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Lata Mangeshkar demise: AR Rahman, Prasoon Joshi, Shaan lead musicians and lyricists in paying tribute

The Bharat Ratna singer died in Mumbai this morning of after post-COVID-19 complications at the age of 92.

Source: AR Rahman on Twitter

Our Correspondent

The death of one of, if not the, greatest singer in Indian film music history has led to an outpouring of grief and a wave of condolences on social media.

Lata Mangeshkar's passing, at the ripe old age of 92, in Mumbai this morning came as sad news to the music industry. Crossing the language divide, messages poured in for the legend.

One of those who had worked with her closely, composer AR Rahman shared a poignant message. "This void is going to remain forever for all of us," the Academy Award winner said. Recollecting how the late singer would often practise every song and lyric after rehearsals for shows, he said, "After that, before every show, I would just go off and put the tanpura and practise, get my warm-ups done, every lyric coming out, the way it comes out."

A collaborator of Rahman and Lata Mangeshkar on the soundtrack for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Rang De Basanti (2006), lyricist Prasoon Joshi tweeted: "An era passes, Today an era has gone silent but artistes like Lataji do not go away. They echo within us."

Another participant on the project was singer Chinmayi Sripaada, who shared a lovely image of Lata Mangeshkar turning photographer for Rahman and Joshi. Chinmayi wrote, "That one time. Rang De Basanti. I dont think too many people know now that she loved photography. She’s said to have had a pretty fantastic collection of professional cameras and on this particular day she was talking about a new camera purchase too." 

Chinmayi was not the only one who shared a past memory. Singer Shaan shared a rare picture of his parents, Manas Mukherjee and Sonali Mukherjee, with the great singer.

Composer Salim Merchant paid tribute, saying, "Lata Mangeshkarji will always be with us. Her voice, her songs are a blessing for the entire music world. We bow down, pray for her soul and continue to seek her blessings." 

Lyricist Varun Grover turned to poetry to find expression for his sorrow. The Masaan (2015) lyricist wrote, "This voice is eternal. This is our past as well as future. Just like the most beautiful things on this planet." 

Singer Suresh Wadkar shared a picture of himself with the artiste he deified as goddess Saraswati and wrote, "On the occasion of Saraswati visarjan today, our goddess Saraswati has returned to her rightful abode." 

Even the current generation paid respects to the late great with singer-actor Diljit Dosanjh keeping it simple.

Rapper-composer Badshah was more expressive, penning a poem to the Melody Queen.

Legendary Southern composer Ilaiyaraaja tweeted: "Heartbroken, but blessed to have known her and for having worked with her. Loved this incredible voice and soul... Lataji holds a place in our hearts that is irreplaceable." One of Lata Mangeshkar's biggest hits in Tamil was Ilaiyaraaja's composition 'Valaiyosai' for the film Sathya (1988).

Yuvan Shankar Raja, composer and youngest son of Ilaiyaraaja, also paid tribute.

Actor-lyricist Jitendra Joshi was among the many fans who put up a poem to the departed singer. Remarking on her popular honorific 'Didi' and its endearing nature, Joshi wrote, "Even my grandfather, father, and brothers called you 'Didi'."

Lata Mangeshkar was due to be cremated with state honours at the Shivaji Park crematorium in central Mumbai this evening. The national flag will be flown at half-mast across all governmental institutions for two days, with no official celebrations being held in this mourning period. The funeral will be attended by prime minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, and several dignitaries.

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Indian cinema