- Birth Date: 08 Sep 1933
- Birth Place: Goar, Maharashtra
At 60-plus she still dares to challenge the youngsters on the scene, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurty, Sadhana Sargam in evocative songs 'Yai Re, Yai Re...' and 'Tanha Tanha...' both from Rangeela or 'Rang De...' from Takshak. She teams with Adnam Sami and 'Ghulam Ali' with the equal ease for private albums of Songs or ghazal.
Asha Bhosle has been a name to contend with in the Hindi film industry since the last four decades, considering that she had to grow up in the shadow of her sister, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha has indeed done very well for herself.Initially she had to face the inevitable – unfair comparisons with her more popular sister. But she did not let that affect her. Perseverance paid off, as she overtook tough contenders, including Geeta Dutt.
Asha Bhonsle, one of the Mangeshkar sisters was born on 8th September, 1933 to the renowed Maharashtrian parent, actor and singer Dinanath Mangeshkar in a small hamlet called 'Goar' in Maharastra. Like her older sister Lata Mangeshkar Asha also initially did a small stint as a child artist. But being trained in classical music by her father Dinanath Mangeshkar it was more natural she too turn to playback singing like Lata did.
In April 1942 her father Dinath Mangeshkar died, causing upheaval in the family which moved from Pune to Kolhapur and in turn to Bombay. Around the age of ten she apparently sang her first film song in the Marathi film Majha Bal. Asha like her other sisters and brother was introduced to music at a very tender age. Asha remembers her birthplace as she says " I still remember my childhood days in sangli, because of me Lata didi use to bunk the school, I cannot forget sangli as it's my birth place ".
In a world so much in awe of elder sister Lata Mangeshkar, s he had to work that much harder. Time has not touched her voice, she can please pop lovers with rap and remix. At the same time, she has the ability to match the tunes of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Playful love songs or lusty cabaret numbers, soulful ghazals or funky pop, Bhosle's trod everywhere, with aplomb. From the early rock 'n' roll Eena meena deeka, to the seductive Burman number Piya tu ab to aaja in Caravan, to the unforgettable ghazals of Umrao Jaan.To a large degree, her success can be attributed to her versatility. She has successfully sung in many different voices and in many different styles.
Asha made her playback debut in 1948 with the film Chunariya. But it took a long, long time for Asha to make it to the top. in the 1950s Asha sang more songs than any other playback singer but the bulk of these were in small films with no distinction.That was the time of Lata Mangeshkar , Shamshad Begum and Geeta Dutt.
1957 was her breakthrough year when O.P. Nayyar used her to sing the heroine's songs in Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Naya Daur. The same year S.D. Burman had his rift with Lata. Also Geeta Dutt’s troubled marriage did not make her easily available . Consequently S.D. Burman chose to groom Asha along with O.P. Nayyar rather than wait for Geeta. The following year Asha made it right to the top with hit songs in films like Howrah Bridge (1958), Chalti ka Naam Ghadi (1958) and Lajwanti (1958). Asha got involved with O.P. Nayyar and thereafter she remained his premier singer till their break-up in the 1970s.
The 1960s saw Asha at her best as she belted out her best songs particularly under O.P. Nayyar's baton - Aankhon se Jo Utri hai Dil Mein from Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon(1964), Jayiye Aap Kahaan Jayenge from Mere Sanam (1965) and Woh Haseen Dard De Do from Humsaaya (1968) to name but a few.
The 1970s also brought her close with R.D. Burman who gave her a new hip and happening sound altogether. Piya Tu Ab To Aajaa (Caravan (1971)), Dum Maro Dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna (1971)), offered fresh and stimulating challenges to her voice. Jaane Jaa from Jawaani Diwaani (1972) had her switching from the higher scales to the absolute lower ones within the song with ease!
1980’s brought a lucky and prosperous year for Asha as she rocked the show with evergreen ghazals like Dil Cheez Kya Hai, In Aankhon ki Masti, Yeh Kaisi Jagah hai Doston, Justaju Jiski Ki (Umrao Jaan,1981) , a few of the finest singing.Ijaazat (1987) saw her in top form winning a National Award for Mera Kuch Samaan, a most difficult song to sing as the lyrics were more in prose form rather than standard rhythmic verse.
Asha Bhosle has since sung in virtually every Indian language, in Russian and Malay, has sung Rabindra Sangeet (the songs of Bengali poet Tagore), has sung with the bhangra groupAlaap , the Indian rap act Baba Sehgal and Boy George, the former lead vocalist of the British pop group Cassette compilations and recyclings of her work are numerous.
In the 1990s Asha has even further widened her horizon by succesfully coming out with albums in Indipop giving the albums a western touch and beating the Indian pop artists on their own turf. Though she has cut down on her singing now she still makes an Urmila Matonder or Aishwarya Rai sizzle in Rangeela (1994) or Taal (1999).
Today her vocals are in better, more supple, sensuous and inviting shape then ever before. If we listen to her singing R.D. Burman’s Teri meri yaari badi purani, right before going on to Sandeep Chowta’s Kambakht ishq, we notice no perceptible difference in the rendition of the two tracks, even though they are separated by 30 years.
When R.D. Burman arrived, Asha married him. The great composer gave his wife some unforgettable numbers including Chura liya hai tumnein and Mera samaan lauta do. How can one forget Asha in Teesri Manzil and Yaadon Ki Baarat? In Umrao Jaan, Asha sang for Rekha playing a courtesan and created some evergreen numbers.
Her favourite singers include her father Master Dinanath Mangeshkar ,sister Lata Mangeshkar , Mohammad Rafi , Manna Dey , Kishore Kumar,Mukeshji, Hemant Da, Noorjehan,Mehdi Hasan and Gulam Ali.