Asha Bhosle is a veteran Indian singer who has sung over thousands of Bollywood movies for over a period of 6 decades. She has honored with several great awards like Dadasaheb Phalke Award and Padma Vibhushan. She is credited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in music history. She is sister of renowned Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Early Life & Background
Asha was born on 8th September 1933 in Sangli, Maharashtra. She was born in Gomantak Maratha family to Deenanath Mangeshkar and Shevanti Mangeshkar. Her father late Deenanath was a classical singer and theatre actor. After the death of Deenanath Mangeshkar, her family moved to Kolhapur. Later when her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar got singing offer from Master Vinayak, their family shifted to Mumbai.
Meanwhile, even Asha joined her sister Lata and began to act and sing in movies to support their family. She has one elder sister Lata Mangeshkar and two younger sisters Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Khadilkar, who are also the singers. She also has a younger brother Hridayanath Mangeshkar, who is a music director.
First Assignment/ First Major Break
Asha debuted in the film industry by singing her debut song ‘Chala Chala Nav Bala’ for the Marathi film ‘Majha Bal’ in 1943.
Journey in the Industry
Asha Bhosle started working in films as a child artist with her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar to earn money and supported her family. At the age of 10, Asha sang her first song ‘Chala Chala Nav Bala’ for the Marathi movie ‘Majha Bal’ in 1943. In 1948, she debuted in Hindi movie with a song ‘Saawan Aaya’ from the movie ‘Chunariya’. Her first solo Hindi song was ‘Do Chaar Idhar Do Chaar Udhar’ from the movie ‘Raat Ki Raani’ in 1949.
At the early stage of her singing career, Asha use to get all the singing assignments which were refused by the female singers like Geeta Dutt and Lata Mangeshkar, who were topmost playback singers of that era. In 1950’s she sang majority of the songs in Bollywood but for the low budget and low grade movie. However, her songs failed to do well. She gained recognition for singing in the movie ‘Sangdil’, starring Dilip Kumar and Madhubala in 1952. She sang songs like ‘Dharti Se Door’ and ‘Dard Bhari Kisi Ki Yaad’ from that movie. Following it, she sang in Bimal Roy’s movie ‘Parineeta’ in 1953. Soon she was signed by Raj Kapoor for the film ‘Boot Polish’ in 1954, where she sang a song ‘Nanhe Munne Bachche’, which became hit among masses. Asha sung for the music composer Ravi Shankar Sharma for his debut movie ‘Vachan’ in 1955, from which ‘Chandamam Door Ke’ became the popular song. She also sung popular funny song ‘C A T cat…Cat Maane Billi’ from the movie ‘Dilli Ka Thug’ with Kishore Kumar.
In the early time, S.D. Burman and Lata Mangeshkar was the popular duo, however, from 1957 to 1962 the duo were not on good terms. During this period, S.D. Burman used Asha as his lead singer. This new duo gave many hit songs from the movies like ‘Kaala Pani’, ‘Kaala Bazaar’, ‘Insaan Jaag Utha’, ‘Lajwanti’ and ‘Teen Deviyaan’. After 1962, Lata & Burman cleared their differences and paired again. Later, both the Mangeshkar sisters recorded many of the popular songs with him. She also sung ‘Baithe Hai Kya’ and seductive item number ‘Raat Akeli Hai’ from the movie ‘Jewel Thief’, under the composition of Burman.
While singing for S.D. Burman, Asha was introduced to his son Rahul Dev Burman aka R.D. Burman. She worked with R.D. Burman in his first super-hit movie ‘Teesri Manzil’ in 1966. In 1970s, the duo sang many hit songs like ‘Piya Tu Ab To Aaja’ from Caravan, ‘Dum Maro Dum’ from Hare Rama Hare Krishna, ‘Duniya Mein’ from Apna Desh, ‘Chura Liyaa hai Tumne’ from Yaadon Ki Baraat. She also recorded songs from the films like ‘Ijaazat’, ‘Mera Kuch Saaman’, ‘Khaali Haath Shaam Aayi Hai’, ‘Saagar’ and ‘Katra Katra’. In 1980, Asha got married to R.D. Burman. After the marriage along with singing in movies, Asha and R.D. Burman also performed on several concerts. She also sung popular Bengali songs like ‘Mohuyae Jomechhe Aaj Mou Go’, ‘Chokhe Chokhe Kotha Bolo’, ‘Chokhhe Naame Brishti’, ‘Baanshi Sune Ki Ghore Thaka Jaye’, ‘Sondhya Belae Tumi Aami’, ‘Aaj Gungun Gun Gunje Amar’ and more under the composition of R.D. Burman.
Meanwhile, Asha met O.P. Nayyar in 1952 while recording the song ‘Chham Chhama Chham’. He then offered her movie ‘Mangu’ in 1954. In 1956, she sang a popular song ‘Leke Pahela Pahela Pyar’ from the movie ‘C.I.D.’, starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman. It was the big break for her and Nayyar was the music director. In 1962, she along with Mohammed Rafi sang songs like ‘Aap Yunhi Agar Humse Milte Rahe’ and ‘Main Pyaar Ka Rahi Hoon’ for the movie ‘Ek Musafir Ek Hasina’. In 1962, she along with Mohammed Rafi sang songs like ‘Aap Yunhi Agar Humse Milte Rahe’ and ‘Main Pyaar Ka Rahi Hoon’ for the movie ‘Ek Musafir Ek Hasina’. In 1964, she once again sung songs like ‘Deewana Hua Badal’, ‘Isharon Isharon’, ‘Meri Jaan Balle Balle’ along with Mohammed Rahi under the music of Nayyer from the movie ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’. In 1974, Asha sang last song with Nayyar which was ‘Chain Se’ from the movie ‘Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye’. Later, the pair got split for the unknown reason.
In 1957, Asha sang three songs ‘Maang Ke Saath’, ‘Saathi Haath Badhana’ and ‘Uden Jab Jab’ with Mohammed Rafi for the movie ‘Naya Daur’. For the same movie, she also sang ‘Reshmi Shalwar Kurta’ along with female singer Shamshad Begum. It was for the first that Asha had sung all the songs for the lead actress in the movie.
Later in mid-1960’s, Asha was signed for B.R. Chopra’s films like ‘Gumrah’, ‘Waqt’, ‘Hamraaz’, ‘Aadmi Aur Insaan’ and ‘Dhund’. In all these movies, she sang along with Mahendra Kapoor. In 1966, Asha recorded popular song ‘Jhumka Gira Re’ from the movie ‘Mera Saaya’ under the music of Madan Mohan. Asha won her second Filmfare Award for the song ‘Parde Mein Rehne Do’ from the movie ‘Shikar’ in 1968 under the music composition of Shankar-Jaikishan. In 1966, Asha sung for the first super-hit movie of R.D. Burman’s career ‘Teesri Manzil’. She sung all the songs ‘O Mere Sona Re’, ‘O Haseena Zulfonwali’, ‘Aaja Aaja Mein Hoon Pyar Tera’ and ‘Dekhiye Sahiban Who Koi Aur Thi’ from the movie along with Mohammad Rafi, which eventually became super-hit. In 1970, she worked with Shankar-Jaikishan for Raj Kapoor’s movie ‘Mera Naam Joker’, which was followed by Andaz in 1971.
In 1978, she sung ‘Yeh Mera Dil’ from the movie ‘Don’, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman under the composition of Kalyanji-Anandji. In 1981, she sung super-hit ghazals like ‘Dil Cheez Kya Hai’, ‘In Aankhon Ki Masti Ke’ and ‘Justaju Jiski Thi’ from the movie ‘Umrao Jaan’. These songs became so popular that she won her first National Film Award for ‘Umrao Jaan’. Few years later in 1987, she won her second National Film Award for the song ‘Mera Kuchh Saamaan’ from the movie ‘Ijaazat’. In the same year after the death of Jaidev, Asha released an album named ‘Suranjali’, which was compilation of lesser-known songs he had composed for her.In 1995, Asha sung super-hit songs ‘Rangeela Re’ and ‘Tanha Tanha’ from Ram Gopal Varma’s movie ‘Rangeela’, under the music composition of A.R. Rahman. She had also sung ‘Venilla Venilla’ for the Tamil movie ‘Iruvar’ in 1999, under the composition of A.R. Rahman.
In 1950s and 1960s, Asha had sung for the music director Sardar Malik. Later, Asha worked with his son Anu Malik and recorded many hit songs like ‘Ye Lamhaa Filhaal’ from Filhaal, ‘Kitabein Bahut Si’ from Baazigar’, ‘Jab Dil Mile’ from Yaadein. She also sung for Anu’s first movie ‘Sohni Mahiwa’ in 1984.
In 2000s, Asha gave several hit numbers from the various blockbuster movies. In 2001, she sung ‘Radha Kaise Na jale’ for Ashutosh Gowariker’s cricket based movie ‘Lagaan’, starring Aamir Khan in a lead role. In the same year, she also sung ‘Kambakth Ishq’ from RVG’s movie ‘Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya’. She also sang title track of the movie ‘Filhaal’ in 2002. Later, she sung ‘Lucky Lips’ from the movie ‘Lucky’ in 2005.
In 2013, Asha made her acting debut as a mature actress (as she had worked as child artist earlier) in the movie ‘Mai’. She portrayed the role of Alzheimer affected woman named Mai.
Apart from Hindi, Asha has sung in over 20 Indian and foreign languages. In 2000, she won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. In 2006, she completed over 12,000 songs. Later, The World Records Academy certifies her as the ‘Most Recorded Artist’ in the world in 2009. She was also honored with Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India. In 2011, her named was declare in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Asha had worked with many renowned music directors of the industry like S. D. Burman, R. D. Burman, O.P. Nayyar, Khayyam, Ravi, Ilaiyaraaja, A.R. Rahman, Jaidev, Shankar-Jaikishan, Anu Malik, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Naushad, Ravindra Jain, N. Dutt, Hemant Kumar, Jatin-Lalit, Bappi Lahiri, Kalyanji-Anandji, Usha Khanna, Chitragupt, Roshanlal Nagrath and many more.
In 1987, Asha Bhosle along with music director R.D. Burman and lyricist Gulzar launched a double album named ‘Dil Padosi Hai’. Later, she and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan recorded eleven fixed compositions in California for a private album ‘Legacy’, these earned them a Grammy Award nomination. In late 1990’s, Asha released an remix album consists of R.D. Burman’s songs. In 1996, she sang for the Konkani album ‘Daryachya Deger’. In 1997, she did a private Indi-pop album ‘Janam Samjha Karo’, which became popular among masses and she won many awards.
In 2002, Asha turned music composer and released an eight song music album named ‘Aap Ki Asha’. In early 2000s, she sang a duet with Adnan Sami in his super-hit album ‘Kabhi Toh Nazar Milao’. Later, the duo came together for the Indian Classical album ‘Barse Badal’. She also sung the song ‘Yun Na Thi’ for the Womad Talking Book Volume Four: An Introduction to Asia 1. In 2004, Asha released the album ‘The Very Best of Asha Bhosle: The Queen of Bollywood’. The album consists of Asha Bhosle’s super-hit songs of Bollywood movies from ‘Main Hoon Pyar Tere’ in 1966’s ‘Teesri Manzil’ to ‘Kehte Khete’ in 2003’s ‘Chupke Se’.
Asha has sung many ghazals for music albums like ‘Meraj-E-Ghazal’, ‘Aabshar-E-Ghazal’ and ‘Kashish’. In 2005, Asha released a self-titled album, were she sung Ghazals with Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Farida Khanum and Jagjit Singh. On the 60th birthday of Asha, EMI music released three CDs consist of compilations of Asha’s song including Devotional songs, Ghazals and Film songs. In 2006, she came-up with an album ‘Asha and Friends’, were her close associate like Sanjay Dutt, Urmila Matondkar, Brett Lee and more sung a duets with her. She also sang several bhajans for the movie ‘Gharana’, ‘Grihasti’, ‘Kajal’ and ‘Phool Aur Patthar’ under the composition of Ravi.
Concerts and Collaborations with Foreign Artists:
Since late-1980s, Asha started singing in concerts in foreign countries like Canada, Dubai, UK, US and other countries. She had also performed concerts in London with R.D. Burman. In 1989, she performed in 13 US cities in 20 days. Later, she performed in Stockholm and Sweden. She had also sung Marathi songs in her concerts.
Asha has also sung for the various foreign artists. In the mid-1980s, Asha sang with Boy George and Stephen Lauscombe. In 1997, the British band Cornershop paid tribute to Asha with their song ‘Brimful of Asha’, which became international hit. In 1997, she sang a love song with the band Code Red. She also recorded the song ‘The Way you Dream’ with Michael Stipe for the English movie ‘Bulletproof Monk’ and was also included in the album ‘1 Giant Leap’ in 2002. In October 2002, she did a concert with Sudesh Bhosle in London to raise the funds for ‘Help the Aged’. In 2005, The Black Eyed Peas sampled Asha’s songs ‘Ae Naujawan Sab Kuchh Yahan’ and ‘Yeh Mera Dil Pyaar Ka Diwana’ in their album ‘Don’t Phunk with My Heart’. She also recorded a song ‘Dil Key Taar Bajey’ for the Pakistani movie ‘Mein Ek Din Laut Kay Aaonga’ in 2006. In the same year, Burman’s Bollywood songs were released in US in the album named ‘You’ve Stolen My Heart’. In 2007 she toured the US, Canada and West Indies in a tour called ‘The Incredibles’ along with singers like Sonu Nigam, Kunal Ganjawala and Kailash Kher. The album was nominated for Grammy Awards in 2006.
Apart from being well established in music industry, Asha is also the owner of her exclusive restaurant. She runs restaurants in Dubai and Kuwait named Asha’s, which offers traditional north-western Indian cuisine. She had one restaurant in Dubai and three restaurants in Kuwait. In her restaurants, she personally trained the chefs for almost six months. She has also opened her restaurant in Birmingham, UK and more restaurants of Asha’s chain will get opened in UK soon.
At the age of 16, Asha got married to 31 year old Ganpatrao Bhosle, who was Lata’s personal secretary against the decision of her family. However, the marriage didn’t work out and after few years, she returned to her maternal home with two children and pregnant with third child.
In 1980, Asha got married to Rahul Dev Burman (R.D. Burman), the popular music director. That was the second marriage for both of them.
Currently she stays in South Mumbai and has a family of two children and five grandchildren. Her daughter Varsha committed suicide on 8th October 2012. Her elder son Hemant Bhosle was a pilot turned music director. Her younger son Anand Bhosle is her manager. Her grandson Chaitanya Bhosle is also a singer, popularly known as Chintu Bhosle from ‘Band of Boys’.
Some of the popular movies, in which Asha Bhosale had performed as playback singer:
‘Chunriya’ in 1948
‘Posi’ in 1950
‘Sagar’ in 1951
‘Shree Ganesh Janma’ in 1951
‘Pyaar Ki Baaten’ in 1951
‘Sangdil’ in 1952
‘Aladin Aur Jadui Chirag’ in 1952
‘Laila Majnu’ in 1953
‘Foot Path’ in 1953
‘Nagin’ in 1954
‘Taxi Driver’ in 1954
‘Ladla’ in 1954
‘Shree 420’ in 1955
‘Railway Platform’ in 1955
‘Devdas’ in 1955
‘Baap Re Baap’ in 1955 (Marathi)
‘Shatranj’ in 1956
‘Memsahb’ in 1956
‘Funtush’ in 1956
‘C.I.D’ in 1956
‘Chori Chori’ in 1956
‘Johnny Walker’ 1957
‘Mother India’ in 1957
‘Ek Saal’ in 1957
‘Aasha’ in 1957
‘Raagini’ in 1985
‘PArvarish’ in 1958
‘Sata Janmache Sobti’ in 1959
‘Navrang’ in 1959
‘Sujata’ in 1960
‘Tu Nahi To Aur Sahi’ in 1960
‘Manzil’ in 1960
‘Barsat Ki Raat’ in 1960
‘Pyaar Ki Pyass’ in 1961
‘Mr.India’ in 1961
‘Dharmpurta’ in 1961
‘Shaib Bibi Aur Ghulam’ in 1962
‘Rakhi’ in 1962
‘Dil Hi Toh Hai’ in 1963
‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ in 1964
‘Neela Akash’ in 1965
‘Mahabharat’ in 1965
‘Phool Aur Pathar’ in 1966
‘Anupama’ in 1966
‘Luv- Kush’ in 1967
‘Jewel Thief’ in 1967
‘Sangharsh’ in 1968
‘Ankhen’ in 1968
‘Aulad’ in 1968
‘Ek Phool Do Mali’ in 1969
‘The Train’ in 1970
‘Johnny Mera Naam’ in 1970
‘Rakhwala’ in 1971
‘Parichay’ in 1972
‘Seeta Aur Geeta’ in 1972
‘Naina’ in 1973
‘Kashmakash’ in 1973
‘Love in Bombay’ in 1974
‘Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye’ in 1974
‘Anari’ in 1975
‘Dharam Karam’ in 1975
‘Kadambari’ in 1976
‘Deewangee’ in 1976
‘Parverish’ in 1977
‘Hatyara’ in 1977
‘Don’ in 1978
‘Bandie’ in 1978
‘Prem Bandhan’ in 1979
‘Muquabala’ in 1979
‘Do Aur Do Paanch’ in 1980
‘Shaan’ in 1980
‘Umrao Jaan’ in 1981
‘Proffesor Pyaarelal’ in 1981
‘Satter Pe Satta’ in 1982
‘Desh Prem’ in 1982
‘Namak Halal’ in 1982
‘Himmatwala’ in 1983
‘Souten’ in 1983
‘Lorie’ in 1984
‘Hum Do Humare Do’ in 1984
‘Aitbar’ in 1985
‘Bijli’ in 1986
‘Majaal’ in 1987
‘Hatya” in 1988
‘Rama O Raama’ in 1988
‘Parinda’ in 1989
‘Agnikaal’ in 1990
‘Indrajeet’ in 1991
‘Khiladi’ in 1992
‘Aaina’ in 1993
‘Lootere’ in 1993
‘Vishvavinayk’ in 1994 (Marathi)
‘Vazir’ in 1994 (Marathi)
‘Daava’ in 1997
‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’ in 1997
‘Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha’ in 1998
‘Lal Badshah’ in 1999
‘Kaho Na Pyaar Hai’ in 2000
‘Ashi Gyaneshwari’ in 2001 (Marathi)
‘Lagan: Once upon a time in team India’ in 2001
‘Company’ in 2002
‘Devdas’ in 2002
‘Tehzaab’ in 2003
‘Chup Ke Se’ in 2003
‘Dev’ in 2004
‘Bewafa’ in 2005
‘Atma’ in 2006
‘Corporate’ in 2006
‘Apka Suroor- The Movie- The Real Love Story’ in 2007
‘1920’ in 2008
‘Chargesheet’ in 2011
|1968||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Garibon Ki Suno– Dus Lakh||Won|
|1969||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Parde Mein Rehne Do – Shikar||Won|
|1972||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Zindegi Ek Safar Hain Suhana – Andaz||Nominated|
|1972||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Piya Tu Ab Toh Aa Ja – Caravan||Won|
|1973||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Dum Maro Dum – Hare Rama Hare Krishna||Won|
|1974||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Jab Andhera Hota Hain – Raja Rani||Nominated|
|1974||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Hungama Ho Gaya – Anhonee||Nominated|
|1974||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Hone Lagi Hain Raat Jawan – Naina||Won|
|1975||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Achchhe Samay Par Tum – Bidaai||Nominated|
|1975||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Yeh Hawas Hai Tu Kya Jaane – Hawas||Nominated|
|1975||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Chori Chori Sola Singar – Manoranjan||Nominated|
|1975||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Chainse Humko Kabhi – Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye||Won|
|1976||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Kal Ke Apne – Amanush||Nominated|
|1976||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Sapna Mera Toot Gaya – Khel Khel Mein||Nominated|
|1977||Best Playback Singer (Female)||I Love You – Barood||Nominated|
|1978||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Layee Kahan Hai Zindagi – Taxi Taxie||Nominated|
|1979||Best Playback Singer (Female)||O Sathi Re – Muqaddar Ka Sikandar||Nominated|
|1979||Best Playback Singer (Female)||Yeh Mera Dil – Don||Won|
|1996||Filmfare Special Award||songs of Rangeela||Won|
|2001||Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award||Won|
National Film Awards
National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer – 1981 for “Dil Cheez Kya Hain” from Umrao Jaan
National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer – 1986 for “Mera Kuch Samaan” from Ijaazat
Maharashtra State Film Awards
Asha Bhosle was the greatest playback singer in Marathi film industry. She had sung maximum songs in Marathi language. She was awarded “Maharashtra State Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer” a record 18 times.
1987 : Nightingale of Asia
1989 : Lata Mangeshkar Award (Madhya Pradesh Govt.)
1997 : Screen Videocon Award ( Jaanam Samjha Karo)
1997 : MTV Award for best playback singer for Jaanam Samjha Karo
1997 : Channel V Award ( Jaanam Samjha Karo)
1997 : Grammy Award Nomination (Legacy with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan)
1999 : Lata Mangeshar Award (Maharashtra Govt.)
2000 : Singer Of the Millennium ( Dubai)
2000 : Kolhapuri Bhushan Award
2000 : Sangli Bhushan Award
2000 : Omega Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award
2000 : Zee Gold Bollywood Award (Mujhe Rang De – Thakshak)
2001 : MTV Award ( Kambakt Ishq)
2001 : Dada Saheb Phalke Award
2001 : Dayawati Modi Award
2002 : Zee Cine Award (Radha Kaise Na – Lagaan)
2002 : Zee Cine – Hall Of Fame Award
2002 : Screen Videocon Award (Radha Kaise Na – Lagaan)
2002 : Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar
2002 : Sansui Movie Award (Radha Kaise Na – Lagaan)
2002 : Rajshree Shahu Purskar
2002 : BBC Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair)
2003 : Swaralaya Yesudas Award for outstanding contributions to Indian music
2004 : Living Legend Award by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
2005 : MTV Immies, Best Female Pop Act for Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo.
2005 : Most Stylish People in Music
2008 : Padma V-Bhushan Award
2011 : IIFA Life Time Achievement Award
2012 : 18th Annual Colour Screens Life Time Achievement Award
2013 : Pandit Hridaynath Lifetime Achievement Award
2014 : Music Living Legend Award by Global Indian Music Academy Awards (GiMA)
2014 : Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Indian cinema at the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF)
Honours and recognitions
- Honorary Doctrates from the University Of Amravati & Jalgaon in Literature.
- Asha Bhosle is the recipient of the first Doctor of Literature (D.Litt.) of the Jodhpur National University.
- Ashaji has also received the Freddy Mercury Award.
- Ashaji has received the Sur Singar Award.
- The Birmingham Film Festival paid her a special tribute in November 2002
- She was among top 20 music icons of the past 50 years
- In 2011 the Guinness Book of World Records officially acknowledged Bhosle, at The Asian Awards, as the most recorded artist in the history of music. She was awarded a certificate for “the most studio recordings (singles) from Sebastian Coe for recording up to 11,000 solo, duet and chorus-backed songs and in over 20 Indian languages since 1947”. At the event she was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.
- Ashaji is also the first Indian Singer to be nominated for the Grammy Award.