The versatile voice turns 85



Anagha Telang

Commonly known as Ashaji, Asha Bhosle turns 85 on Saturday.  She is an Indian singer who is globally known for her playback singing. Asha Bhosle started her career in 1943 and was noted for her versatility and voice range. Asha Bhosle reigned for about 60 to 70 years in which she sang film music, ghazals, qawwalis, folk’s songs etc.she has sung over 12,000 songs and she has sung in over 20 Indian languages apart from Hindi.

Early life & Career

  • Born in Sangli, now in Maharashtra on September 8, 1933. Her real name was Asha Mangeshkar
  • Sister of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar
  • At the age of 10, in 1943, Asha Bhosle sang her first song 'Chala Chala Nav Bala'.
  • Both sisters, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle began singing to support their family after their father died.
  • At the age of 16, in 1949, Asha Bhosle sang her first solo song for the movie Raat Ki Raani



Personal life and drift from family
  • Asha Bhonsle married Ganpatrao Bhosle at the age of 16. She also eloped with him.
  • This made her elder sister very angry as she didn't approved their marriage.
  • Lata even stopped her other siblings from meeting Asha.
  • The marriage didn't end well and after few years she returned to her home with two children and pregnant with third child.

Another beginning

  • Asha Bhonsle continued singing and she gained popularity after singing 'Nanhe Munhe Bachche' with Mohammed Rafi
  • She got many breaks with Rafi, R.D. Burman, Sachin Dev Burman etc. and became popular
  • In 1960s and 1970, Ashaji became the voice of Bollywood actresses and dancers
  • She was later married to  R.D. Burman, the famous music composer in 1980.
  • They were married for 14 years till Burman died in 1994
  • Asha Bhosle debuted in films in the year 2013 at the age of 79. She played the role of  a mother in a Marathi film called 'Mai'.

Awards & Laurels

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)
  • 1996 – Special Award (Rangeela, 1995)
  • 2001 – Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award

National Film Awards
  • 1981: Dil Cheez Kya Hai (Umrao Jaan)
  • 1986: Mera Kuch Samaan (Ijaazat)

IIFA Awards

IIFA Award for Best Female Playback singer 2002: "Radha Kaisa Na Jale" ( Lagaan)

Other Awards
  • In 1997, Asha became the first Indian singer to be nominated for the Grammy Award, for Legacy, an album with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
  • She has received seventeen MaharashtraState Awards.
  • She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Amravati and University of Jalgaon in Literature.
  • She received The Freddie Mercury Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts.
  • The Birmingham Film Festival paid her a special tribute in November 2002.
  • She was among top 20 music icons of the past 50 years.
  • Asha Bhosle is the recipient of the first Doctor of Literature (D.Litt.) of the Jodhpur National University.
  • In 2011, Asha Bhosle was acknowledged officially by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist
  • In 2000, the Government of India honoured Asha Bhosle with Dadasaheb Phalke Award and later in 2008, she was awarded Padma Vibhushan.

Singing specialty
With a melodious voice Asha Bhosle is a pioneer of the Hindi Cinema.She made a place for herself in the film industry with her versatile voice and path breaking songs. As an experimentalist, her songs range from classical genre, pop, cabarets, ghazals, and western influence. Her songs were groovy and delightful at the same time. Some of her famous songs are:-

  • Piya toh ab to
  • Dum maaro Dum
  • Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko
  • Duniya mein logo ko
  • Khatooba
  • Mera naam hai shabana
  • Zara saa jhoom lo mein
  • Deewana hua badal
  • Mera kuch saaman, and many others.

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