One of the greatest playback singers in Bollywood history, Asha Bhosle has recorded over 10,000 songs for over 800 movies. Born on 8 September 1932, Asha, like her sister, the legendary Lata Mangeshkar, was trained by her father, Dinanath Mangeshkar, in classical music, and it was only a matter of time before she turned to playback singing.
She made her debut with the film Chunaria (1948). In 1957, she got her big break with composer O.P. Nayyar in the films `Tumsa Nahin Dekha` (1957) and `Naya Daur` (1957). 1958 saw the release of three of her films: `Lajwanti` (1958), `Howrah Bridge` (1958), and `Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi` (1958); their hit songs took Asha right up to the top.
The 1970s saw her start a new relationship (which eventually became her second marriage) with composer Rahul Dev Burman - and saw the birth of a great combination. A master of 1970s pop and disco music, Burman gave Asha a hip and happening sound altogether, and the two of them made their greatest hits with `Hare Raama Hare Krishna` (1971), `Jawani Diwani` (1972), `Yaadon Ki Baaraat` (1973), and `Hum Kisise Kum Naheen` (1977). Unfortunately, she again got stereotyped, this time in singing mainly Western-styled songs.
However, in 1981, the composer Khayyam revealed another, more lyrical quality to Asha's voice. Their collaboration in the Urdu film `Umrao Jaan` (1981), where the songs were mostly poetry, reveal some of her finest songs. And `Ijaazat` (1987), another such film, got her the National Award.
Today, unlike her sister, she has remained active in playback singing--she still makes actresses sizzle in songs, most notably in the films `Rangeela` (1995), `Dil To Pagal Hai` (1997), and `Taal` (1999). She has also released several Indipop (Indian pop) music albums.
Recently, she was nominated for the prestigious Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World-Music Album.