"Today, we have lost the greatest of all time!"
Iconic playback singer Lata Mangeshkar passed away in hospital aged 92, having tested positive for Covid-19 in January 2022.
She was admitted to Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital on January 8.
But according to reports, her condition deteriorated after she was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Lata later passed away due to multiple organ failure.
Dr Pratit Samdani, who treated the singer, said:
“Lata Didi died at 8:12 am due to multi-organ failure after over 28 days of Covid-19 diagnosis.”
Known as the ‘Nightingale of India’ and with a seven-decade-long career, Lata Mangeshkar was credited with voicing 30,000 songs in different languages and was the voice behind some of Bollywood’s best-known hits.
She was born in 1929 in Indore, Madhya Pradesh and was the eldest of five siblings in a prominently musical family.
Lata started singing at the age of 13 with songs in Marathi.
Her talent soon took her to the Hindi film industry where she lent her voice to generations of actresses from the 1960s to 2000s.
Known for her soft voice, Lata Mangeshkar’s exceptional understanding of Indian classical chords made her a household name and she was often regarded as the best female playback singer of her era.
One of her most famous songs is the patriotic ballad ‘Ae mere watan ke logon’, a rendition of which is said to have once moved India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears.
The song is still played on India’s Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations.
News of her passing has resulted in a wave of tributes.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled “unforgettable” meetings with the star.
He tweeted: “I grieve with my fellow Indians on the passing away of Lata Didi.”
Abhishek Bachchan said: “Today, we have lost the greatest of all time!
“We are all left heartbroken and speechless. An irreplaceable loss. Rest in glory Lata ji. Thank you for blessing us with your voice, talent and compassion.
“We are privileged to have lived in the times of the great Lata Mangeshkar.”
Meri Awaaz Hi Pehchaan Hain, Gar Yaad Rahe…and how can one forget such a voice!
Deeply saddened by the passing away of Lata Mangeshkar ji, my sincere condolences and prayers. Om Shanti ??
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) February 6, 2022
Priyanka Chopra posted: “The music will never stop.”
— A.R.Rahman (@arrahman) February 6, 2022
Virat Kohli wrote: “Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Lata ji.
“Her melodious songs touched millions of people around the world.
“Thank you for all the music and the memories. My deepest condolences to the family and the loved ones.”
The Indian men’s cricket team paid tribute to Lata Mangeshkar ahead of their match against the West Indies.
They held a minute’s silence and wore black armbands.
The BCCI said: The BCCI joins the nation in mourning the loss of Bharat Ratna Smt. Lata Mangeshkar ji.
“The Queen of Melody enthralled the country for decades. An avid follower of the game and an ardent supporter of Team India, she helped create an awareness using music as a medium.”
R.I.P Lata Mangeshkar one of India's most beautiful voices. My deepest condolences to her family and most especially to her sister Asha Bhosle who sang on Bow Down Mister. A gifted family.
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) February 6, 2022
The likes of Amitabh Bachchan, Anupam Kher, Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Shraddha Kapoor visited Lata Mangeshkar’s house to pay their respects.
The government has announced two days of national mourning.
From February 6 to February 7, 2022, the national flag will be flown at half-mast.
Government events will also be suspended until the mourning period has come to an end.
The Home Ministry said: “There will be no official entertainment.”
It was announced that the singer will be given a state funeral.
Her cremation will take place in Mumbai on Sunday evening and will be attended by Mr Modi.
A recipient of the Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke Award as well as several National and Filmfare Awards, Lata Mangeshkar leaves a lasting legacy.