Let’s Dispel the 2 Biggest Misconceptions About the “Goddess of All Melodious Things”


1. That she discouraged new talent: Why has no one ever asked new talents if the Goddess discouraged them? Suman Kalyanpur, for example, whose career is said to have suffered because she looked a bit like Lataji, always held the highest regard for Lataji. Anuradha Paudwal, another alleged victim of Mangeshkar’s mythical monopoly, was once a follower of Lataji’s illustrious brother, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, got her first hit parade Tu mera janu hai tu mera dilbar hai at Subhash Ghai hero on Lataji’s recommendation. Sulakshana Pandit wanted to sing all her own songs on screen. But composers like Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Kalyanji-Anandji emphasized Lataji’s voice. When Runa Laila came to India to sing for Kalyanji-Anandji, Lataji personally congratulated her. We once talked about the mythical monopoly of Mangeshkar. “Why Lata? Lataji wondered. “Only composers can answer this question. Once a very great singer asked this question to Madan Mohan Bhaiyya and he replied: ‘Jab tak Lata hai aur koi nahin’. I have never stopped a composer from use anyone’s voice. On the contrary, on many occasions, I would suggest other voices for the songs that came to mind. I vividly remember this incident where the actor-producer, the great Om Prakash, wanted me to sing a song for one of his productions. Since I was not free, I suggested the name of another singer. A few days later, when I met Omprakashji, I told him asked how the check-in went.Gana theek gaya lekin gayika ne aapke liye bahot bura-bhala kaha (the song went well but the singer said bad things to you).’ I laughed and told Om Prakashji not to feel bad. I’m used to that. Neki kari aur kuwey mein dalo (do good and let it drown). Personally, I have heard Lataji rave about many singers who followed her, including Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal.


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