Asha Bhosle Singer Biography, Interview & Pictures
About Asha Bhosle
Female singer Asha Bhosle from India, famous due to bollywood
Asha Bhosle (Marathi: आशा भोसले) (born September 8, 1933) is an Indian singer. She is one of the best-known and most highly-regarded Hindi playback singers in India, although she has a wider repertoire. Bhosle's career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over a thousand Bollywood movies. In addition, she has recorded several private albums and participated in numerous solo concerts in India and abroad. Bhosle is the sister of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Renowned for her voice range and often credited for her versatility, Bhosle's work includes film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, Rabindra Sangeets and Nazrul Geetis. Apart from Hindi, she has sung in over 18 Indian and foreign languages. In 2006, Asha Bhosle stated that she had sung over 12,000 songs, a figure repeated by several other sources. The World Records Academy, an international organization which certifies world records, recognized her as the "Most Recorded Artist" in the world, in September 2009. The Government of India honoured her with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.
Asha Bhosle was born in the small hamlet of Goar in Sangli, Bombay Presidency (now in Maharashtra), into the musical family of Master Deenanath Mangeshkar, who belongs to Gomantak Maratha Samaj. Her father was a theater actor and classical singer. When she was nine years old, her father died. The family moved from Pune to Kolhapur and then to Mumbai. She and her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar began singing and acting in films to support their family. She sang her first film song Chala Chala Nav Bala for the Marathi movie Majha Bal (1943). The music for the film was composed by Datta Dawjekar. She made her Hindi film debut when she sang the song Saawan Aaya for Hansraj Behl's Chunariya (1948). Her first solo Hindi film song was for the movie Raat Ki Raani (1949).
At the age of 16, she eloped with 31-year-old Ganpatrao Bhosle, marrying him against her family's wishes. Ganpatrao was Lata's personal secretary. The marriage failed miserably. Her husband and in-laws mistreated her. After a few years of marriage, Asha was turned out (around 1960) by a suspicious Ganpatrao and she went to her maternal home with two children and pregnant with her third child. She continued to sing in films to earn money.
At that time, prominent playback singers like Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum and Lata Mangeshkar monopolized the singing for the female lead and the big films, whilst Asha used to get the assignments they refused: singing for the bad girls and vamps, or songs in the second-grade movies. In the 1950s, she sang more songs than most playback singers in Bollywood (not counting Lata). Most of these were in low budget B or C-grade films. Her earliest songs were composed by A R Qureshi, Sajjad Hussain and Ghulam Mohammed, most of which failed to do well. Singing in Sangdil (1952), composed by Sajjad Hussain, she got reasonable recognition. Consequently, film director Bimal Roy gave her a chance to sing in Parineeta (1953). Raj Kapoor signed her to sing "Nanhe Munne Bachche" with Mohammed Rafi in Boot Polish (1954), which gained popularity.
O. P. Nayyar gave Asha a break in C.I.D. (1956). She first achieved success in B. R. Chopra's Naya Daur (1957), composed by him. Her duets with Rafi like "Maang Ke Saath Tumhara", "Saathi Haath Badhana" and "Uden Jab Jab Zulfein Teri", penned by Sahir Ludhianvi, earned her recognition. It was the first time she sang all the songs for a film's leading actress. Chopra approached her for several of his later prosuctions, including Gumraah (1963), Waqt (1965), Hamraaz (1965), Aadmi Aur Insaan (1966) and Dhund (1972). Nayyar's future collaboration with Bhosle also resulted in success. Gradually, she established her status and received the patronage of such composers as Sachin Dev Burman and Ravi. Bhosle and Nayyar had a professional and personal parting of ways in the 1970s.
In 1966, Bhosle's performances in the duets from one of music director R.D. Burman's first soundtracks, for the movie Teesri Manzil, won popular acclaim. Reportdly, when she first heard the dance number "Aaja Aaja", she felt she would not be able to sing this westernised tune. While Burman offered to change the music, she refused, taking it as a challenge. She completed the song after ten days of rehearsals, and "Aaja Aaja", along with such other songs as "O Haseena Zulfonwali" and "O Mere Sona Re" (all three duets with Rafi), became successful. Shammi Kapoor, the film's leading actor, was once quoted as saying– "If I did not have Mohammad Rafi to sing for me, I would have got Asha Bhosle to do the job". Bhosle's collaboration with Burman resulted in numerous hits and a marriage. During the 1960-70s, she was the voice of Bollywood's actress and dancer, Helen, on whom "O Haseena Zulfon Wali" was picturised. It is said that Helen would attend her recording sessions so that she could understand the song better and plan dance steps accordingly. Some of their other popular numbers include "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" (Caravan) and "Yeh Mera Dil" (Don), among others.
By the 1980s, Bhosle, though highly regarded for her abilities and versatility, had sometimes been stereotyped as a "cabaret singer" and a "pop crooner". In 1981 she attempted a different genre by singing several ghazals for the Rekha-starrer Umrao Jaan, including "Dil Cheez Kya Hai", "In Aankhon Ki Masti Ke", "Yeh Kya Jagah Hai Doston" and "Justju Jiski Thi". The film's music director Khayyam, had lowered her pitch by half a note. Bhosle herself expressed surprise that she could sing so differently. The ghazals won her the first National Film Award of her career. A few years later, she won another National Award for the song "Mera Kuchh Saamaan" from Ijaazat (1987).
In 1995, 62-year-old Bhosle sang for actress Urmila Matondkar in the movie Rangeela. The soundtrack featured songs like "Tanha Tanha" and "Rangeela Re" sung by her, and composed by music director A. R. Rahman, who would go on to record several songs with her. During the 2000s, several of Bhosle's numbers became chartbusters, including "Radha Kaise Na Jale" from Lagaan (2001), "Kambakht Ishq" from Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya (2001), ""Yeh Lamha" from Filhaal (2002), "Lucky Lips" from Lucky (2005). In October 2004, The Very Best of Asha Bhosle, The Queen of Bollywood, a compilation album of songs recorded by Bhosle for albums and Bollywood films that were released between 1966 and 2003, was released.
Partnership with music directors
Music director O. P. Nayyar's association with Asha is part of Bollywood lore. He was the composer who first gave Asha her own identity. Many people have speculated about a romantic relationship between the two.
Nayyar first met Asha in 1952, at the music recording of Chham Chhama Chham. He first called her for a film called Mangu (1954), and gave her a big break in CID (1956). However, it was the success of Naya Daur (1957), that made the duo very popular. After 1959, she was emotionally and professionally involved with Nayyar.
The team of O.P. Nayyar and Asha Bhosle is best remembered for their breezy and sometimes sirenish songs. Some good examples of their sensuous numbers are Aaiye meherbaan picturised on Madhubala (Howrah Bridge, 1958) and Yeh hai reshmi zulfon ka andhera picturised on Mumtaz (Mere Sanam, 1965). They also recorded songs for many hit movies like Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957), Howrah Bridge (1958), Ek Musafir Ek Hasina (1962), Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), Aao huzur tumko (Kismat) and Jaaiye aap kahan (Mere Sanam). O.P. Nayyar used the Asha Bhosle-Mohammad Rafi duo for his most popular duets such as Ude jab jab zulfein teri (Naya Daur), Main pyaar ka rahi hoon (Ek Musafir Ek Haseena), Deewana Hua Baadal and Ishaaron hi isharon mein (Kashmir Ki Kali).
Asha recorded her last song for O.P. Nayyar in the movie Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye (1974). The solo number Chain se got many awards, but it was not included in the movie.
They split on August 5, 1972. It is not clear what made them part their ways. On being asked the reason for their parting, O P Nayyar once said, "I know astrology very well. I knew that one day I had to part with her. Something also happened, that upset me, so I left her." Nevertheless, he also said "...now that I am seventy-six, I can say that the most important person in my life was Asha Bhosle. She was the best person I ever met."
The parting of Asha Bhosle and O.P. Nayyar was bitter, and probably therefore she has hesitated to give Nayyar his due. While talking about O.P. Nayyar in an interview with The Times of India, she once remarked - "Whichever composer gave me work, it was because my voice was suited to his music at that point. No one musician did me any favor by asking me to sing for him." She gives the credit for her first big break to B. R. Chopra, the producer of Naya Daur.
Another music director who recognized Asha's talent early was Khayyam. Their partnership dates back to his first movie Biwi (1948). Khayyam gave her some good assignments in the 1950s, including Dard and Phir Subah Hogi. But the team is chiefly remembered for the songs of Umrao Jaan.
Music composer Ravi considered Asha one of his favorite singers. She sang for his first movie Vachan (1955). The melodious lullaby from the movie, Chandamama door ke became an overnight hit among young mothers in India. Ravi got her to sing bhajans for the movies Gharana, Grihasti, Kajal and Phool Aur Patthar, at a time when most of the composers remembered her only when they needed to record B-grade songs picturized on the vamps or the side-heroines. Ravi and Asha recorded a variety of songs, including the popular funny duet with Kishore Kumar - C A T...Cat maane billi (Dilli Ka Thug). The bhajan Tora man darpan (Kajal) is considered one of Asha's best songs.
They also recorded songs for many popular movies like Waqt, Chaudhvin Ka Chand, Gumrah, Bahu Beti, China Town, Aadmi Aur Insaan, Dhund and Humraaz. For Chaudhvin Ka Chand, Ravi wanted Geeta Dutt (the wife of actor and producer Guru Dutt) to sing the songs. But when she backed out, Guru Dutt insisted that Asha sing the songs.
Sachin Dev Burman
One of Bollywood's most famous composers, Sachin Dev Burman and his favorite singer, Lata Mangeshkar, were not on good terms from 1957 to 1962. During this period, S D Burman used Asha as his lead female voice. She and Burman gave many hit songs in movies such as Kaala Pani, Kaala Bazaar, Insaan Jaag Utha, Lajwanti, Sujata and Teen Deviyaan (1965). They recorded many songs together after 1962 as well. Most famous of these songs were Asha's duets with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar. The song Ab ke baras in Bimal Roy's Bandini (1963) consolidated her position as a lead singer. The seductive song Raat Akeli Hai from Jewel Thief (1967), picturised on Tanuja, became very popular.
Rahul Dev Burman (Pancham)
Asha first met Rahul Dev Burman (a.k.a. "Pancham") when she was the mother of two and he was in 10th grade having dropped out to pursue music. Their partnership was first noticed in Teesri Manzil (1966). She went on to record a variety of songs with him - cabarets, rock, disco, ghazals and Indian classical music.
In the 1970s, Asha and Pancham's youthful Western songs took Bollywood music by storm - the raunchy cabaret Piya tu ab to aaja (Caravan, picturized on Helen), the rebellious Dum Maro Dum ( Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1971), the sexy Duniya mein (Apna Desh, 1972) and the romantic Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne (Yaadon Ki Baaraat, 1973). Pancham also recorded many hit duets with Asha and Kishore Kumar such as Jaane jaan (Jawani Diwani) and Bhali bhali si ek soorat (Buddha Mil Gaya).
In 1980s, Pancham and Asha recorded subtle numbers for films like Ijaazat (1987)- Mera kuch saaman, Khaali haath shaam aayi hai and Katra Katra. They also recorded the popular duet O Maria (Saagar).
Asha used to call R D Burman "Bubs". She married him in 1980. Their partnership lasted until his death.
R D Burman made her sing some of the most legendary songs in Bengali language as well, namely Mohuyae Jomechhe Aaj mou go,Chokhe Chokhe kotha bolo Chokhhe naame brishti(Bengali version of Jaane Kya Baat hai), Baanshi sune ki ghore thaka jaye,Sondhya Belae tumi aami and Aaj Gungun gun gunje amar (Bengali version of Pyaar Deewana hota hai).
Prolific south Indian film composer Ilaiyaraaja began employing Asha's vocals in the early 1980s, their earliest collaboration being for the film Moondram Pirai (1982) (remade in Hindi as Sadma in 1983). Their association continued, mostly through the latter half of the 1980s and early 1990s. Another notable song from this period is Shenbagamae (Enga Ooru Paattukkaaran, 1987, Tamil). In 2000, Asha sung the theme song for Kamal Haasan's political film Hey Ram. The song, Nee Partha Parvai (Janmon Ki Jwala in Hindi) (or Aparna's Theme), was a duet with singer Hariharan.
A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman is credited with Asha's 'comeback' with Rangeela (1994). Songs like Tanha Tanha and Rangeela Re were chartbusters. She and Rahman went on to record more hits like Mujhe Rang De (Thakshak), Radha Kaise Na Jale (Lagaan, duet with Udit Narayan), Kahin Aag Lage (Taal), O Bhanware (Daud, duet with K. J. Yesudas), Venilla Venilla (Iruvar,1999) and Dhuan Dhuan (Meenaxi,2004).
When S D Burman's assistant Jaidev started giving music independently, he got Asha to sing some of his songs as well. They worked in Hum Dono (1961), Mujhe Jeene Do (1963), Do Boond Pani (1971) and other movies. In 1971, the pair released an LP of eight non-film devotional songs and ghazals called An Unforgettable Treat. Asha considered Jaidev a close friend who stood by her when she was struggling personally and professionally. Upon his death in 1987, she released a compilation album of lesser-known songs he had composed for her, called Suranjali.
Shankar-Jaikishan worked relatively little with Asha. However, the trio produced quite a few hits including the seductive Parde mein rehne do (Shikar, 1968). Asha got her second Filmfare Award for the song. She also sang Zindagi ek safar hai suhaana (Andaz) for Shankar-Jaikishan, in which she tried to yodel like Kishore Kumar, whose version of the song is more better known. When Raj Kapoor was not on speaking terms with Lata Mangeshkar, Asha got to sing the songs of Mera Naam Joker (1970), composed by Shankar-Jaikishan.
Composer Anu Malik and Asha have recorded many hit songs together, including songs for his first movie Sohni Mahiwal (1984). Their most popular songs include Filhaal (Filhaal) and Kitabein bahut si (Baazigar) among others. The four lines sung by Asha in Malik's Jab dil mile (Yaadein) stood out among voices of Sukhwinder Singh, Udit Narayan and Sunidhi Chauhan. Asha had also sung for Anu's father Sardar Malik in the 1950s and 1960s, most notably in Saranga (1960).
Madan Mohan recorded a number of songs with Asha, including the popular folk number Jhumka Gira Re from Mera Saaya (1966). In Chhoti Si Baat (1975), Asha sang the Jaaneman Jaaneman number with K. J. Yesudas for Salil Chowdhury. Salil's 1956 movie Jagte Raho also had a number recorded by Asha, Thandi Thandi Saawan ki Phuhaar. Another Asha patron is the young composer Sandeep Chowta, who got her to sing Kambakht Ishq, a duet with Sonu Nigam for the movie Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya(2001). The song gained major popularity among the Indian youth.
Asha has worked with Lata-patrons like Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Naushad, Ravindra Jain, N Dutta and Hemant Kumar. When Naushad was asked to sum up the essential difference between Lata and Asha, he said that Asha "lacks certain something which Lata, and Lata alone has". Later he accepted in an interview, "May be I said it because I then had a closed ear on Asha". Naushad, later in his life, also admitted that he has been unfair to Asha. Asha has also worked with other noted Bollywood composers like Jatin-Lalit, Bappi Lahiri, Kalyanji-Anandji, Usha Khanna, Chitragupt, and Roshan.
In a rare feat, noted lyricist Gulzar, music director R.D. Burman and Asha Bhosle, came together in 1987, to create a double album, titled, Dil Padosi Hai, which was released on September 8, 1987. In 1995, Asha underwent the gatha bandan (thread-tying) ceremony with Hindustani classical music maestro Ali Akbar Khan to learn a classical repertoire held within the Maihar gharana (stylistic school of Indian classical music), as handed down to Khan by his father Allauddin Khan (the guru of Ravi Shankar). Later, Asha and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan recorded eleven fixed compositions (or bandishes) in California for Legacy, a private album that earned them a Grammy Award nomination.
In 1990s, Asha experimented with remixed R D Burman songs. She was criticized by many, including Khayyam for tampering with old melodies. Nevertheless, albums like Rahul And I became quite popular. In 1997, Asha did a private Indipop album Janam Samjha Karo with Leslie Lewis. The album was hugely popular and won her many awards including the 1997 MTV Award.
Asha had been once asked by director B R Ishaara to compose music for one of his films, but she had politely declined. In 2002, she turned music composer with the album Aap Ki Asha, an eight-song music and video album. The lyrics were written by Majrooh Sultanpuri (his last lyrics). The album was released by Sachin Tendulkar on May 21, 2001 at a lavish party in Mumbai. The album received mixed reviews.
Asha had spotted Pakistani singer Adnan Sami's talent when he was about 10 years old. At that time, she was performing in London, with R D Burman. It was she who had asked him to pursue his interests in music seriously. When Adnan grew up and became a professional musician, Asha sang the title duet with him for his best-selling album Kabhi to nazar milao. The two came together again in the album Barse Badal. The album comprises eight songs, based on Indian Classical music. She contributed the song Yun Na Thi to the recording Womad Talking Book Volume Four: An Introduction to Asia 1 on Womad Records.
Asha has sung ghazals for many albums like Meraj-E-Ghazal, Aabshar-E-Ghazal and Kashish. In 2005, Asha released a self-titled album as a tribute to the four ghazal maestros - Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Farida Khanum and Jagjit Singh. The album features eight of her favorite ghazals like Farida Khanum’s Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo, Ghulam Ali’s Chupke Chupke, Aawargi and Dil Mein Ek Lahar, Jagjit Singh’s Ahista Ahista and Mehdi Hassan’s Ranjish Hi Sahi, Rafta Rafta and Mujhe Tum Nazar Se. These classic ghazals were recreated with modern sounds by musician Pandit Somesh Mathur. The album was aimed at the younger generation, who, according to Asha, are "turned off" by the traditional sounds of tabla and sarangi.
Numerous compilations of Asha's songs have been released as well. To commemorate her 60th birthday, EMI India released three cassettes: Bala Main Bairagan Hoongi (devotional songs), The Golden Collection: Memorable Ghazals (non-film ghazals by composers such as Ghulam Ali, R D Burman and Nazar Hussain), and The Golden Collection: The Ever Versatile Asha Bhosle (44 popular film songs).
In 2006, she recorded an album Asha and Friends, singing duets, with film actors Sanjay Dutt and Urmila Matondkar and famous cricket player Brett Lee, with whom she sang, You're the One for Me (Haan Main Tumhara Hoon). All these songs composed by Shamir Tandon were shot on video by journalist turned director S Ramachandran.
Concerts and collaborations with foreign artists
In 1980s and 1990s, Asha went globe-trotting, staging concerts in Canada, Dubai, UK, U.S. and many other countries. In 1989, during a world tour, she performed in 13 US cities in 20 days. Immediately after this, she had an already sold-out concert scheduled in Stockholm, Sweden. Due to the stressful schedule, Asha suffered a massive attack of colitis, together with fever, cough and weakness. In Stockholm, a pre-concert crisis meeting was called, attended by Asha's son (and manager) Anand and the sponsors. It was decided that the orchestra will play many instrumental tracks, the accompanying singers like Suresh Wadkar will shoulder the load, and Asha will make a small appearance. But Asha rejected all such proposals, and sang at the concert with great difficulty, in a not-so-good voice. Her first set of six Bollywood songs did not receive any response from the audience, which consisted mostly of Indian and Pakistani expats. Before the start of the second set of songs, a fan in the crowd requested her to sing a Marathi song. Asha obliged and sang Naach-naachuni ati mi damale ("I'm very tired of this endless dancing"). When the song ended, the auditorium erupted with claps and the encores started. After the concert, Asha was in bed for a month, recuperating from overexertion. In October 2002, she did a concert with Sudesh Bhosle and others, in London, for "Help the Aged" to help raise funds for the elderly in India. In 2007 she toured the USA, Canada, and West Indies in a tour called "The Incredibles". In this tour, she was accompanied by singers Sonu Nigam, Kunal Ganjawala and Kailash Kher. This tour, originally scheduled for only 12 concerts, went on to hold more than 20.
In the mid-1980s, Asha sang with Boy George (Bow down mister) and Stephen Lauscombe. In 1997, she sang a love song with the boy band Code Red, at the age of 64. She also recorded the song The Way you Dream (One Giant Leap, ) with Michael Stipe that was used in the English movie, Bulletproof Monk. The song was also released on the album 1 Giant Leap for 2002.
In 1997, the British band Cornershop paid tribute to Asha with their song Brimful of Asha, an international hit which was later remixed by Fatboy Slim. In 2001, the CD single of Nelly Furtado's "I'm Like A Bird" included a "Nellie vs. Asha Remix" created by Digital Cutup Lounge.
In 2003, British opera pop singer Sarah Brightman sampled her song "Dil Cheez Kya Hai" on her album Harem. It was used as the intro for her song "You Take My Breath Away".
In 2005, American string quartet Kronos Quartet re-recorded R D Burman compositions like Chura Liya, Piya Tu, Mera Kuchh Saaman among others and got Asha to sing them. Despite her age, she recorded three to four songs in a day, leaving the quartet members stupefied. On August 23, 2005, You've stolen my heart - Songs From R D Burman's Bollywood was released in US. The album was nominated for Grammy Awards 2006 in the category of "Best Contemporary World Music Album". In the 1990s, a friend had introduced David Harrington of Kronos Quartet to the song Aaj ki raat. Harrington was mesmerised, and the song ended up on the album Kronos Caravan.
Also in 2005, The Black Eyed Peas sampled her songs "Ae Naujawan Sab Kuchh Yahan" (Apradh, 1972) and "Yeh Mera Dil Pyaar Ka Diwana" (Don, 1978) in their hit single "Don't Phunk with My Heart". In late 2006, Asha collaborated with Australian test cricket star, Brett Lee. The single, You're the One for Me, debuted at number 4 on the charts and reached a peak position of number 2.
In 2006 Asha recorded one song for the soundtrack of Pakistani movie Mein Ek Din Laut Kay Aaaonga. She sang the song, titled Dil Key Taar Bajey, with famous Pakistani pop singer Jawad Ahmed. It was aired as part of the film's promotional campaign and became very popular, featuring on top music charts.
Asha's house is situated in Prabhukunj Apt on Peddar Road area of South Mumbai. She has three children and five grandchildren. The eldest of her three children, Hemant Bhosle (named after Hemant Kumar), spent most of his early years as a pilot and quit to have a brief career as a music director. Asha's daughter Varsha worked as a columnist for The Sunday Observer and Rediff. Asha's youngest child, Anand Bhosle, has studied business and film direction. He manages Asha's career. Her grandson, Chaitanya (Chintu) Bhosle (Hemant's son) is a part of the world of music. He is a member of India's first & only boy band, "A Band of Boys". Her sisters Lata and Usha Mangeshkar are playback singers. Her other, sister Meena Mangeshkar and brother Hridayanath Mangeshkar are music directors.
Asha is an excellent cook and cooking is her favorite hobby. She often gets flooded with requests by Bollywood celebrities for kadai ghosht and biryani dishes and has rarely turned down a request. In fact, her paya curry, Goan fish curry and dal are very popular with the Kapoor family of Bollywood. Once, when asked in a Times of India interview, what if her singing career had not taken off, she said "I would have become a cook. I'd have cooked in four houses and made money."
Asha is a successful restaurateur and runs restaurants in Dubai and Kuwait, called Asha's. Asha's offers traditional north-western Indian cuisine. It has a presence in the Wafi City development in Dubai, as well as three restaurants in Kuwait, at The Avenues Mall, the Marina Mall and a brand new third outlet at the Spoons Complex. Other restaurants can be found in Abu Dhabi's Khaldiya Mall, Doha's Villagio and Bahrain's City Center Mall, with future outposts planned for Dubai's Mall of the Emirates and Cairo, Egypt. Asha Bhosle has a 20% stake in the business. Asha is not involved in day-to-day running of the restaurant which is looked after by the Wafi Group. She takes care of the kitchen and the décor. She personally trained the chefs for almost six months. According to a December 2004 report in the Menu Magazine, Russell Scott, a former head of Harry Ramsden's (the fish and chips chain), secured the UK rights to the Asha's brand and planned to open up to 40 restaurants over the next five years. As part of her chain of restaurants, Asha has recently opened a new restaurant in Birmingham, UK.
Asha's fashion statement is white saree with sparkling embroidery, pearls around her neck and a touch of diamonds. Harrington said "The first time I met Ashaji she was dressed in the most beautiful sari with diamonds and looked very regal. Then I looked down and saw that she was wearing tennis shoes! I thought I love this woman."
Asha is a good mimicry artist as well. At a concert at World Trade Center in Dubai on April 22, 2004, she mimicked the song Kabhi To Nazar Milaao in the voices of Noor Jehan, Lata Mangeshkar and Ghulam Ali.
Nowadays, apart from singing and her restaurant, Asha is also working on her autobiography.
Rivalry with Lata Mangeshkar
Asha's sibling rivalry with Lata Mangeshkar is often talked about, in spite of their insistence that these are just tales. As young children, they were very close. As a child, Lata used to carry Asha all the time. They were so inseparable that when Lata went to school she would take Asha with her. One day the teacher protested and said that they cannot have two students on one fee. Lata refused to return to school without Asha and quit her studies.
Lata considered Asha's act of eloping with her lover as irresponsible, leaving her alone to sing and earn for the family. This led to tensions between them. Asha herself accepted in an interview — "It was a love marriage and Lata didi did not speak to me for a long time. She disapproved of the alliance." At one time, their relationship was very adversarial and there have been periods of non-communication.
In her initial days in the industry, Asha always played second fiddle to her elder sister. Some say that Lata had once criticised Asha's relationship with O. P. Nayyar. This widened the rift between the two sisters and O P Nayyar also decided that he would never work with Lata. O.P. Nayyar had once revealed "Asha and Lata, staying in opposite flats at Bombay's Peddar Road, had a common maidservant. Now this maidservant had merely to come and tell the younger sister that Lata had just recorded something wonderful for Asha to lose her vocal poise. Such was her Lata phobia that it took me some months to convince Asha that she had a voice individualistic enough to evolve a singing style all of her own." Asha once said that she has worked for years to create a voice and a style that was different from Lata, so that she could carve her own niche and not be banished to live in her sister's shadow.
Asha and Lata have also sung together. Their first duet was for the film Daman (1951). Some of their songs include Man Bhawan Ke Ghar aye (Chori Chori, 1956), Sakhi ri sun bole papihaa us paar (Miss Mary, 1957), O chaand jahaan woh jaaye (Sharada, 1957), Mere Mehboob Mein Kya Nahi (Mere Mehboob, 1963), Ai kash kisi deewane ko (Aaye Din Bahar Ke, 1966), Main Chali Main Chali (Padosan, 1968), Chhap tilak sab (Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, 1978), and Man kyun behka (Utsav, 1984). While singing, Lata used to hold her notebook in her right hand, while Asha held hers in the left hand. This meant Lata had her face away from Asha, making it difficult for them to "anticipate" each other.
The movie Saaz, was supposedly based on Lata and Asha's rivalry. Asha said about the movie — "To have two women in long plaits, take a couple of incidents and exaggerate them into a 3-hour film is such a waste of time." In the last few years, Asha and Lata have often been seen in public, enjoying each other's company. In an interview with The Times of India, Asha once said - "I remember, sometimes both of us would be at a function and some industry types would ignore me and interact only with her, as if to prove their loyalty. Later, didi and I would have a good laugh!"
Asha Bhosle has won seven Filmfare Best Female Playback Awards of 18 nominations. She won her first two awards in 1967 and 1968. (Mangeshkar asked not to be considered for the award nominations after 1969 to promote new talent). After receiving the award in 1979, Bhosle emulated her elder sister and requested that her name not be considered for the nominations hereafter. Despite this, Bhosle is the most frequent winner of this award to date, tying with Alka Yagnik. She was later given a Special Award for Rangeela in 1996, and the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. Following is the list of her Filmfare Awards:
Filmfare Best Female Playback Award:
* 1968: "Garibon ki Suno" (Dus Lakh, 1966)
* 1969: "Parde Mein Rehne Do" (Shikar, 1968)
* 1972: "Piya Tu Ab To Aaja" (Caravan, 1971)
* 1973: "Dum Maro Dum" (Hare Rama Hare Krishna, 1972)
* 1974: "Hone Lagi Hain Raat" (Naina, 1973)
* 1975: "Chain Se Humko Kabhi" (Pran Jaye Par Vachan Na Jaye, 1974)
* 1979: "Yeh Mera Dil" (Don, 1978)
* 1996 - Special Award (Rangeela, 1995)
* 2001 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award
National Film Awards
Asha has won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer twice:
* 1981: Dil Cheez Kya Hai (Umrao Jaan)
* 1986: Mera Kuch Samaan (Ijaazat)
Asha has won numerous other awards, including:
* 1987: Nightingale Of Asia Award (from the Indo–Pak Association, UK).
* 1989: Lata Mangeshkar Award (Government of Madhya Pradesh).
* 1997: Screen Videocon Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo).
* 1997: MTV Award (for the album Jaanam Samajha Karo).
* 1997: Channel V Award (for the album Jaanam Samjha Karo).
* 1998: Dayawati Modi Award.
* 1999: Lata Mangeshkar Award (Government of Maharashtra)
* 2000: Singer of the Millennium (Dubai).
* 2000: Zee Gold Bollywood Award (for Mujhe Rang De from Thakshak).
* 2001: MTV Award (for Kambakht Ishq).
* 2002: BBC Lifetime Achievement Award (presented by the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair).
* 2002: Zee Cine Award for Best Playback Singer - Female (for Radha Kaise Na Jale from Lagaan).
* 2002: Zee Cine Special Award for Hall of Fame.
* 2002: Screen Videocon Award (for Radha Kaise Na Jale from Lagaan).
* 2002: Sansui Movie Award (for Radha Kaise Na Jale from Lagaan).
* 2003: Swaralaya Yesudas Award for outstanding contributions to Indian music.
* 2004: Living Legend Award by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
* 2005: MTV Immies, Best Female Pop Act for Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo.
* 2005: Most Stylish People in Music.
Honours and recognitions
* In 1997, Asha became the first Indian singer to be nominated for the Grammy Award, for Legacy, an album with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
* She has received seventeen Maharashtra State Awards.
* She received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2000 for her outstanding contribution to Indian cinema.
* She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Amravati and University of Jalgaon in Literature.
* She has received The Freddie Mercury Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts.
* The Birmingham Film Festival paid her a special tribute in November 2002.
* She was honoured with the Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India.
* She was among top 20 music icons of the past 50 years.