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Kishore Kumar Early Life

One of the most popular Indian film playback singer Abhas Kumar Ganguly more popularly known as Kishore Kumar was born on August 4, 1929 in a place called Khandwa, situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Kishore Kumar is not only a famous playback singer but also an eminent composer, producer, director, screenplay writer and scriptwriter. Kishore Kumar has acted in a number of movies for comic roles during the period of 1950's. He is noted for his multitalented voice and his versatility.

Kishore Kumar Kishore Kumar's father Kunjalal Ganguly (Gangopadhyay) was a Lawyer and his mother Gouri Devi was from a very rich Bengali family. Kunjalal Ganguly was working as a personal Lawyer for the Kamavisadar Gokhale family of Khandwa. Kishore Kumar was born along with three siblings the eldest of the family Ashok Kumar, Sati Devi and then Anoop Kumar and finally Kishore Kumar. Even while Kishore Kumar was a child his elder brother started acting as a hero in Bollywood movies. Later Ashok Kumar also helped his brother Anoop Kumar to make his debut in the Hindi movies.

After seeing both his elder brothers Kishore Kumar also started showing interest in movies and music and he was a great fan of singer K. L. Saigal. Kishore Kumar's first guru was K. L. Saigal whom he tried to imitate in his singing style. He has lent his voice to a number of India’s top screen actors. Kishore Kumar not only sang for the Bollywood industries but also for other Indian languages like Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Oriya, and Urdu.

In fact Kishore Kumar takes the credit of winning nearly 8 Film fare Awards for Best Male Playback Singer and holds the record for winning the most Film fare Awards in that category. Kishore Kumar was also one of the recipients of "Lata Mangeshkar Award" given by the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Later the same Madhya Pradesh Government also initiated another award in the name of "Kishore Kumar Award" for contributions to Hindi cinema.

Personal life of Kishore Kumar

Kishore Kumar Apart from all his achievements both in the music industry and the film industry Kishore Kumar is known to be an eccentric. He was married nearly four times. Kishore Kumar's married life was a not a very successful one for he got married four times. Kishore Kumar first got married to a Bengali singer and actress named Ruma Guha Thakurta aka Ruma Ghosh in 1950 which lasted for a very short span of time and they split in 1958.

But even while he was married to Ruma he fell in love with actress Madhubala who worked as his co artist in many movies including his own production Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) and Jhumroo (1961). When Kumar proposed to her, Madhubala was sick and was planning to go to London for treatment. She had a ventricular septal defect (hole in the heart), and he was married to Ruma. But however after he divorced Ruma both Kishore Kumar and Madhubala got married in 1960.

But Kishore Kumar's family was not very happy for he was a Hindu belonging to the Bengali Brahmin Community and Madhubala was a Muslim. But however they got married according to Hindu rites in order to please Kishore Kumar's parents. Very soon after their marriage Madhubala and Kishore Kumar did not get along well and so just one month after their wedding Madhhubala split from Kishore Kumar and moved back to her bungalow in Bandra under great strain and finally their marriage ended with Madhubala's death on 23 February 1969.

Kishore Kumar For the third time Kishore Kumar got married to Yogeeta Bali in 1976 and ended up within a period of two years. Finally Kishore Kumar got married for the fourth time to Leena Chandavarkar from 1980 until his death. Kishore Kumar has two sons one through RUma named Amit Kumar and the other through Leena Chandavarkar named Sumit Kumar.

It is been said that through various sources that Kishore Kumar was very paranoid which is a mental condition about his payments. He only after confirming that payments are made both for recording and acting and only then gets onto the performing floor. On one occasion, when he discovered that his dues had not been fully paid, he appeared on set with makeup on only one side of his face.

When the director questioned him, he replied "Aadha paisa to aadha make-up." (Half make-up for half payment).[5] On the sets of Bhai Bhai, Kishore Kumar refused to act because the director M V Raman owed him INR 5,000. Ashok Kumar persuaded him to do the scene but when the shooting started, Kumar walked across the floor, walked a few places and said, Paanch Hazzar Rupaiya (five thousand rupees) and did a somersault. He strictly followed the principle of no money no work.


Kishore Kumar Once Ashok Kumar brother of Kishore Kumar started doing lead roles in Hindi movies their family started visiting him in Mumbai quite frequently. This is when Kishore Kumar started his career as a chorus singer at Bombay Talkies. He made his first appearance in the Shikari movie in 1949 in a very small role where his brother Ashok Kumar played the lead role.

In 1948 he got a chance to sing a solo sing "Marne ki duayen kyon mangu" composed by the Music director Khemchand Prakash. After this he got a number of assignments both for singing and acting in a number of movies and in fact he played the role of hero in the Bombay Talkies film Andolan (1951), directed by Phani Majumdar. Finally Kishre Kumar settled down in Mumbai and he was very keen on developing his career in the line of Music but his brother Ashok Kumar wanted to become an actor like him.

Following this Kishore Kumar slowly started giving performance in movies like Naukri in 1954 directed by Bimal Roy. Initially when Kishore Kumar wanted to sing in this movie, it was not appreciated by the music director Salil Chowdhury of Naukri for he learnt that he had no formal training in music. But however hearing Kishore Kumar's voice the music director permitted him to sing the song Chhota sa ghar hoga, which was supposed to be sung by Hemant Kumar.

Some of the movies where Kishore Kumar has given his performances are New Delhi (1957), Aasha (1957), Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), Half Ticket (1962), and Padosan (1968). Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), his home production, starred the three Ganguly brothers and Madhubala.

Kishore Kumar But however the person who rightly found the talents of singing in Kishore Kumar was Music director S. D. Burman who once when went to Kishore Kumar's house heard him imitating K. L. Saigal voice. Burman appreciated his talents and also insisted him to develop a style of his own and eventually Kishore also started working on it.

Burman recorded with Kumar for Dev Anand's Munimji (1954), Taxi Driver (1954), House No. 44 (1955), Funtoosh (1956), Nau Do Gyarah (1957), Paying Guest (1957), Guide (1965), Jewel Thief (1967), Prem Pujari (1970), and Tere Mere Sapne (1971). He also composed music for Kumar's home production Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958). Some of their songs were; "Maana Janaab Ne Pukara Nahin" from Paying Guest, "Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke" from Nau Do Gyarah (1957), "Ai Meri Topi Palat Ke Aa" from Funtoosh, and "Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si" and "Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka" from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958).

Asha Bhosle and Kumar performed duets composed by Burman including "Chhod Do Aanchal" from Paying Guest (1957), "Ankhon Mein Kya Ji" from Nau Do Gyarah (1957), "Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka" and "Paanch Rupaiya Baara Aana" from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) and "Arre Yaar Meri Tum Bhi Ho Gajab" from Teen Deviyan (1965). Kishore Kumar has also worked with the great musician C. Ramchandr who has given hits like "Eena Meena Deeka" from Aasha (1957).

Some of the other great music directors whom Kishore worked with include Rajesh Roshan, Sapan Chakraborty and Bappi Lahiri. He has given a number of recordings with the legend Lata Mangeshkar like Bhool Gaya Sab Kuchh, Yaadon Mein Woh from Swami, Chhookar Mere Man Ko Kiya Toone Kya Ishaara from Yaarana and Kahiye. In the 1970's and 1980's he did a number of playback songs for Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Jeetendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Dev Anand, Shashi Kapoor, Mithun Chakraborty, Vinod Khanna, Dilip Kumar, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Rajiv Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Sunny Deol, Anil Kapoor, Rakesh Roshan, Dilip Kumar, Pran, Sachin, Vinod Mehra, Chunky Pandey, Kumar Gaurav, Govinda and Jackie Shroff.

Also during the same years he also produced and directed few movies like Badhti Ka Naam Daadhi (1978), Zindagi (1981) and Door Wadiyon Mein Kahin (1980) in which he gave his last appearance as an actor. He passed away at the age of 76 in heart attack on October 13th 1987 in Mumbai. The day before he died Kishore Kumar recorded his last song with Asha Bhosle for the movie Waqt Ki Aawaz music composed by Bappi Lahiri for Mithun Chakraborty and Sridevi.

Awards and Accolades

Kishore Kumar takes the credit of winning the Filmfare award for eight times for the category of best playback male singer. The songs for which he won the award includes 1.Roop Tera Mastana” 1970 (Aradhana – 1969)

2. “Dil Aisa Kisi Ne” 1976 (Amanush – 1975)

3. “Khaike Paan Banaraswala” 1979 (Don – 1978)

4. “Hazaar Raahen Mud Ke Dekhi” 1981 (Thodisi Bewafaii – 1980)

5. “Pag Ghungroo Bandh” 1983 (Namak Halaal – 1982)

6. “Agar Tum Na Hote” 1984 (Agar Tum Na Hote – 1983)

7. “Manzilein Apni Jagah Hain” 1985 (Sharaabi – 1984)

8. “Saagar Kinare” 1986 (Saagar – 1985)