Singing legend Lata Mangeshkar, the voice of generations of Indians and one of the biggest music icons of the country passed away on Sunday due to multiple organ failure, her sister Usha Mangeshkar and doctors treating her said.
”She is no more. She died in the morning,” Usha Mangeshkar told media.
”Lata di died at 8.12 am due to multi organ failure after over 28 days of COVID-19 diagnosis,” Dr Pratit Samdani, who was treating the veteran singer at the city’s Breach Candy hospital, told reporters.
The last rites will be held this evening.
The singing legend was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Breach Candy Hospital in South Mumbai in early January after she tested positive for COVID-19 with mild symptoms and was also diagnosed with pneumonia.
Mangeshkar remained in the ICU for more than two weeks, following signs of marginal improvement in her health, following which the doctors treating her had taken her off the ventilator on January 28.
However, she was put on the ventilator again as her health started deteriorating from February 5 after which the team of doctors employed aggressive therapy to revive her.
Known as the Queen of melody, Mangeshkar started training in singing at the age of five. She began her career as a singer in 1942 and has been credited to have sung 25,000 songs in as many as 36 Indian languages including Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali and others over a period of seven decades.
Some of Mangeshkar’s unforgettable songs include ‘Lag Jaa Gale’, ‘Mohe Panghat Pe’, ‘Chalte Chalte’, ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’, ‘Ajeeb Daastaan Hai’, ‘Hothon mein aisi baat’, ‘Pyar kiya to darna kya’, ‘Neela aasman so gaya’, ‘Pani Pani Re’, among countless others.
Considered one of the greatest playback singers in Indian cinema, she received several film awards and honors like Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Dada Saheb Phalke Award, and multiple National Film Awards.
She was also the recipient of Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, in 2001.
Tributes pour in for Lata Mangeshkar
The President and the Prime Minister led the tributes for Mangeshkar who spent close to a month in the hospital before her demise.
”Lata-ji’s demise is heart-breaking for me, as it is for millions the world over. In her vast range of songs, rendering the essence and beauty of India, generations found expression of their inner-most emotions. A Bharat Ratna, Lata-ji’s accomplishments will remain incomparable,” President Kovind wrote on Twitter along with a photo with the veteran playback singer.
”An artist born but once in centuries, Lata-didi was an exceptional human being, full of warmth, as I found whenever I met her… My condolences to her family and admirers everywhere,” he said in another post.
PM Modi also shared a photo with Mangeshkar and said the legendary singer’s demise leaves ”a void that can’t be filled”.
”I am anguished beyond words. The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people,” he wrote.
”Lata Didi’s songs brought out a variety of emotions. She closely witnessed the transitions of the Indian film world for decades. Beyond films, she was always passionate about India’s growth. She always wanted to see a strong and developed India.” In another post, PM Modi said he spoke with Mangeshkar’s family and expressed his condolences.
”I consider it my honour that I have always received immense affection from Lata Didi. My interactions with her will remain unforgettable. I grieve with my fellow Indians on the passing away of Lata Didi,” he said.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also tweeted his condolences, saying that he is ”extremely saddened” by Mangeshkar’s death.
”India has lost its voice in the death of Lata ji, who has enthralled music lovers in India & across the globe with her mellifluous & sublime voice for many decades,” he added.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, who visited south Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital earlier in the morning, said that Mangeshkar was ”the pride of our nation”.
”She took the country to greater heights, all over the world with her singing. Her voice was magical. Her loss is humungous, it’s a void for all of us. I visited the hospital and had her darshan. It’s the end of an era,” Gadkari told reporters.
From the film industry, actors Shabana Azmi, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and filmmaker Hansal Mehta paid tributes to the singer.
Calling Mangeshkar India’s national treasure, Azmi said her voice lit up our lives, gave us solace when we were sad, gave strength when we were low”.
”’Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hain, Gar Yaad Rahe’… And how can one forget such a voice! Deeply saddened by the passing away of Lata Mangeshkar ji, my sincere condolences and prayers,” Kumar tweeted.
Devgn wrote, ”An icon forever. I will always savour the legacy of her songs. How fortunate were we to have grown up listening to Lataji’s songs. Om Shanti. My deepest condolences to the Mangeshkar family.” Mehta said ”the heavens are blessed” to be in the company of the Nightingale of India. ”The nightingale moves on. The heavens are blessed. There will never be another Lataji. Om Shanti,” Mehta tweeted.
Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle said ”one of the greatest Indian has left us” today.
”Thank you for the songs, the memories, the pride we felt because of you. #LataMangeshkar,” he tweeted.