Veteran Bollywood Singer Shamshad Begum passes away at 94

Shamshad BegumVeteran Bollywood Singer Shamshad Begum passed away in Mumbai. She was 94 Years Old. She was ill for past several days and passed away last night. Her Funeral was short and was attended by only family and closed friends.

Shamshad Begum was one of the First Playback Singers of Bollywood. She is noted for her songs like Kajra Mohabbat Wala, Kahin Pe Nigahein Kahin pe Nishana, Leke Pehla PEhla Pyaar  and Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon. she was conferred Padma Bhushan in 2009.

She  was born in Amritsar, Punjab on April 14, 1919 and was married to Ganpat Lal Batto who died in 1955. Since then she has been living with her daughter Usha Ratra and son-in-law in Mumbai.

She made her debut on radio on Peshawar Radio in Lahore on December 16, 1947, captivating the hearts of her listeners with the enchanting depth of her voice.

She is credited with singing one of the first Westernised songs, Meri jaan…Sunday ke Sunday by C. Ramchandra. O.P. Nayyar describes her voice as that of a “temple bell” for its clarity of tone.

Begum became a national rage between the 1940s and the late 1950s, having a voice different from her peers like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Geeta Dutt and Amirbai Karnataki.

Shamshad was very much conscious of her not so beautiful face and she never posed for any pictures and not many people saw her pictures anywhere. Until the end of the 1970s, nobody knew her face at all, though everybody could recognise her melodious voice as it was used by the great maestros like Naushad Ali and O. P. Nayyar.

Even today, her songs from the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s are popular and continue to be remixed by music directors.