Lata Mangeshkar, the legendary 92-year-old singer, died on Sunday morning in Mumbai’s Breach Candy hospital. According to ANI, the singer died due to multiple organ failure at 8:12 in the morning. Dr. Pratit Samdani, who was treating the veteran singer, said in a statement, “It is with profound grief that we announce the sad demise of Lata Mangeshkar at 8:12 am. She has died because of multi-organ failure after more than 28 days of hospitalisation post COVID19.”
Fondly called ‘Nightingale of India’, she was first admitted to the hospital on January 8 after testing positive for Covid-19. Her niece confirmed to ANI that she had mild symptoms and was undergoing treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), at the Breach Candy hospital, as merely a preventative measure owing to her age. When she began to show signs of improvement, she was taken off the ventilator on January 28 as a trial. However, her condition worsened on Saturday and she was once again put on ventilator support.
Earlier, in November 2019, the singer was admitted to the same hospital, after being diagnosed with pneumonia.
Born on 28th September 1929 in Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Mangeshkar began her career in the 1940s as a 13-year-old, entering the film industry as her family’s sole bread earner. In a career spanning over seven decades, the singer has recorded several songs for over a thousand Hindi films, besides other languages including Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam. Her first recording was for the 1942 Marathi film Kiti Hasal and her debut in playback singing was for the 1947 Hindi film Aap Ki Seva Mein.
Among her iconic songs, some were Lag Jaa Gale, Yeh Galiyan Yeh Chaubara, Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, Bahon Mein Chale Aao, Tere Liye, and many more. In Tamil, she lent her voice to several songs including Enthan Kannaalan, Ennai Kande Selvai, and Valaiyosai.
Known as the ‘Melody Queen of India‘, Mangeshkar received the Padma Bhushan in 1969, followed by the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1989 for her contributions to Indian cinema, and the Padma Vibhushan in 1999. She was also bestowed with the Bharat Ratna, the ‘highest civilian honour’ in India, in 2001 and later went on to receive the ‘Legion of Honour’ award, from the Government of France.
In 1974, the Guinness Book of Records ranked her as the most recorded artiste in history. She had reportedly sung over 25,000 songs between 1948 and 1974.
Her last full album was for the late filmmaker Yash Chopra-directed 2004 film Veer Zaara, while her last song was Saugandh Mujhe Is Mitti Ki, which was released on March 30, 2021, as a tribute to the Indian Army.
After the news about Mangeshkar’s demise broke out, several prominent personalities and political leaders condoled her death.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “I am anguished beyond words. 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.”
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that a state funeral will be accorded to the late singer.
Music composer and singer AR Rahman tweeted, “Love, Respect and Prayers.”
Actor Mahesh Babu said, “Deeply saddened by Lata Mangeshkar ji’s demise. A voice that defined Indian music for generations… Her legacy is truly unparalleled. Heartfelt condolences to the family, loved ones and all her admirers. Rest in peace Lata ji. There will never be another.”
The Valaiyosai singer will be cremated with full state honours in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park at 6:30 PM on Sunday evening. The government announced that two-day national mourning will be observed to condole her death and the national flag will fly at half-mast during that period.
Lata Mangeshkar is survived by her siblings Asha Bhosle, Meena Khadikar, Hridyanath Mangeshkar, and Usha Mangeshkar.