Early Life of Asha BhosleAsha Bhosle was born on September 8, 1933 in a small village named Goar in Maharashtra in a Brahmin family. Asha Bhosle was born was born in a musical family to Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar and mother Shudhmati. Dinanath Mangeshkar who was a classical singer and a theatre actor belonged to Gomantak Maratha Samaj. Asha Bhosle was born along with four siblings, her brother named Hridayanath Mangeshkar and three sisters by name Lata, Usha, and Meena of which we all know about the legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Latha Mangeshkar was also a professional rival to her sister Asha Bhosle. Though the art of singing in Asha Bhosle was instilled in her by her father even as an infant she lost her father in 1942 when she was nine years old and the family had to move out of Goar to make their living because they faced of financial hardships. They initially moved from Pune to Kolhapur and finally came to Mumbai and settled down. To run and support the family Asha Bhosle and her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar started acting in small roles in movies and singing. Even as a child she has acted in a number of movies but still later it was very obvious that she will choose playback singing like her older sister Lata Mangeshkar.
When she was ten years old in 1943 she got an opportunity to sing "Chala Chala Nav Bala" for a Marathi film Majha Bal for which the music was composed by Datta Davjekar. . Asha Bhosle had to face lot of difficulties during the early years of her carrier because her sister Latha Mangeshkar was more popular than her in the field and there used to be lot of unfair comparisons came up every now and then. It took a long time for her to climb the ladder to reach success. She made her debut in the Hindi film industry when she a group song "Saawan Aaya" for Hansraj Behl's Chunariya (1948).
The first solo Hindi song sung by Asha Bhosle was in 1949 for the movie Raat Ki Raani. When she was very young at the age of sixteen itself she fell in love with her personal secretary Ganpatrao Bhosle who was 31 years old and got married to him against her family wishes. But unfortunately her marriage with Ganpatrao Bhosle was not successful for she was very badly treated by her husband and in-laws. In 1960 she had to part with her husband who kept suspecting her and went to her maternal home with already two children and pregnant with a third child. But however she continued singing for movies. Asha Bhosle is one of the greatest playback singers in the Hindi film industry who has worked with more than 800 movies and has recorded more than 10,000 songs.
She was known for her versatile vocal range which used to adapt both ghazalas and pop. But however she was very special in singing sensual songs or Western-styled songs she had an uncanny knack for making every actress for whom she sung, from Zeenat Aman to Urmila Matondkar, smolder on screen as never before. Her energy level and style was appreciated by many people which added life to the song. She is one of the most skilled and talented singers. Her music repertoire consists of film music, ghazals, pop, traditional Indian classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, bhajans, and Rabindra Sangeet. She has sung songs in fourteen languages including Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, English, Russian and Malay.
CareerAs already mentioned during the early period of her career Asha Bhosle had to struggle a lot and to get assignments. Initially she was given assignments from composers like Sajjad Hussain, A R Qureshi,tabla maestro and Ghulam Mohammed and by 1950's she was one of the singer who had given a number of songs in the B and C grade movies when compared to her contemporaries. Asha Bhosle was quite popular also in the Marathi film industry where she has sung for many Marathi movies like Khedyamadhle ghar kaularu, Majha hoshil Kaa? Bugadi mazi and Nach re mora. Apart from film songs she has also sung for bhajans, natyageet and bhav-geet for which even today she has a big fan club.
Some of the movies which really gave a break and noteworthy are in particular Dilip Kumar film "Sangdil" in 1952, followed by "Parineeta" in 1953, and "Boot Polish" in 1954. But however the major turning point happened to her career in 1956 when she got a chance to work with O.P. Nayyar's "C.I.D." which rewarded her with an applauding public attention. After she sang a number of songs for O.P.Nayyar and she became one of the favourite singers of him. They developed a very good combination in the music world and worked together for decades. After her hit in CID, she was also given a chance to work with B.R. Chopra's "Naya Daur" in 1957 which was once again a success in her career and after which she started singing for a number of B.R. Chopra's songs.
Asha Bhosle's success was recognized and appreciated by the great musician R.D. Burman with whom she established an even stronger collaboration. Some of her its with R.D.Burman in the early period of their work are Dum Maro Dum ("Hare Rama Hare Krishna" - 1971), Duniya Mein ("Apna Desh" - 1972), and Jaane Jaan, Dhoondhta Phir Raha ("Jawani Diwani" - 1972). But however the relationship of Asha Bhosle with R.D.Burman was soon transformed into something else and they got married in 1980 and lived together untill his death in 1994. Asha's versatile voice was an exact match for the sensual artist Helen in Bollywood and almost all her naughty songs were sung by Asha Bhosle. Some of their match were Piya Tu Ab to Aaja ("Caravan" - 1971), O Haseena Zulfon Wali ("Teesri Manzil" - 1966) and Yeh Mera Dil ("Don" - 1978). But Asha decided to get stuck to stereotyping of singing for mostly cabaret numbers so she started showing interest in the gazal style in films such as "Umrao Jaan" (1981) and "Ijazat" (1987).
Thus she is one versatile singer who can sing in different styles like classical, to Western pop, to fusion. Even in the 1990's her age was not a barrier to her for she was open to embracing new styles of music like the non-filmy work Janam Samjha Karo. Asha Bhosle has worked with the most renowned musician A.R.Rahman in movies like Rangeela Re ("Rangeela" - 1994), Venilla Venilla ("Iruvar" - 1999), and Kahin Aag Lage (Taal - 1999). Her collaboration with popular artists such as Boy George is legendary. But already the bollywood film industry was bristling with frictions on her relationships with different people due to long term collaborations.
The most enmity of Asha was against her elder sister Latha Mangeshkar. The Lata / Asha rivalry is a mixture of personal family misunderstandings (Boys and girls, can you sat "Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani Hai"), professional rivalries, and exaggerations by the tabloid press. Certainly Asha's elopement with Lata's personal secretary has been widely credited as a source of much friction, but many others are related to the politics of the Bollywood film Industry. Another friction which happened in her life is the split between O.P. Nayyar and Asha. There was a rumor between Asha and Nayyar that their relationship was much more than their profession which had to be split for some reason but the reason was not publicly stated.
In the 1990's Asha ventured on the remixed versions of R.D. Burman songs. But however it was not recommended by the public for they felt the originality of the golden melodies was tampered. In the year 1997, Asha came out with her private Indi pop album Janam Samjha Karo, which was a major hit. The album brought her great honor and recognition. She even received the 1997 MTV Award.