Zindagi is an iconic classical that resonates with audiences of all walks. Its message of perseverance has helped generations manage difficult situations in their lives.
Mukesh manages to convey feelings of melancholy in songs such as ‘Chal Akela’ and ‘Jis Gali Mein’ with an uncanny voice, without overstating or underplaying its impact. Instead, he performs them with conviction.
1. Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar was one of India’s greatest musicians, with an enduring legacy that transcended many art forms. Widely considered the most influential singer in Bollywood history, his signature voice and soulful melodies left an indelible mark on Indian music culture – “Zindagi Ka Safar” serves as proof. Its profound lyrics evoking an array of emotions were testaments to Kishore Kumar’s genius.
This song depicts life’s challenges and reminds us to remain strong when faced with difficulties. Additionally, its lyrics serve as a reminder to embrace change and learn from past experiences rather than dwelling on past mistakes.
In the film, our protagonists travel to Sevilla for an action-packed road trip and experience skydiving, flamenco shows, and running of the bulls. Bappi Lahiri recorded this song at Mehboob Studio with its infectious melodies that will have you laughing until tears roll down your cheeks.
This song is an exquisite tribute to Amitabh Bachchan. Filled with deep meaning and delivered by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar respectively – with Lata performing her version first in fast tempo mode before Kishore takes over with slower versions later. A must listen for any fan of Hindi cinema who appreciates music with meaning!
2. Asha & Geeta Dutt
Geeta Dutt, younger sister of Lata Mangeshkar was an adorable child who developed an early love of singing. From folk and light songs to classical ones and practice sessions for her voice training, Geeta learned it all and continued honing it as an adult. While her family often moved around searching for work affecting Geeta’s studies somewhat. Regardless, Geeta managed to pass her Matriculation examination by enrolling as a private student.
Hanuman Prasad heard Geeta singing on her common balcony of her tenement flat and decided to record her for his 1946 film ‘Bhakta Prahalad’, giving her only two songs that she sang exceptionally well and eventually recommending her to other music directors.
One of Geeta’s finest films was Guru Dutt’s “Kagaz Ke Phool” (1947), but when Dutt fell for Waheeda Rehman his marriage fell apart leaving Geeta depressed and drinking heavily; her health quickly declined until she succumbed to liver cirrhosis in 1972, aged 42 years, leaving behind son Tarun and daughter Neena (both from this film) as she passed on – its sad song from that film was played out across India Radio when she died – her death made all too real by All India Radio playing its sad song from this film ‘Yaad Karoge Ek Din Humko Yaad’ echoed across India Radio when she passed.
3. Bhupinder Singh
Bhupinder Singh was widely recognized for his iconic ghazal singing career in Bollywood. Additionally, he served as playback singer on All India Radio and Doordarshan and will always be remembered by millions even after his passing away. A number of celebrity tributes have been extended by numerous Hollywood actors to remember their legend whose music will live on. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde stated that we have lost an icon whose songs will live on for eternity.
Bhupinder Singh had many popular Bollywood hits during his career, such as Dum maro dum (Hare Ram Hare Krishna), Chand mera dil (Hum Kisise Kum Nahin), and Chingari koi bhadke (Amar Prem). Additionally, he was an expert guitarist who provided preludes and interludes for many songs he recorded.
He provided his voice for composers such as Rahul Dev Burman, Jaidev and Khayyam; as well as singing Kobe je kothay from Troyee in 1982.
Once he abandoned playback singing in the mid-1980s, he released private music albums. Additionally, he rewrote and directed some satirical plays.
Pali Bhupinder began writing at an early age and his works have been featured in newspapers and magazines. Following graduation from Barijinder College, he dramatized Saadat Hasan Manto’s tale ‘Toba Tek Singh’ while also penning numerous ghazals and short stories. In 1996, Pali was honored with the Padma Shri award in recognition of his artistic efforts across music and literature.
4. Jagjit Kaur
Jagjit Kaur distinguished herself during an era dominated by Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle with her distinctively beautiful voice – with its soft yet poignant sound combining melodicism with poignancy in every note she sang.
Khayyam’s wife was also an accomplished composer; she assisted him on many of his songs such as Tum apna ranj-o-gham from Shagoon and Dekh lo aaj humko jee bharke from Bazaar, among many other compositions she composed herself.
Born into a Punjabi Zamindar family and marrying Khayyam in 1954 – one of Bollywood’s first inter-communal marriages – her music reflected their domestic bliss together.
Her voice could often be found lending romance and wedding songs by Yash Chopra; such as Sada Chidiya Da from Kabhi Kabhie and Chamba Ve from Noorie as well as Aisa Ho to Aisa Ho from Kabhi Kabhie respectively. Her forte lay in her ability to deliver folk tunes; music experts believed her vocals oscillated from high pitch to low pitch with ease resulting in a soothing, mellifluous finish.
On 15 August 2021 in Mumbai due to age-related illness, she passed away at her residence aged 93 years. She left behind many fond memories and created the Khayyam Jagjit Kaur KPG Charitable Trust to assist fellow artists. Unfortunately her son Pradeep passed away in 2012. Her funeral took place at Pawan Hans Crematorium on SV Road Vile Parle.
5. Suresh Wadkar
Suresh Wadkar is an esteemed Indian playback singer known for contributing many beautiful tunes to Bollywood and Marathi film industries. Additionally, he is an accomplished classical vocalist who has performed at concerts around the globe.
He began training classical music with Acharya Jialal Vasant at an early age. From this instruction he quickly discovered his passion for singing and impressed his teacher with his unique voice. In 1976, he entered and won Sur-Singer singing competition show; subsequenty Jaidev offered him one song from Gaman movie as payment.
He first gained recognition through his performances in Gaman and other movies, leading him to work with some of the industry’s acclaimed music directors such as Kalyanji-Anandji, Khayyam and Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Known for ghazal and devotional songs he is active within various Vaishnav and Shaivite Sampradayas.
He has won various accolades throughout his career, such as receiving the Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar from Madhya Pradesh government in 2004 and Maharashtra Pride Award from Maharashtra government in 2007; these two awards recognize outstanding citizens. He has performed on over 100 films while establishing Ace Open University music school – which now has him singing for them!
6. Chhaya Ganguly
At a time when male playback singers dominated Hindi cinema, Chhaya Ganguly quietly emerged as one of the finest female ghazal voices. With her powerful deep husky voice and emotive singing style coupled with poetic interpretations that made her famous, Chhaya made herself one of Bollywood’s must-hear female voices for film ghazals such as Aap Ki Yaad Aati Raat Bhar (from Gaman). For this award she even won National honors.
Ganguly was raised in an educated middle-class family. Her parents encouraged her to study music, beginning by learning percussion instruments. Later she studied under renowned Indian classical vocalist Girija Prasad Mukherjee and attended musical soirees organized by him where Ganguli could see legendary performers like Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan on sarangi and Pt. Nikhil Banerjee (both sitarists).
As she completed her M.Sc in Botany at St Xavier’s College and worked as a radio artiste at All India Radio and Doordarshan, she released four solo non film light music albums as well as many joint songs with other artistes.
Her music draws heavily upon Sufi influences and her lyrics express both joy and despair. She is best-known for her renditions of poems by Ahmad Faraz, Ibn-E-Insha and Mir Taqi Mir; particularly with Meri Ankhon Mein Dhoondta Kya Hai which offers an expansive meditation on love and faith accompanied by mournful yet reflective music that perfectly encapsulates poet’s words.