The living legend Asha Bhonsle, one of the Mangeshkar sisters was born on 8th September, 1933 in a small hamlet called ‘Goar’ in Maharastra. Born to the renowed Maharashtrian parent, actor and singer Dinanath Mangeshkar, Asha like her other sisters and brother was introduced to music at a very tender age.
Asha gave her first playback for the movie ‘Badi Maa’ released in the year 1944/1945, though officially her first song was for the movie Chunaria (1948). Her first solo was for the film Raat Ki Raani (1949). Reputed to have sung over 20,000 songs in more than 14 languages, Bhonsle’s lively style knows no limits — it matched the fun dances to the numbers picturized on Helen in the film Chinatown, and Aiye meherbaan picturized on Madhubala in the film Howrah Bridge
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…‘ & ‘Tanha Tanha…‘ both from Rangeela or ‘Rang De…‘ from Takshak. She teams with Adnam Sami & ‘Ghulam Ali’ with the equal ease for private albums of Songs or ghazal.
Having started her career in elder sister’s shadow, she has outgrown every contemporary singer. Despite having sung varied styles and types of music, her forte is the bubbly and naughty songs. With the main songs of film going to Lata, Asha successfully managed to stamp her songs with her inimitable style.
O.P.Nayyar & R.D.Burman exploited her singing talent & experimented with her vocal cords to such an extent that it is difficult to imagine their music without her or Asha without them. Teesri Manzil, Ijazat, Khushboo with R.D.Burman, Mere Sanam, Kashmir Ki Kali, Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, ‘Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye’ & many others with O.P.Nayyar have added unforgettable rare gems to film music.
Her exuberance & ease in qawali like ‘Nighan Mila Ne Ko Jee Chahta Hai…’, ‘Raaj Ki Baat Kahdu To…’ & ‘Hum Kisise Kum Nahin…’; bhajan, ‘Sun Le Pukar…’; gazal, ‘Is Akhon Ki Masti Ke…’; Cabaret, ‘Piya Tu Ab Aaja…’, ‘Duniya Mein…’, ‘Reshmi Ujala Hai…’, stuns you out of your wits. Moreover she sings in more than twenty languages including English. History of Indian film music would never be complete without Lata, Rafi, Kishore & off course ‘Asha Bhonsle’.