Lata Mangeshkar turns 81, spends day with family

Mumbai: Lata Mangeshkar, the music icon who mesmerised millions with her golden voice in a career spanning seven decades, turned 81 today, spending a quiet day with her family.

The Bharat Ratna winner who has lent her voice to generations of Bollywood actresses from Madhubala to Kajol, is celebrating her birthday in her ancestral home in Kolhapur, said sources close to her.

"I don`t celebrate my birthday. I performed the Puja and 28th September is just like any other day for me," Lata told PTI.

Even though Lata chose not to celebrate the occasion wishes have poured in from around the world from fans, including many famous names.

Her younger sister and fellow singing legend, Asha Bhonsle, led a host of A-listers who wished the singer on Twitter.

"My favourite Female Singer and also my Elder Sister Latadidi celebrates her Birthday today. Too bad I`m in Hong Kong & can`t attend her birthday. Will miss her as I am in Hong Kong, but my well wishes are always with Lata didi (sic)," wrote Bhonsle who also posted a old picture of them together.

Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, who has collaborated with the singer in films like `Jail` and `Page 3`, was among the first to wish the acclaimed singer.

"Wishing u Lata Didi many happy returns of the day....May god bless u with good,nd peace (sic)," Bhandarkar tweeted.

Lata too is an active member of the micro blogging site and had posted a message yesterday thanking all her fans.

"I feel fortunate that my birthday falls close to two of my favourite people- freedom fighter Bhagat Singh and filmmaker Yash Chopra. I send my best wishes to Yash ji and pray that he lives for another hundred years," Lata had tweeted. The evergreen singer held the Guinness World Records for having recorded the most songs in the world from 1974 to 1991 and continues to be the favourite singer of top filmmakers like Yash Chopra and Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

Starting her career in 1942 with songs in Marathi, Lata`s first Hindi song was `Paa lagoon kar jori` for Vasant Joglekar`s movie `Aap Ki Seva Mein` in 1946.

Two years later, composer Ghulam Haider gave Lata her first major break with the song `Dil mera toda` in `Majboor` and rest has been history.

Lata went on to record songs for over 1,000 Bollywood movies and has sung in more than 36 regional Indian languages.

The singer has lent her voice to some of the most popular and evergreen songs in film history including `Pyar kiya to darna kya` from `Mughal-e-Azam`, `Aaja re pardesi` from `Madhumati` and `Bahon mein chale aao` from `Anamika` among thousand others.

Lata continues to lend her voice to select projects and is excited about her soon to be released duet with `Shehanshah-e-Ghazal` Mehdi Hassan.

"Mehdi Saab always wanted to sing with me. In fact he sent me 2-3 recorded songs years back but he had to quit singing due to his prolonged illness.

"`Tera milna` is one of them. I recorded my version here in Mumbai and Mehdi Saab`s version was recorded in Pakistan a year back. We have made a duet compiling the two versions," said Lata.