- Birth Date: 31 Dec 1969
- Birth Place:
The magical name extends it's charisma to this youngest of the Mangeshkar sisters and one can see that despite the name her life and career couldn't have been easy with two top-notch singers in the family.
Usha Mangeshkar was born into a family of musicians and music lovers. Her father Dinanath Mangeshkar was a classical singer. But she doesn’t now too much about her father’s singing talents as he had passed away when she was extremely young. Like her other siblings she too inherited musical genes from father.
With Lata and Asha taking on the mantle of the singers in the family she contentedly kept in the background. Also despite her efficiency as a singer, her voice had a quality which couldn't be moulded to suit just anyone -like her two sisters' voices could.Only occasionally she allowed herself a digression from her private hobbies of painting and housekeeping to sing chartbusters like ‘Sultana Sultana’ from Tarana, the raunchy ‘Mungda’ from Inkaar and the songs of Jai Santoshi Maa.
Among film singers she liked listening to KL Saigal and Noorjehan. After coming to Mumbai with Lata Mangeshkar she often listen to her singing. She also learnt music from renowned musicians like Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and Ustad Aman Ali Khan. Along with Lata she also attended concerts by Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. Usha Mangeshkar was very much attracted to classical music. Not many people know that Usha Mangeshkar also studied classical dance before she took to professional singing. But Usha never practiced dance seriously as she had taken it up only because other girls of her age were learning how to dance.
she has been influenced deeply by Lata’s style but her style of singing is drastically different from the nightingale of India’s.In 1953 she sang the very popular 'bhabhi aayeee'[subah ka tara] for C Ramchandra the leading composer of that era. The song picturized on Baby Rajshree was such a hit that Usha was made to sing more and more children's numbers-her training in music along with a voice which suited youngsters made her a kind of children's song specialist. Again for C Ramchandra in Azaad she sang Aplam chaplam which remains popular to this day.
Meanwhile she was getting more and more work in Marathi films which she accepted with alacrity and rose to become the most sought after singer in Marathi films a la' Lata Mangeshkar in Hindi films. Ushatai had now found her niche-though she continued singing the stray number in Hindi films like the evergreen number for Inkaar 'Mungda…' which makes audiences dance till today. But her highlight has been the devotional film 'Jai santoshi Maa' Made by C Arjun who was passing through financial difficulties-the film was made in a tiny budget. Perhaps it was the subject, which invited such huge audiences, perhaps the time was right but in the film the legendary Kavi Pradeep wrote the Bhajans and as a bigger singer was not affordable by the producer, he chose Usha Mangeshkar to sing them. As luck would have it the film became the biggest hit of the time and the music broke every record. It is played till today at every religious occasion in the country.
One of the reasons why she didnt do much of serious numbers is that she had never seriously considered singing as a career and she was more interested in studies and painting. Usha Mangeshkar was also extremely close to her mother and she liked being with her most of the time. And since Usha also loved traveling a lot and so she would accompany her mother every time she was traveling. Whatever songs came to her she took them up. Another thing that used to be quite a common occurrence was she would normally get called to sing a song because Lata Mangeshkar would be very busy. And composers who were close to the Mangeshkar family would prefer Usha Mangeshkar to sing for them rather than going to an outsider. That is how she got to sing most of her numbers.
And Usha Mangeshkar who had remained in the background till then was suddenly the cynosure of all eyes. Two years ago Kavi Pradeep passed away and to honour his memory an award has been instituted in his name-the Kavi Pradeep Shikhar Samman. And the award was presented to Usha at Ujjain .
Usha Mangeshkar is extremely fond of her brother Hridayanath Mangeshkar and she always accompanied him during all his concerts. Even today Usha gets invited for a lot of concerts all over Maharashtra and she is often requested to sing Lavni songs. But she insists on singing bhajans and bhau-geet, which she really loves.