With versatility as her middle name, the famous Asha Bhosle still sings the way she used to during her prime. Though she is over 70 years of age, she still continues to give stiff competition to singers who are half her age. This talented singer can sing a ghazal and a peppy cabaret number with amazing levels of energy and style. Be it the romantic "Oh Mere Sona Re" or the sensuous "Aaiye Meherban" or the peppy "Kambakth Ishq", Asha Bhonsle can add life to any song. Her life history is no less than a roller coaster ride. Check out the biography of Asha Bhonsle as given here.
Asha Bhosle was born on 8th September, 1933 in a Marathi family. Her
father was the renowned singer and actor Dinanath Mangeshkar. He trained
her in classical music at a very young age. Though she had her brush
with acting as a child artist, it was quite natural for her to choose
playback singing like her older sister Lata Mangeshkar. Sadly, her
father expired suddenly in the year 1942 causing much commotion in her
family. They had to move from Pune to Bombay and settle again. Asha got
the chance to sing in a Marathi film when she was ten years old. Her
initial years saw a lot of struggle since her elder sister Lata was in
much demand and unfair comparisons rose every now and then.
In the year 1948 she got to make her playback debut in Hindi in a film
called Chunariya. The song was called "Saawan Aaya" and Asha
was noticed for her different playful voice. When she was 16, she eloped
with Lata's personal secretary Ganpatrao Bhosle and married him much
against the family's wishes. The marriage failed miserably and Asha
Bhosle was driven out by Ganpatrao following some misunderstanding. She
came back to her maternal home with two kids and pregnant with the third
one. However, this did not deter her from pursuing her dreams and she
continued to sing for films. During 1950's she got assignments that were
rejected by leading singers like Geeta Dutt, Lata Mangeshkar and
These songs were basically meant for the sidelined roles like vamps,
cabaret numbers or C-grade movies. It took a lot of perseverance from
Asha to make it to the top. Her hard work and efforts paid off when she
was given her first big break with the movie C.I.D (1956). Under the
patronage of O.P Nayyar she got more and more offers and began belting
out hits after hits. She tasted huge success with the movie Naya Daur
(1957). With O. P Nayyar, Asha gave out hits after hits like Aaiye
Meherban, Deewana Hua Badal, Isharon Isharon Mein, Aao Huzur Tumko, Ude
Jab Jab Zulfein Teri, etc. The last song she recorded with him was "Chain
Se" of the movie "Pran Jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye" (1974)
and then parted ways.
She was noticed by other music directors like S.D Burman after the
phenomenal success of these songs. She and S.D Burman created many hit
soundtracks for movies like Kaala Pani, Kaala Bazaar, Insaan Jaag Utha,
Lajwanti, Sujata and Teen Deviyaan. Most famous of these songs were Asha
Bhosle's duets with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar. After the mid 60's
Asha collaborated with R.D Burman and reached the peak of her career.
The movie "Teesri Manzil" released in 1966 shot her to fame
and she won popular acclaim. The duo of Asha and R.D Burman produced
hits after hits and their collaboration resulted in marriage.
Asha became the voice of Helen, one of the most graceful dancers of
that era. Helen would visit Asha during her recordings to understand the
feel of the song and choreograph her steps accordingly. Some of her
evergreen hits featuring Helen are Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Caravan), O
Haseena Zulfon Wali (Teesri Manzil), and Yeh Mera Dil (Don). A popular
song "Jaane Jaa" from the movie Jawaani Diwaani (1972)
required her to switch from high pitch to low almost simultaneously
which she did with utmost ease and perfection. The song "Dum Maro
Dum" of the movie "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" showed an
entirely new side of her talent. The romantic "Chura Liya Hai Tumne"
from the movie "Yaadon Ki Baarat" is hummed even today and is
considered to be one of the most romantic songs of this century.
Asha proved critics wrong in 1980's when she sang beautiful Ghazals for
the movie Umrao Jaan. She proved that she can sing classical with as
much panache as other genres. The great composer Khayyam told her to
sing two notes lower than usual. The rest as they say is history! The
songs turned out to be chart toppers and till date are sung with much
elegance and respect, though it is picturized on a courtesan. In the
90's she experimented with peppy numbers and produced hits like Tanha
Tanha, Yaire, Kambakth Ishq, Chori Pe Chori, etc. she also a number of
pop albums to her credit and has acquired international by singing with
artists like Boy George, Black Eyed Peas and cricketer Brett Lee. She
has many awards including eight Filmfare awards and two National Awards
apart from numerous other accolades. Time has really not touched her
voice and she sounds exactly like what she used to sound 30 years back.
Asha Bhonsle is one of the most versatile singers in Hindi film industry. Read her life history in this short biography.