Asha Bhosle is an Indian singer. She is best known as a playback singer in Hindi cinema, 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, and Rabindra Sangeets. Apart from Hindi, she has sung in over 20 Indian and foreign languages. In 2006, Asha Bhosle stated that she had sung over 12,000 songs, a figure repeated by several other sources. In 2011, she was officially acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in music history. The Government of India honoured her with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008. In 2013,
she made her debut as an actress in the film Mai, and received critical acclaim for her performance.
In the early 1960s, prominent playback singers like Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum, and Lata Mangeshkar dominated the singing for the female lead and the big films. 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. 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, and most of these songs 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
By the 1980s, Bhosle, although 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 "Justaju 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).
- 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: 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.