Asha Bhosle (born September 8, 1933) is a singer best known as a Bollywood playback singer, although she has a much wider repertoire. Her career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over 890 Bollywood movies. She is the sister of the equally popular Lata Mangeshkar.
Asha Bhosle has sung many different types of songs, ranging from classically based songs and natya-sangeet (musicals) to folk tunes to romantic ghazals. She is best known for her Western-style pop tune in Bollywood, or Hindi language films. However, she has sung in many other Indian languages, such as Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, as well as in English, Russian and Malay). Asha's musical output from the fifties ranging to the nineties is both diverse in genre and encyclopaedic in magnitude -- she is believed to have sung the most number of songs in Bollywood (and likely in the entire world, but such estimates are not easy to validate), a distinction that was previously, inaccurately, accorded to her sister, Lata Mangeshkar, by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Bhosle has sung duets with notable Indian playback singers including:
S P Balasubramaniam
A young Asha BhosleAsha Bhosle was born in the small hamlet of Goar in Sangli, Maharashtra, into the musical family of Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar. When she was nine years old, her father died. The family moved from Pune to Kolhapur and then to Bombay. She and her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar began singing and acting in films to support their family. She sang her first film song Chala Chala Nav Bala for the Marathi movie Majha Bal (1943). The music for the film was composed by Datta Dawjekar. She made her Hindi film debut when she sang the song Saawan aaya for Hansraj Bahl's Chunariya (1948).
At the age of 16, she eloped with 31-year old Ganpatrao Bhosle, marrying him against her family's wishes. The marriage failed miserably. Her husband and in-laws mistreated her. After a few years of marriage, Bhosle returned to her maternal home with two children and pregnant with her third child, Anand. She continued to sing in films to earn money.
At that time, prominent playback singers like Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar (her sister) monopolized the singing for the "heroine" roles and the big films. Asha Bhosle got the assignments they didn't take: singing for the bad girls and vamps or in the second-grade movies. In the 1950s, she sang more songs than any other playback singer in Bollywood, but most of these were in B or C-grade films. She also sang many songs in Marathi such as "Majha hoshil Kaa?" "Khedyamadhle ghar kaularu" and "Nach re mora" which are considered classics today.
Asha Bhosle first achieved success in B. R. Chopra's Naya Daur (1957), composed by O. P. Nayyar. O.P Nayyar and Bhosle had a successful partnership. OP trained Bhosle's voice and their collaboration produced hits such as Naya Daur, Phagun, Howrah Bridge, Tumsa Nahin Dekha, Ek Musafir Ek Haseena, Yeh Raat Phir Na Aayegi, Mere Sanam, Humsaya, Sawan Ki Ghata ,Phir Wohi Dil Laaya Hoon, Kismat & the very successful Kashmir Ki Kali.
O. P. Nayyar and Asha Bhosle had a professional and personal parting of the ways in the 1970s.
In 1966, Asha's performance in the duets from music director R D Burman's first successful movie, Teesri Manzil won popular acclaim. Their collaboration would produce several hits in the 70s and result in a marriage.
In 1960s and 1970s, she became the voice of Bollywood's most famous dancer, Helen. It is said that Helen would attend her recording sessions so that she could understand the song better and plan dance steps accordingly. Some of the most popular Asha Bhosle-Helen numbers are Piya tu ab to aaja (Caravan), O Haseena Zulfon Wali (Teesri Manzil), and Yeh Mera Dil (Don).
In 1981 came the movie Umrao Jaan, in which she sang beautiful traditional ghazals.
Her film activities slowed in the 90s. Her performance in the 1994 hit Rangeela was particularly notable, as she was singing for the young and iconoclastic music director A.R. Rahman, later the most popular music director in Bollywood. As late as 2005, 72-year-old Asha Bhosle's numbers for the Tamil film Chandramukhi and Lucky Lips for Salman Khan-starrer Lucky were chartbusters.
Four hit films
Taking a closer look at Asha Bhosle's singing career can be considered having four milestones - Naya Daur (1957), Teesri Manzil (1966), Umrao Jaan (1981) and Rangeela (1995).
Naya Daur, 1957
Asha Bhosle's first big break was B R Chopra's Naya Daur ("The New Age", 1957). Her duets with Rafi like Maang ke saath tumhara, Saathi haath badhana and Uden jab jab zulfein teri, penned by Sahir Ludhianvi and composed by O P Nayyar, gave her recognition even though the movie's songs were unabashedly composed for Rafi to be picturized on Dilip Kumar. Asha and O P Nayyar had worked earlier as well. But it was the first time that she had got to sing all the songs for the lead actress. B R Chopra, the producer of Naya Daur recognized her talent and got her to sing in many of his later films including Waqt and Gumraah, Humraaz, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Dhund etc.
Teesri Manzil, 1966
Asha Bhosle became a pop crooner with Rahul Dev Burman's Teesri Manzil (1966). When she first listened to the tune of the song Aaja Aaja, she felt that she would not be able to sing the Western dance number. R D Burman offered to change the music. She was offended a bit and took it as a challenge to sing the song. After rehearsing for 10 days, when she finally sang the song, an impressed R D Burman handed her a 100-rupee note. Aaja Aaja and other songs of the film, O Haseena Zulfonwali and O Mere Sona Re (all three duets with Mohammad Rafi, another popular Bollywood singer), became rage of the day. Shammi Kapoor, the actor of the movie, once said – "If I did not have Mohammad Rafi to sing for me, I would have got Asha Bhosle to do the job".
Umrao Jaan, 1981
By 1980s, Asha Bhosle had been stereotyped as a "cabaret singer" and a "pop crooner". In Rekha-starrer Umrao Jaan, she sang ghazals like Dil cheez kya hai, In aankhon ki masti ke, Ye kya jagah hai doston and Justju jiski thi. The songs proved her capable of doing fairly serious songs. And she was branded as the most versatile singer in the country. The music director Khayyam, had lowered her pitch by half a note. Asha herself was surprised that she could sing so differently. The ghazals won her the first National Award of her career.
In 1995, a 62 year old Asha Bhosle did playback for young actress Urmila Matondkar in the movie Rangeela. She pleasantly surprised her fans with superhit songs like Tanha Tanha and Rangeela Re. The songs was composed by A R Rahman, who went on to record many more songs with her. Particularly notable was Asha Bhosle's first song with A R Rahman, Tanha Tanha, an oomph-oozing number.
Partnership with music directors
Asha Bhosle on the cover of Cinema Sangeet Classics
O P Nayyar
Music director O P Nayyar's association with Asha Bhosle is part of the Bollywood lore. When her talent was not recognized by anybody in Bollywood, O P Nayyar recognized her potential and gave patronage to her. He was the composer who first gave Asha Bhosle her own distinct identity. Many people speculate about a romantic relationship between the two.
O P Nayyar first met Asha Bhosle in 1952, at the music recording of Chham Chhama Chham. . He first called her for a film called Mangu (1954)). He gave her a big break in CID (1956). However, it was the success of Naya Daur (1957), that made the duo very popular. After 1959, she was emotionally and professionally involved with O P Nayyar.
The team of O P Nayyar and Asha Bhosle is best remembered for their breezy and sometimes sirenish songs. Some good examples of their sensuous numbers are Aaiye meherbaan picturized on Madhubala (Howrah Bridge, 1958) and Yeh hai reshmi zulfon ka andhera picturized on Mumtaz (Mere Sanam, 1965).
They recorded songs for many hit movies like Naya Daur (1957), Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957), Howrah Bridge (1958), Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962), Kashmir ki Kali (1964), etc. Some of their most popular songs include Aao huzur tumko (Kismat), Jaaiye aap kahan (Mere Sanam) etc. O P Nayyar used Asha Bhosle-Mohammad Rafi duo for his most popular duets. some of these songs include Ude jab jab zulfein teri (Naya Daur). Main pyaar ka rahi hoon (Ek Musafir Ek Haseena), Deewana Hua Baadal, Ishaaron hi isharon mein (Kashmir Ki Kali) etc.
Asha Bhosle recorded her last song for O P Nayyar in the movie Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974). The solo number Chain se got many awards, but it wasn't included in the movie.
They split on August 5, 1972. It is not clear what made them part their ways. On being asked the reason for their parting, O P Nayyar once said, "I know astrology very well. I knew that one day I had to part with her. Something also happened, that upset me, so I left her." Nevertheless, he also said "...now that I am seventy-six, I can say that the most important person in my life was Asha Bhosle. She was the best person I ever met." . The Asha-O P Nayyar parting was bitter, and probably therefore she has hesitated to give Nayyar his due. While talking about O P Nayyar in an interview with The Times of India, she once remaked - "Whichever composer gave me work, it was because my voice was suited to his music at that point. No one musician did me any favor by asking me to sing for him." She gives the credit for her first big break to B R Chopra.
Another music director who recognized Asha Bhosle's talent early was Khayyam. His partnership with Asha Bhosle dates back to his first movie Biwi (1948). They recorded a couple of songs for 'Phir Subah Hogi'. He later gave her the Umrao Jaan songs to sing.
Music composer Ravi considered Asha Bhosle as one of her favorite singers. She sang for his first movie Vachan (1955). The melodious lullaby from the movie, Chandamama door ke became an overnight hit among young mothers in India. Ravi got her to sing bhajans for the movies Gharana, Grihasti, Kajal & Phool aur Patthar, at a time when most of the composers remembered her only when they needed to record B-grade songs picturized on the vamps or the side-heroines. The bhajan Tora man darpan (Kajal) is considered one of Asha Bhosle's best songs.
Ravi and Asha Bhosle recorded a variety of songs, including the popular funny duet with Kishore Kumar - C A T...Cat maane billi (Dilli Ka Thug). They also recorded songs for many popular movies like Waqt, Chaudahanvi Ka Chaand, Gumraah, Bahu Beti, China Town , Aadmi Aur Insaan, Dhund, Humraaz and Kajal with her.
Sachin Dev Burman
One of the Bollywood's most famous composers, Sachin Dev Burman and his favorite singer, Lata Mangeshkar were not on good terms from 1957 to 1962. During this period, S D Burman used Asha Bhosle as his lead female voice. The hits include movies like Kaala Pani, Kaala Bazaar, Insaan Jaag Utha, Lajwanti & Sujata. They recorded many songs together after 1962 as well. Most famous of these songs were Asha Bhosle's duets with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar.
Rahul Dev Burman (Pancham)
Asha Bhosle first met Pancham (R D Burman's nickname) when she was a mother of two and he was in 10th grade having dropped out to pursue music. Asha scolded him and asked him to not give up on studies. "He told me later he was a bit irritated with me because he felt he would be wasting his time in school when music was his passion" she says.
Asha Bhosle and Pancham's team was first noticed in Teesri Manzil (1966). She went on to record a variety of songs with him - cabarets, rock, disco, ghazals, Indian classical music and many more.
In the 1970s, Asha Bhosle and Pancham's youthful, Western songs took Bollywood music by storm - the raunchy cabaret Piya tu ab to aaja (Caravan, 1971, picturized on Helen), the rebellious Dum Maro Dum (Hare Krishna Hare Rama, 1972), the sexy Duniya mein (Apna Desh, 1972), the romantic Chura liya (Yaadon Ki Baarat). Dum Maro Dum went on the became the ultimate anthem of the day. Kishore Kumar is said to have remarked about the song - "It is powerful enough to bring a dead person to life". Pancham also recorded many hit duets with Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar - Jaane jaan, dhoondhta phir raha (Jawani Diwani), Bhali bhali si ek soorat (Buddha Mil Gaya) etc.
In 198Os, Pancham and Asha Bhosle recorded subtle numbers for films like Ijazat (1987)- Mera kuch saaman, Khaali haath shaam aayi hai, Katra Katra. They also recorded the popular duet O Maria (Sagar). Mera Kuchch saamaan, the R.D. Burman composition for Gulzar's Ijaazat won her the National Award for Best Singer.
Asha Bhosle used to call R D Burman, "Bubs". She married him in 1980. Their partnership lasted until his death.
A R Rahman
A R Rahman is given the credit for Asha Bhosle's "comeback" with Rangeela (1994). Songs like Tanha Tanha and Rangeela Re were chartbusters. She and Rahman went on to record more hits like Mujhe Rang De (Thakshak), Radha kaise na jale (Lagaan), duet with Udit Narayan), Kahin aag lage (Taal, 1999), O Bhanware (Daud, duet with K J Yesudas), Venilla Venilla (Iruvar,1999). Rahman once said - "I approach Ashaji only when I compose something that would fit her stature."
Asha Bhosle has worked with many other composers too, most notably Jaidev and C Ramchandra. Asha recorded one of the Bollywood's first Rock n' Roll numbers Eeena Meena Deeka with C Ramachandra . When S D Burman's assistant, Jaidev started giving music independently, he got Asha to sing some of his songs as well. They worked in Hum Dono, Mujhe Jeene Do and other movies. Whenever Kishore Kumar composed music for his films (such as Jhumroo & Door Gagan ki chhaon mein), Asha used to be his first choice.
Asha has also worked with many other composers like Naushad, Madan Mohan, Shankar-Jaikishan, and Salil Chaudhary among others. Shankar Jaikishan worked very little with Asha. However, the team produced quite a few hits including the seductive Parde mein rehne do (Shikar, 1958). Asha got her second Filmfare Award for the song. Asha also sang the song Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana (Andaz) for Shankar Jaikishan, in which she tried to yodel like Kishore Kumar, whose version of the song is more better known. Madan Mohan also recorded few songs with Asha, including the popular folk number Jhumka gira re (Mera Saaya). In Chhoti Si Baat (1975), Asha sang the 'Jaaneman Jaaneman number with K J Yesudas for Salil Chowdhury.
The South Indian maestro, Ilayaraja worked with Asha in Kamal Haasan's Hey! Ram. The film flopped, but Asha's song Janmon ki jwala went well with audience. Composer Anu Malik and Asha have recorded many hit songs together, including songs for his first movie Soni Mahiwal. Their most popular songs include Filhaal (Filhaal), Kitabein bahut si (Baazigar) among others. The four lines sung by Asha in Anu Malik's Jab dil mile (Yaadein) stood out among voices of Sukhwinder Singh, Udit Narayan and Sunidhi Chauhan. Another Asha patron is the young composer Sandeep Chowtha, who got her to sing Kambakht Ishq (Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya, 2001). The song was very popular among the Indian youngsters.
Asha has worked with Lata-patrons like Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Naushad, Ravindra Jain, N Dutta, Hemant Kumar. Once when Naushad was asked to sum up the essential difference between Lata and Asha, he said that Asha "lacks certain something which Lata, and Lata alone has". Later he accepted in an interview, "May be I said it because I then had a closed ear on Asha." 
Asha has also worked with other noted Bollywood composers like Jatin-Lalit, Bappi Lahiri, Kalyanji-Anandji, Usha Khanna, Chitragupta, and Roshan.
In 1995, Asha underwent the ganda bandan (thread-tying) ceremony with Hindustani classical music maestro Ali Akbar Khan to learn a classical repertoire held within the Maihar gharana (stylistic school of Indian classical music), as handed down to Khan by his father Allauddin Khan (the guru of Ravi Shankar). Later, Asha and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan recorded eleven fixed compositions (or bandishes) in California for Legacy, a private album that won them a Grammy Award nomination.
In 1990s, Asha experimented with the remixed R D Burman songs. She was criticized by many, including Khayyam for tampering with old melodies. Nevertheless, albums like Rahul And I became quite popular. In 1997, Asha did a private Indipop album Janam Samjha Karo with Leslie Lewis. The album was hugely popular and won her many awards including the 1997 MTV Award.
Asha had been once asked by the director B R Ishaara to compose music for one of his films, but she had politely declined. In 2002, she turned music composer with the album Aap Ki Asha, an eight-song music and video album. The lyrics were written by Majrooh Sultanpuri (his last lyrics) and the music was composed by Asha herself. The album was released by Sachin Tendulkar on May 21, 2001 at a lavish party in Mumbai. The album received mixed reviews.
Asha Bhosle and Adnan Sami on the cover of Kabhi To Nazar MilaoAsha had spotted Pakistani singer Adnan Sami's talent when he was about 10 years old. At that time was performing in London, with R D Burman. It was she who had asked him to pursue his interests in music seriously. When Adnan grew up and became a professional musician, Asha sang the title duet with him for his best-selling album Kabhi to nazar milao. The two came together again in the album Barse Badal. The album comprises of eight songs, based on Indian Classical music. She contributed the song Yun Na Thi to the recording Womad Talking Book Volume Four: An Introduction to Asia 1 on Womad Records.
Asha has sung ghazals for many albums like Meraj-E-Ghazal, Aabshar-E-Ghazal and Kashish. In 2005, Asha released a self-title album (Asha), a tribute to the four ghazal maestros - Mehdi Hasan, Ghulam Ali, Farida Khannum and Jagjit Singh. The album features eight of her favorite ghazals like Farida Khannum’s Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo, Ghulam Ali’s Chupke Chupke, Aawargi and Dil Mein Ek Lahar, Jagjit Singh’s Ahista Ahista and Mehdi Hassan’s Ranjish Hi Sahi, Rafta Rafta and Mujhe Tum Nazar Se. These classic ghazals were recreated with modern sounds by the musician Pandit Somesh Mathur. The album was aimed at the younger generation, who, according to Asha, are "turned off" by the traditional sounds of tabla and sarangi.
Asha Bhosle on the cover of Asha Bhosle:The Rough Guide to Bollyywood legendsNumerous compilations of Asha's songs have been released as well. To commemorate her 60th birthday, in 1993 EMI India released three cassettes: Bala Main Bairagan Hoongi (devotional songs), The Golden Collection: Memorable Ghazals (non-film ghazals by composers such as Ghulam Ali, R D Burman and Nazar Hussain), and The Golden Collection: The Ever Versatile Asha Bhosle (44 popular film songs).
Concerts and collaborations with foreign artists
In 1980s and 1990s, Asha went globe-trotting, staging concerts in Canada, Dubai, UK, USA and many other countries. In 1989, during a world tour, she performed in 13 US cities in 20 days. Immediately after this, she had an already sold-out concert scheduled in Stockholm, Sweden. Due to the stressful schedule, Asha suffered a massive attack of colitis, together with fever, cough and weakness. In Stockholm, a pre-concert crisis meeting was called, attended by Asha's son (and manager) Anand and the sponsors. It was decided that the orchestra will play many instrumental tracks, the accompanying singers like Suresh Wadkar will shoulder the load, and Asha will make a small appearance. But Asha rejected all such "insane" proposals. Asha's sang at the concert with great difficulty, in a not-so-good voice. Her first set of six Bollywood songs didn't receive any response from the audience, which consisted mostly of Indian and Pakistani expats. Before the start of the second set of songs, a fan in the crowd requested her to sing a Marathi song. Asha obliged and sang Naach-naachuni ati mi damale ("I'm very tired of this endless dancing"). The mood took her over, and she rendered the song very beautifully. When the song ended, the auditorium erupted with claps and the encores started. After the concert, Asha was in bed for a month, recuperating from overexertion. In October 2002, she did a concert with Sudesh Bhosle and others, in London, for "Help the Aged" to help raise funds for older people in India.
In the mid-1980s, Asha sang with Boy George and Stephen Lauscombe. In 1997, she sang a love song with the boy band Code Red, at the age of 64. She also recorded the song The Way you Dream (One Great Leap, ) with Michael Stipe that was used in the English movie, The Bullet Proof Monk.
In 1997, the British band Cornershop paid tribute to Asha with their song Brimful of Asha, an international hit which was later remixed by Fatboy Slim. In 2001, the CD single of Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like A Bird" included a "Nellie vs. Asha Remix" created by Digital Cutup Lounge.
In 2005, American string quartet Kronos Quartet re recorded the R D Burman compositions like Chura liya, Piya tu, Mera Kuchh Saaman among others and got Asha to sing them. Despite her age (she had crossed 70), she recorded three to four songs in a day, leaving the quartet members stupefied. On August 23, 2005, You've stolen my heart - Songs From R D Burman's Bollywood was released in US. The album was nominated for Grammy Awards 2006 in the category of "Best Contemporary World Music Album". Earlier, in 1990s, a friend had introduced David Harrington of Kronos Quartet to the song Aaj ki raat. Harrington was mesmerised, and the song ended up on the album Kronos Caravan.
Also in 2005, the Black Eyed Peas sampled her song "Aye Naujawan Hai Sab Kuchchyahan" in their hit single "Don't Phunk With My Heart".
Asha Bhosle has won eight Filmfare awards (one special award for "Rangeela"). She won the award in 1967 and 1968, when Lata Mangeshkar still used to accept the award (Lata asked not to be considered for the award after 1969 to promote new talent). After receiving the award in 1977, Asha emulated her elder sister and requested that her name not be considered for the awards hereafter. She was later given the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. Following is the list of her Filmfare Awards:
1967 – Garibon ki suno (Dus Lakh, 1966)
1968 – Parde mein rahne do (Shikar, 1968)
1971 – Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Caravan, 1971)
1972 – Dum Maro Dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1971)
1973 – Hone Lagi Hain Raat (Naina, 1973)
1974 – Chain se Humko Kabhi (Pran Jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye, 1974)
1977 – Yeh Mera Dil (Don, 1978)
Asha has won two Indian National Awards:
1981 - Dil Cheez Kya Hai (Umrao Jaan)
1986 - Mera Kuch Samaan (Ijazat)
In 1997, she became the first Indian singer to be nominated for the Grammy Award, for Legacy, an album with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. She has received seventeen Maharashtra State Awards. She received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001 for her outstanding contribution to Indian cinema.
Asha has won numerous other awards, some of which include:
1987 – Nightingale Of Asia Award (from the Indo–Pak Association, UK)
1989 – Lata Mangeshkar Award (Government of Madhya Pradesh)
1997 – Screen Videocon Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo)
1997 – MTV Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo)
1997 – Channel V Award (for the album Jaanam Samjha Karo)
1999 – Lata Mangeshar Award (Government of Maharashtra)
2000 – Singer Of the Millennium (Dubai)
2000 – Zee Gold Bollywood Award (for Mujhe rang de from Thakshak)
2001 – MTV Award (for Kambakht Ishq)
2002 – BBC Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair)
2002 – Zee Cine Award (for Radha kaise na jale from Lagaan)
2002 – Zee Cine - Hall Of Fame
2002 – Screen Videocon Award (for Radha kaise na jale from Lagaan)
2002 – Sansui Movie Award (for Radha kaise na jale from Lagaan)
Asha also holds Honorary Doctrates from the University of Amravati and University of Jalgaon in Literature. She has also received the The Freddie Mercury Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts.
.Source Wkpd -Net
Page 1 of 1
Asha Bhonsle - Bollywood Playback Singer Asha Bonsle : The Enchanter
Share this topic:
Page 1 of 1