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Coronavirus update: Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar dies at 92

Lata-didi, as she was known to everyone in the film industry, was admitted to Mumbai's Breach Candy Hospital early last month after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lata Mangeshkar

Our Correspondent

Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, who was known as the Nightingale of India, died of multiple organ failure at 8.12 am on Sunday at the age of 92.

Her last rites will be conducted this evening with full state honours. As a mark of respect, the national flag will fly at half mast for two days.

The veteran artiste, who tested positive for COVID-19 in early January, was in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital for almost a month. She was put back on ventilator support yesterday after her condition deteriorated.

The icon — a recipient of the Bharat Ratna, Dadasaheb Phalke award and Maharashtra Bhushan award — ruled the world of playback singing for over six decades.

Born on 28 September 1929 to renowned theatre actor and singer Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar and his second wife Shevanti, Lata Mangeshkar made her debut as a playback singer in actor-filmmaker Master Vinayak's Pahili Mangalagaur (1942), in which she also essayed a small role.

She went on to sing for and act in a few films thereafter, but became a household name after the release of Ashok Kumar and Madhubala's Mahal (1949), Hindi cinema's first horror film.

The prolific singer, who has thousands of tunes in over a dozen languages to her credit, dominated the airwaves from the 1940s into the new millennium.

Some of her more iconic songs from the earlier era include ‘Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua’ from Shri 420 (1955), ‘Aap Ki Nazron Ne Samjha’ from Anpadh (1962), ‘Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai’ from Guide (1965), ‘Chalte Chalte Yunhi Koi’ from Pakeezah (1972) and ‘Lag Jaa Gale’ from Woh Kaun Thi? (1964).

Some of the prominent Marathi films of yesteryear for which she sang were Ram Ram Pahuna (1950), Mohityanchi Manjula (1963), Maratha Tituka Melvava (1964) and Sadhi Manasa (1965).

In the early years, Mangeshkar, who won three National Film awards and multiple Filmfare awards, also appeared in front of the camera in films such as Maze Baal (1943), Chimukla Sansar (1943) and Gajabhau (1944). She later donned the hat of composer and also producer, backing Gulzar's Lekin... (1991), among other projects.

As a vocalist, Mangeshkar continued to rule the roost in the 1990s and 2000s. Some of her famous tracks from this period featured in hits produced by Yash Chopra such as Lamhe (1991), Darr (1993), Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995), Dil To Pagal Hai (1997), Mohabbatein (1999), Mujhse Dosti Karoge (2002) and Veer Zaara (2004). Her vocals also feature in the logo of Chopra's banner, Yash Raj Films.

Mangeshkar last sang for the film Dunno Y2: Life Is A Moment (2015). which revolves around the romantic relationship between two men.

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to mourn the passing of the legend.“I am anguished beyond words," he tweeted. "The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people."

President Ramnath Kovind also paid tribute to the icon, tweeting, “Lata-ji’s demise is heart-breaking for me, as it is for millions the world over. In her vast range of songs, rendering the essence and beauty of India, generations found expression of their inner-most emotions. A Bharat Ratna, Lata-ji’s accomplishments will remain incomparable.”

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