India has declared two days of national mourning after the death of singer Lata Mangeshkar, one of its most respected cultural figures of the 20th century, at the age of 92.
Mangeshkar, who recorded tens of thousands of songs and was the leading singer in Bollywood in a career that began in the 1940s, died in Mumbai on Sunday after being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 last month. She was placed on a ventilator, according to local media, because her condition had deteriorated and she had suffered from multiple organ failure.
The soprano was known as the “nightingale” of India for her distinctive, penetrating voice, and was one of the world’s most prolific singers.
Mangeshkar’s death caused an outcry of tributes and grief in India, with large crowds gathered outside Mumbai Hospital where she died and politicians and celebrities, including retired cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, who traveled to her home to visit them to show honor.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Mumbai on Sunday for her state funeral, according to ANI, the Indian news agency.
“I am terrified of words,” Modi wrote on Twitter. “She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. Future generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodic voice had an unparalleled ability to enchant people. ”
The Indian cricket team, which plays against the West Indies in Ahmedabad on Sunday, would wear black bracelets for the match.
I consider myself lucky to have been a part of Lata Didi’s life. She always overwhelmed me with her love and blessings.
With her passing, a part of me also feels lost.
She will always live in our hearts through her music. pic.twitter.com/v5SK7q23hs
– Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 6 February 2022
Mangeshkar was born into a musical family in the central city of Indore in 1929 and was trained in classical Indian singing. She moved to Mumbai in 1945 before making her debut as a playwright in Bollywood, singing songs but rarely appearing on screen.
In Indian movie theaters, where the songs that accompany a movie are often just as important as the story itself, many of her tunes would become more memorable than the movies in which they appeared.
Together with her younger sister Asha Bhosle, a star in her own right, she has dominated Bollywood music in a career that has lasted almost as long as the history of independent India.
Some of her most popular hits were Chate Chat and Pyaar kiya toh darna kya.
Mangeshkar received the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest honor, in 2001 and France’s Legion of Honor in 2009.