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Playback singer Mubarak Begum passes away at 80


The former singer began her career as a teenager with All India Radio and was given her first break by music composer Nashad.

Sonal Pandya

Mubarak Begum Shaikh, known by her stage name Mubarak Begum, died after a prolonged illness on 18 July 2016. Shaikh was inspired to become a singer after watching Noor Jehan and Suraiya onscreen.

"She breathed her last around 10 p.m. on Monday night at her Jogeshwari home. She had been ailing and was hospitalised frequently since over a year with various health problems," her daughter-in-law Zarina Shaikh said on Tuesday.

The playback singer was born in Sujangarh, Rajasthan in 1936 and started out singing and performing on several programmes for All India Radio (AIR). Mubarak Begum came to Mumbai in the 1940s and sang her first song for Aeeye (1949) for music composer Shaukat Hydari, also known as Nashad (not to be confused with the other composer Naushad Ali).

Soon the offers started pouring in and she sang for composers like SD Burman and Shankar-Jaikishan on Devdas (1955) and Hamrahi (1963) respectively. But after the 1950s and 1960s, the competition grew and her film work grew sparse. Mubarak Begum quit singing for films after the 1980s.

For the last couple of years, she was beset with medical and financial troubles. Her contemporary Lata Mangeshkar and actor Salman Khan, along with the Maharashtra government, had all contributed to her expenses.

Mubarak Begum is survived by her son Hussain, daughter-in-law Zarina and granddaughter Sana with whom she was living for many years.

- with inputs from IANS