Veteran playback singer Shamshad Begum dies at 94

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 10:26

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Veteran singer Shamshad Begum, one of the first playback singers in the Hindi film industry and voice behind hit songs like `Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon`, `Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar` and `Kajra Mohabbat Wala`, has died at her Mumbai residence. She was 94.

"She was not keeping well for past few months and was admitted to the hospital. She passed away last night. The funeral was a solemn affair with a few friends present," Begum`s daughter Usha told the reporters.

Begum, was born on April 14, 1919 in Amritsar, Punjab. She made her debut on Peshawar Radio in Lahore on December 16, 1947, captivating the hearts of her listeners with her enchanting voice. Her singing talent got noticed by Bollywood music directors who offered her to sing in films.

The singer has been living with her daughter Usha Ratra and son-in-law in Mumbai, ever since her husband Ganpat Lal Batto died in 1955. She was actress Saira Banu's grandmother.

Shamshad's daughter, Usha Ratra, spoke to the reporters on the singer's sudden demise. "An artist never dies, she was always grateful to her fans and the film industry", said Ratra.

Later in the day, a mourning megastar Amitabh Bachchan tweeted: "The golden voice of Shamshad Begum, playback singer of great eminence in some of the most historic film songs... now silent... RIP."

Even eminent playback singer Lata Mangeshkar could not control her emotions over Shamshad's death. She tweeted, "This morning I came to know that Shamshad Begumji is no more and I was very sad after hearing the news of her demise. I had worked with her in several films. She was a very nice, cheerful and simple human being. I pay my tribute to her."

Her other hit tracks include `Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana`, `Boojh Mera Kya Naam Re`, `Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re`, `Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar` and `Chod Babul Ka Ghar`. She even sang a number of devotional songs and ghazals.

It is believed that Shamshad Begum was very conscious of her not-so-good-looking face and often declined posing for pictures. But it was her voice that mesmerised people.

With PTI inputs



First Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 17:14

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