Singing legend Shamshad Begum dies at 94

Last Updated: Wed, Apr 24, 2013 13:07 hrs

Indian singing legend Shamshad Begum, whose melodious voice had enchanted music lovers for decades, passed away at her residence in Mumbai from age related ailments. She was 94.

Begum, who was ailing for the past few months, breathed her last on Tuesday evening.

Few friends and admirers attended her funeral ceremony that was performed in Andheri East on Tuesday, reports said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday joined the rest of the nation in mourning the death of the legend.

In his condolence message, the Prime Minister said, "Begum was among the most popular singers of our country for over three decades and captured the hearts of music lovers with her enchanting voice and unique tonal rendition."

"She was an artist of extraordinary talent and abilities, and the songs she has left behind in her long career, which she started with AIR in 1947, will continue to enthrall music lovers," Singh said.

He extended his condolences to the family members of Shamshad Begum and her innumerable admirers.

Singing legend Lata Mangeshkar tweeted: "Aaj subha mujhe pata chala ki mashhoor playback singer shamshad begumji humare beech nahi rahi,ye sunke mujhe bohot dukh hua,maine unke saath kafi filmo´n mein gaane gaaye,wo bohot acchhi hasmukh aur sidhi saadhi shakhsiyat thi,main unko shraddhanjali arpit karti hun (Today, I came to know about the demise of famous singer Shamshad Begumji. I felt very sad as I sang with her in several films. She was a lively and simple person)."

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan posted on his micro-blogging site Twitter homepage: "The golden voice of Shamshad Begum, play back singer of great eminence in some of the most historic film songs .. now silent .. RIP."

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar said: "Shamshad Begum can truly be call the Indian nightingale. She´ll be immortal because of her songs. RIP."

Actor Sophie Choudry tweeted: "RIP Shamshad begum. You were the voice.You were the were the madness. Leke pehla pehla pyar..Kahin pe nigahen."

Shamshad Begum, who was one of the first playback singers in the Hindi film industry, lived in Mumbai with her daughter Usha Ratra and son-in-law Yog Ratra.

Her husband Ganpat Lal Batto died in 1955.

Born on Apr 14, 1919 in Punjab´s Amritsar city, she made her debut on Peshawar Radio in Lahore on Dec 16, 1947 and captivated the hearts of her listeners with the enchanting depth of her voice.

Shamshad Begum sang for the All India Radio (AIR) through her musical group ´The Crown Imperial Theatrical Company of Performing Arts´.

The then AIR Lahore helped her entering the world of movies as they frequently broadcast her songs, which induced music directors to use her voice for their films.

She sang for nearly all renowned music composers of her time like Ghulam Haider and O P Nayyar.

Enchanting music lovers, she sang in Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Punjabi languages.

Begum´s fans will remember her for her songs like ´Leke pehla pehla pyar´, ´Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar´,´Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon´ and ´Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re´.

She was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 2009.

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