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Lata Mangeshkar Passes Away: Remembering the Last Song Sung by the Nightingale of India

The legendary Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar, widely regarded as India’s Nightingale, breathed her last in Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital on Sunday, February 6, 2022. On January 8, the veteran singer was admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after testing positive for COVID-19. According to Breach Candy hospital officials, the singer passed away as a result of multiple organ failure after testing positive for COVID-19 and undergoing multiple days of treatment.

Her death came as a huge shock to her family, the Indian film industry, and her millions of fans around the world.

The late singer has been an inspiration to millions of people across the world. Since her debut as a singer in the 1940s, Lata Mangeshkar has been an unforgettable part of every Indian’s life, redefining the boundaries of region and language.

For the lesser-known, Lata Mangeshkar recorded her first Hindi song, “Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu,” for the Marathi film Gajaabhaau, and continued to work with industry powerhouses such as Anil Biswas, Shankar Jaikishan, Naushad Ali, and SD Burman, among others. Her breakthrough came with the song “Dil Mera Toda” from the 1948 film Majboor. Her first major hit, however, was the song “Aayega Aanewaala” from the film Mahal (1949). Lata Mangeshkar became one of Bollywood’s most acclaimed playback singers during her unparalleled career, in which she sang in over 1,000 films across 36 languages.

As a tribute to the Indian Army and nation, she recorded her last song, “Saugandh Mujhe Is Mitti Ki,” composed by Mayuresh Pai. It was released on March 30th, 2019. Her last full-length album, however, was Veer-Zaara in 2004. Lata Mangeshkar lent her melodious voice to songs such as Tere Liye, Aisa Des Hai Mera, Yeh Hum Aa Gaye Hain Kahaan, Hum To Bhai Jaise Hain, and Do Pal in the film.

Critically acclaimed filmmaker and composer, Vishal Bhardwaj, surprised fans in September 2021 by releasing an unreleased track titled “Theek Nahi Lagta.” The song, written by Gulzar and recorded in the 1990s, was later shelved. He posted the song to social media with a touching caption.

The legendary singer received national and international acclaim as a corollary of her unforgettable hits. In 2001, Lata Mangeshkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour. She was also the recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, as well as the Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan. The Officer of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest civilian honour, arrived from overseas to commemorate the singer’s supreme legacy. In 1974, Lata Mangeshkar, who won three National Film Awards, became the first Indian to perform at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The legendary singer undoubtedly left a massive legacy of songs that will be treasured by future generations. May her soul rest in peace!

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