to the tune of the song Aaja Aaja, she had felt that she would not be able to sing the Western dance number. R D Burman offered to change the music. She was offended a bit and took it as a challenge to sing the song. After rehearsing for 10 days, when she finally sang the song, an impressed R D Burman handed her a 100-rupee note. Aaja Aaja and other songs of the film, O Haseena Zulfonwali and O Mere Sona Re (all three duets with Rafi, another popular Bollywood singer), became rage of the day. Shammi Kapoor, the actor of the movie, once said – "If I did not have Mohammad Rafi to sing for me, I would have got Asha Bhosle to do the job". Asha's collaboration with R D Burman collaboration produced numerous hits in the 1970s and resulted in a marriage. In 1960s and 1970s, she became the voice of Bollywood's most famous dancer, Helen. It is said that Helen would attend her recording sessions so that she could understand the song better and plan dance steps accordingly.15 Some of the most popular Asha Bhosle-Helen numbers are Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Caravan), O Haseena Zulfon Wali (Teesri Manzil), and Yeh Mera Dil (Don).

By the 1980s, Asha Bhosle had been stereotyped as a "cabaret singer" and a "pop crooner". In Rekha-starrer Umrao Jaan, she proved her versatility by singing ghazals like Dil cheez kya hai, In aankhon ki masti ke, Ye kya jagah hai doston and Justju jiski thi. The music director Khayyam, had lowered her pitch by half a note. Asha herself was surprised that she could sing so differently. The ghazals won her the first National Award of her career. A few years later, she won another National Award for the song Mera Kuchh Saamaan from Ijaazat (1987).

In 1995, a 62-year-old Asha Bhosle did playback for young actress Urmila Matondkar in the movie Rangeela. The soundtrack featured songs like Tanha Tanha and Rangeela Re sung by her, and composed by music director A. R. Rahman, who went on to record many more songs with her.

As late as 2005, 72-year-old Asha Bhosle's numbers for the Tamil film Chandramukhi and the pop song Lucky Lips for Salman Khan-starrer Lucky were chartbusters. Some of the other popular Tamil songs sung by Bhosle are Oh! Butterfly, September Maadham and Vennila Vennila.

In October 2004, The Very Best of Asha Bhosle, The Queen of Bollywood, a compilation album of songs recorded by Bhosle for albums and Bollywood films that were released during 1966-2003,was realeased.

Partnership with music directors

Also in 2005, The Black Eyed Peas sampled her songs "Ae Naujawan Sab Kuchh Yahan" (Apradh, 1972) and "Yeh Mera Dil Pyaar Ka Diwana" (Don, 1978) in their hit single "Don't Phunk with My Heart". In late 2006, Asha collaborated with Australian test cricket star, Brett Lee. The single, You're the One for Me debuted at number 4 on the charts and reached a peak position of number 2.

In 2006 Asha Bhosle recorded one song for the soundtrack of Pakistani movie Mein Ek Din Laut Kay Aaaonga. singing the song Dil Key Taar Bajey with famous Pakistani pop singer Jawad Ahmed. The song was aired as the part of the film's promotional campaign and became very popular, featuring on top music charts.
Personal life

Asha's house is situated in Prabhukunj Apt on Peddar Road area of South Mumbai. She has three children and five grandchildren. The eldest of her three children is Hemant Bhosle (named after Hemant Kumar), spent most of his early years as a pilot and quit to have a brief career as a music director. Asha's daughter Varsha, who is younger than Hemant, worked as a columnist for The Sunday Observer and Rediff. The youngest child is Anand Bhosle, who has studied business and film direction. He manages Asha's career. Her grandson, Chaitanya (Chintu) Bhosle (Hemant's son) also ventured in the world of music, as a member of a successful boy band, "Band of Boys". Her sisters Lata and Usha Mangeshkar are playback singers. The other two siblings, sister Meena Mangeshkar and brother Hridayanath Mangeshkar are music directors.

Asha is an excellent cook and cooking is her favorite hobby. She often gets flooded with requests by Bollywood celebrities for kadai ghosht and biryani and has rarely turned down a request. In fact, her paya curry, Goan fish curry and dal are very popular with the Kapoor family of Bollywood. Once, when asked in a Times of India interview, what if her singing career had not taken off, she said "I would have become a cook. I'd have cooked in four houses and made money."

Asha is a successful restaurateur and runs restaurants in Dubai and Kuwait, called Asha's. Asha's offers traditional north-western Indian cuisine. It has a presence in the Wafi City development in Dubai, as well as three restaurants in Kuwait, at The Avenues Mall, the Marina Mall and a brand new third outlet at the Spoons Complex. Other restaurants can be found in Abu Dhabi's Khaldiya Mall, Doha's Villagio and Bahrain's City Center Mall, with future outposts planned for Dubai's Mall of the Emirates and Cairo, Egypt. Asha Bhosle has a 20% stake in the business. Asha is not involved in day-to-day running of the restaurant which is looked after by the Wafi Group. She takes care of the kitchen and the décor. She personally trained the chefs for almost six months. According to a December 2004 report in the Menu Magazine,21 Russell Scott, a former head of Harry Ramsden's (the fish and chips chain), secured the UK rights to the Asha's brand and planned to open up to 40 restaurants over the next five years. As part of her chain of restaurants, Asha's, Ashatai has recently opened a new restaurant in Birmingham, UK.

Asha's fashion statement is white sarees with sparkling embroidery, pearls around her neck and diamonds. Harrington of Kronos Quartet said "The first time I met Ashaji she was dressed in the most beautiful sari with diamonds and looked very regal. Then I looked down and saw that she was wearing tennis shoes! I thought I love this woman."

Asha is a good mimicry artist as well. At a concert at World Trade Center in Dubai on April 22, 2004, she mimicked the song Kabhi To Nazar Milaao in the voices of Noor Jehan, Lata Mangeshkar and Ghulam Ali.

Nowadays, apart from singing and her restaurant, Asha is also working on her autobiography.
Rivalry with Lata Mangeshkar

Asha's sibling rivalry with her sister Lata Mangeshkar is often talked about, in spite of their insistence that these are just tales.17 As young children, they were very close. As a child, Lata used to carry Asha all the time. They were so inseparable that when Lata went to school she would take Asha with her, but one day the teacher protested and said that they cannot have two students on one fee. Lata refused to return to school without Asha and quit her studies.22

Lata considered Asha's act of eloping with her lover as irresponsible, leaving her alone to sing and earn for the family. This led to tensions among them. Asha herself accepted in an interview22 — "It was a love marriage and Lata didi (elder sister) did not speak to me for a long time. She disapproved of the alliance." At one time, their relationship was very adversarial and there have been periods of non-communication.

In her initial days in the industry, Asha always played second fiddle to her elder sister. Some say that Lata had once said something criticising Asha's relationship with O. P. Nayyar. This widened the rift between the two sisters and O P Nayyar also decided that he would never work with Lata. O.P. Nayyar had once revealed — "Asha and Lata staying in opposite flats at Bombay's Peddar Road, shared a common maidservant. Now this maidservant had merely to come and tell the younger sister that Lata had just recorded something wonderful for Asha to lose her vocal poise. Such was her Lata phobia that it took me some months to convince Asha that she had a voice individualistic enough to evolve a singing style all of her own."19 Asha once said that she has worked for years to create a voice and a style that was different from Lata, so that she could carve her own niche and not be banished to live her shadow.22

Asha and Lata have sung many songs together. Their first duet was for the film Daman (1951).19 Some of these include Man Bhawan Ke Ghar aye (Chori Chori, 1956), Sakhi ri sun bole papihaa us paar (Miss Mary, 1957), O chaand jahaan woh jaaye (Sharada, 1957), Mere Mehboob Mein Kya Nahi (Mere Mehboob, 1963), Ai kash kisi deewane ko (Aaye Din Bahar Ke, 1966), Main Chali Main Chali (Padosan, 1968), Chhap tilak sab (Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, 1978), and Man kyun behka (Utsav, 1984). While singing, Lata used to hold her notebook in her right hand, while Asha held her notebook in her left hand. This meant Lata had her face away from Asha, making it difficult for them to "anticipate" each other.22

The movie Saaz, was supposedly based on Lata and Asha's rivalry.23 Asha said about the movie — "To have two women in long plaits, take a couple of incidents and exaggerate them into a 3-hour film is such a waste of time."22 In last few years, Asha and Lata have often been seen in public, enjoying each other's company. In an interview with The Times of India, Asha once said - "I remember, sometimes both of us would be at a function and some industry types would ignore me and interact only with her, as if to prove their loyalty. Later, didi (elder sister) and I would have a good laugh!"
Awards

Filmfare awards

Asha Bhosle has won seven Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards out of 18 nominations.24 She won her first two awards in 1967 and 1968, when Lata Mangeshkar still used to accept the award (Mangeshkar asked not to be considered for the award nominations after 1969 to promote new talent). After receiving the award in 1979, Bhosle emulated her elder sister and requested that her name not be considered for the nominations hereafter. Despite this, Bhosle is the most frequent winner of this award to date, tying with Alka Yagnik. She was later given a Special Award for Rangeela in 1996, and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. Following is the list of her Filmfare Awards:

Filmfare Best Female Playback Award:

* 1968: "Garibon ki Suno" (Dus Lakh, 1966)
* 1969: "Parde Mein Rehne Do" (Shikar, 1968)
* 1972: "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" (Caravan, 1971)
* 1973: "Dum Maro Dum" (Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1972)
* 1974: "Hone Lagi Hain Raat" (Naina, 1973)
* 1975: "Chain Se Humko Kabhi" (Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye, 1974)
* 1979: "Yeh Mera Dil" (Don, 1978)

Other Awards:


* 1996 - Special Award (Rangeela, 1995)
* 2001 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award

National Film Awards

Asha has won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer twice:

* 1981: Dil Cheez Kya Hai (Umrao Jaan)
* 1986: Mera Kuch Samaan (Ijaazat)

Other awards

Asha has won numerous other awards, some of which include:

* 1987: Nightingale Of Asia Award (from the Indo–Pak Association, UK).24
* 1989: Lata Mangeshkar Award (Government of Madhya Pradesh).24
* 1997: Screen Videocon Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo).24
* 1997: MTV Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo).24
* 1997: Channel V Award (for the album Jaanam Samjha Karo).24
* 1998: Dayawati Modi Award.25
* 1999: Lata Mangeshkar Award (Government of Maharashtra)
* 2000: Singer of the Millennium (Dubai).
* 2000: Zee Gold Bollywood Award (for Mujhe Rang De from Thakshak).
* 2001: MTV Award (for Kambakht Ishq).
* 2002: BBC Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair).
* 2002: Zee Cine Award for Best Playback Singer - Female (for Radha Kaise Na Jale from Lagaan).
* 2002: Zee Cine Special Award for Hall of Fame.
* 2002: Screen Videocon Award (for Radha Kaise Na Jale from Lagaan).
* 2002: Sansui Movie Award (for Radha Kaise Na Jale from Lagaan).
* 2003: Swaralaya Yesudas Award for outstanding contributions to Indian music.24
* 2004: Living Legend Award by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.26
* 2005: MTV Immies, Best Female Pop Act for Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo.27
* 2005: Most Stylish People in Music.28