Lata Mangeshkar, one of India’s most venerated singers who sang tens of thousands of songs in her lifetime, has died at the age of 92.
She had been admitted to a hospital in Mumbai city in January after testing positive for Covid-19.
Federal minister Nitin Gadkari confirmed the news on Sunday.
Mangeshkar had an extraordinary career spanning over half a century, singing more than 30,000 songs across 36 languages.
But it was her work in Bollywood, India’s Hindi film industry, that made her a national icon.
As news broke, tributes began pouring in for Mangeshkar, who was often called the “nightingale of Bollywood”.
President Ram Nath Kovind said the news was “heart-breaking” and added that her accomplishments would remain “incomparable”.
Mangeshkar was born in Indore city, in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, on 28 September 1929. She began learning music at the age of five from her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar, who was active in theatre.
After her father’s death, the family moved to Mumbai (then Bombay), where a teenaged Mangeshkar began singing for Marathi movies.
She also acted in small roles in a few films to support her family, but would say later that her heart wasn’t in it. “I was happiest singing.” she told interviewers.
She got a big break in 1949 – it was a haunting song called Aayega Aanewala for the movie Mahal.