Asha Bhosle is considered as one of the most versatile of South Asian singers - her range of songs includes film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian Classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, and Rabindra Sangeet. She has sung in over 14 languages including Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, English, Russian and Malay). Asha Bhosle is believed to have sung over 12,000 songs, but such estimates are not easy to validate.
Early Life of Asha Bhosle
When Asha Bhosle was nine years old, her father died. The family moved from Pune to Kolhapur and then to Bombay (now Mumbai). She and her elder sister Lata Mangeshkarbegan singing and acting in films to support their family.
At the age of 16, she eloped with 31-year old Ganpatrao Bhosle, marrying him against her family's wishes. The marriage failed miserably. After a few years of marriage, Bhosle returned 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 monopolized the singing for the "heroine" roles and the big films.
Career of Asha Bhosle
Naya Daur, 1957: Asha Bhosle's first big break was B R Chopra's Naya Daur (1957). Her duets with Rafi like Maang ke saath tumhara, Saathi haath badhana and Uden jab jab zulfein teri, penned by Sahir Ludhianvi and composed by O P Nayyar, gave her recognition.
Teesri Manzil, 1966: Asha Bhosle became a pop crooner with Rahul Dev Burman's Teesri Manzil (1966). When she first listened to the tune of the song Aaja Aaja, she felt that she would not be able to sing the Western dance number. R D Burman offered to change the music.
Umrao Jaan, 1981: By 1980s, Asha Bhosle had been stereotyped as a "cabaret singer" and a "pop crooner". In Rekha-starrer Umrao Jaan, she sang ghazals proved her capability of doing fairly serious songs. The ghazals won her the first National Film Award of her career and proved her versatility.
Rangeela, 1995: In 1995, a 62-year old Asha Bhosle did playback for young actress Urmila Matondkar in the movie Rangeela. She pleasantly surprised her fans with superhit songs like Tanha Tanha and Rangeela Re.
Personal Life of Asha Bhosle
Asha's house is situated in Peddar Road area of Mumbai. She has three children and five grandchildren. She married the popular Indian musician, R.D. Burman. The eldest of her three children is Hemant Bhosle (named after Hemant Kumar), who initially dabbled in music direction but then quit to become a pilot. 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".
Awards of Asha Bhosle:
* 1967 - Garibon ki suno (Dus Lakh, 1966)
* 1968 - Parde mein rahne do (Shikar, 1968)
* 1971 - Piya Tu Ab to Aaja (Caravan, 1971)
* 1972 - Dum Maro Dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1971)
* 1973 - Hone Lagi Hain Raat (Naina, 1973)
* 1974 - Chain se Humko Kabhi (Pran Jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye, 1974)
* 1977 - Yeh Mera Dil (Don, 1978)
Asha has won two Indian National Awards:
* 1981 - Dil Cheez Kya Hai (Umrao Jaan)
* 1986 - Mera Kuch Samaan (Ijazat)
Asha has won numerous other awards, some of which include:
* 1987 - Nightingale of Asia Award (from the Indo-Pak Association, UK)
* 1989 - Lata Mangeshkar Award (Government of Madhya Pradesh)
* 1997 - Screen Videocon Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo)
* 1997 - MTV Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo)
* 1997 - Channel V Award (for the album Jaanam Samjha Karo)
* 1999 - Lata Mangeshar 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 Radha kaise na jale from Lagaan)
* 2002 - Zee Cine - 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)
* She was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.
* She was among top 20 music icons of the past 50 years.
* In 2011 the Guinness Book of World Records officially acknowledged Bhosle as the most recorded artist in the history of music. She was awarded a certificate for "the most studio recordings (singles) for recording up to 11,000 solo, duet and chorus-backed songs and in over 20 Indian languages since 1947".
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