Lata Mangeshkar, legendary Indian singer, dies at 92

NEW DELHI – Lata Mangeshkar, a legendary Indian singer with a prolific, groundbreaking catalog and a voice recognized by a billion people in South Asia, has died, her doctor said. She was 92.

Bollywood playback singer Lata Mangeshkar during a birthday party in Bombay in 2003. Sherwin Crasto/Reuters, file

The legendary singer died of multiple organ failure at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital, Dr. Pratit Samdani told reporters. She was hospitalized on January 11 after contracting Covid-19.

Over the course of nearly eight decades, Mangeshkar has been a major presence as a playback singer, singing songs that were later lip-synched by actors in India’s lavish Bollywood musicals. She has also been affectionately hailed as the “Melody Queen” and “Nightingale of India”.

Mangeshkar’s songs, always full of emotion, were often sad and mostly about unrequited love, but others contained national pride.

Born in Maharashtra on September 28, 1929, Mangeshkar first sang at religious gatherings with her father, who was also a trained singer. After moving to Mumbai, India’s film industry capital, she became a star of immense popularity, mesmerizing audiences with her smooth but sharp voice and immortalizing Hindi music for decades to come.

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