Gifted with a voice that possesses extraordinary range and versatility, Asha Bhosle has to her credit over 10,000 songs in 14 languages. Together with her legendary sister Lata Mangeshkar, Bhosle has dominated the Indian film singing for more than five decades. Born in Satara, Maharashtra, she received musical training from her father, Dinanath Mangeshkar. She began her singing career in 1948 with Ravindra Dave’s film Chunaria.
Bhosle’s first major successes came in the mid-1950s and the 1960s, when she started working with composer O.P. Nayyar. His Howrah Bridge cabaret number, Aayey meharban, became one of her biggest hits. She was to remain Nayyar’s lead singer until the mid-1970s. Her singing was notable for its easy forays into jazz, swing, and scat, especially in numbers such as Eena meena deeka (Aasha). Many of the songs Bhosle sang for Nayyar have become classics, including Jaayiye aap kahan jaayenge (Mere Sanam) and the melancholy Chain se hum ko kabhi (Fran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye), for which she won a Filmfare Award.
Bhosle also worked with S.D. Burman in the 1950s and 1960s, singing memorable numbers such as Najar lagi raja tore bangle pe (Kala Pani), Kaali ghata chhaye mora jiya tarsaye (Sujata), Ab ke baras bhej (Bandini), and Raat akeli hai (jewel Thief).
The 1970s marked Bhosle’s entry into electronic (and Westernized) pop, as she began singing R.D. Burman’s compositions. The Asha Bhosle-R.D. Burman duo, created some of the most popular music of the time, such as Piya to ab to aaja (Caravan), Dum maro dum (Hare Rama Hare Krishna), and Jaane jaan dhoondta phir raha (Jawani Diwani). Asha Bhosle later married R. D. Burman.
In 1981 Bhosle sang for Muzaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan, and rendered the traditional ghazal form with a maturity and depth that won her the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer. She repeated the achievement in 1987, for the song Mera kuchh saamaan from the film Ijaazat.
In the 1990s Bhosle held out easily against a younger generation of singers, continuing to reign as the undisputed queen of pop with songs such as Aiye re, aiye re and Tanha tanha (Rangeela). She even entered the world of re-mix, releasing an album in tribute to R.D. Burman, Rahul & I. The album went on to top the charts on MTV India. Her other hit albums are Barse Badal, Kabhi To Nazar Milao (2001), and Man Tujhe Salaam (2002).
The winner of seven Filmfare Awards, Asha Bhosle was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2001 for her contribution to Indian cinema – (Source :- Encyclopaedia of Hindi Cinema)
Note :- The article has been edited for accuracy – Mr. Jinx