Manna Dey: Legendary Indian singer dies
- 24 October 2013
- From the section India
Indian singer Manna Dey has died in a Bangalore hospital at the age of 94.
He had been ill for the past few months and was in hospital for a respiratory infection. His funeral is due to take place later on Thursday.
Born Prabodh Chandra Dey in 1919, Dey was popularly known as Manna, and chalked up a number of hit Bollywood songs in a career spanning six decades.
Tributes have been pouring in for the legendary singer from the government, the film industry and his fans.
President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh led the country in paying tributes to Dey.
India "has lost a veteran playback singer, a versatile artist of extraordinary ability and a creative genius who mesmerised listeners with his enchanting voice," the president said.
The prime minister described Dey as the "king of melody" and said with his death, the music world had lost one of its most talented artistes.
"I am deeply saddened to hear of the demise of the King of Melody, Manna Dey. An accomplished singer with a unique voice, he was multi-talented and excelled in Rabindra Sangeet and various other forms of popular music," he said in his condolence message.
"In his death, the music world has lost one of its most talented artistes. Dey's legacy will, however, live on through the many songs he sang," Mr Singh added.
Dey sang in several languages including Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi and Bhojpuri.
His long career saw him win several awards for his contribution to music, including state honours like the Padma Shri in 1971 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2005. He was also given the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007.
Dey sang more than 3,500 songs, including romantic ballads, intricate raga-based songs, Qawwalis and fast-paced modern numbers in his career.
Along with Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, and Kishore Kumar, he made up what was known as the "famous quartet of singers" who dominated the Hindi film music industry from 1950s to 1970s.
Many of Dey's tracks for Bollywood films became huge hits and he sang for some of the biggest Bollywood names like Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra.
His most popular numbers included Zindagi kaisi hai paheli (Life, what a riddle it is) from the film Anand; Poocho na kaise maine raen bitayee (Don't ask how I spent my night) from Meri Surat Teri Aankhen; Ek chatur naar (A clever woman) from Padosan; and Eey bhai zara dekh ke chalo (Oh brother, look where you're going) from Meraa Naam Joker.
He also sang for Bollywood super-hits Sholay and Amar Akbar Anthony.
'Pleasant, easy personality'
In the last few years, he had largely withdrawn from public life.
Dey's peers from Bollywood and fans took to Twitter to pay tribute to the singer.
"Today, great classical singer Manna Dey sahab, who we fondly called Manna da, is not among us anymore. He had a very pleasant and easy personality. He was very dedicated to his work. I salute him and pray that his soul rests in peace," singer Lata Mangeshkar, who collaborated on innumerable hits with him, wrote on Twitter.
Mangeshkar's duet Pyar hua ikraar hua (I admit I'm in love), played as background to film of actors Raj Kapoor and Nargis on a rainy night under an umbrella in Shri 420, is among the most popular romantic songs of Bollywood.
"Manna Dey, stalwart of the music world, passes away. Flooded with memories and his songs," tweeted Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
In another tweet, Bachchan said: "Strange how we connect events of our life with his songs."
"Manna Dey passes away. His voice shall linger forever. RIP," tweeted film-maker Mahesh Bhat.
Actor Manoj Bajpai tweeted: "Manna Dey is no more! A great singer! Let's pray for him! My condolences to his family! His music will live for 1000 yrs. RIP."
Actress Shabana Azmi wrote: "Manna Dey had a unique voice. He will live on through his songs Ai Meri Zohra Jabeen/ dil ka haal suney dilwala/ poocho na kaise maine. RIP."
Popular cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted. "Oh no. Such terrible news to get up to. Manna Dey no more? Less melody in the world."
Dey, a Bengali, also charmed neighbouring Bangladesh with songs in his mother tongue and in a message on Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Dey would remain alive forever among music-loving people of the subcontinent.
"People will never forget his extraordinary melodious voice and unique style," she said.