‘Defining Voice of Many Generations’: Global Media on Lata Mangeshkar’s Death

International media react to the death of Bharat Ratna awardee and legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar.

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‘Defining Voice of Many Generations’: Global Media on Lata Mangeshkar’s Death

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International media expressed grief as Bharat Ratna awardee and legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar passed away on Sunday, 6 February, at the age of 92. She was hospitalised in Mumbai's Breach Candy hospital for COVID complications.

The ‘The Nightingale of India’ sang for several generations of actors over the span of her career.

While the New York Times called Mangeshkar "a revered figure in India", The Guardian called her "Indian film industry’s greatest-ever playback singer". Here's how international media outlets are reacting to the tragic news:

'Gift of Singing in Character'

The New York Times, in an editorial piece titled ‘Lata Mangeshkar, Bollywood’s Most Beloved Voice, Dies at 92’, spoke about Mangeshkar’s decades-long singing career and her unique voice tailored to suit the emotions in every song.

“Ms. Mangeshkar leaves a legacy of tens of thousands of songs, mostly in Hindi but also in several other Indian languages. She was what is known as a playback singer — not appearing onscreen herself, but contributing a character’s voice to be dubbed in for song-and-dance scenes. Ms. Mangeshkar was known for her range — she could sing in four octaves — and her gift for singing in character, tailoring her voice and emotions for the actress she was voicing onscreen,” wrote New York Times.

'Greatest-ever Playback Singer'

The Guardian, in a report titled 'Lata Mangeshkar, legendary Bollywood singer, dies at 92,' said that Mangeshkar defined music and melody in a career spanning 73 years.

Paying homage to the veteran singer, The Guardian said that Mangeshkar was not afraid to raise her voice or take a stand in the industry and is widely considered “Indian film industry’s greatest-ever playback singer”.

The Guardian report said, "…Mangeshkar dominated Bollywood music for more than half a century, and is considered by many to be the Indian film industry’s greatest-ever playback singer. She was not shy about taking a stand when it came to raising her prices or asking for a share of the royalties earned on her songs. She was also known for her quirks, such as never singing with her shoes on and always writing out each song by hand before recording it.”


'The Nightingale of India'

Reuters paid homage to Lata Mangeshkar by calling her the “defining voice of many generations” who rightfully earned the title of ‘The Nightingale of India’.

“Mangeshkar's voice has rung out of television sets, on crackly airwaves and from movie theatres for most of independent India's three quarters of a century, making hers the defining voice of many generations and earning her the title of "the Nightingale," said the report.

'A Household Name'

BBC, in a report titled 'Lata Mangeshkar: A singing career that spanned half a century', said that the singer was a “household name”.

The report said, “Mangeshkar's extraordinary work spanned half a century - she sang more than 30,000 songs across 36 languages. But it was her work in India's Hindi language film industry, Bollywood, that made her a household name.”

'A Cultural Icon'

The Wall Street Journal, in a report titled Singer Lata Mangeshkar, ‘Nightingale of India,’ Dies at 92, said that Mangeshkar was a "cultural icon who enchanted generations of Bollywood audiences".

From the song 'Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya?' in Mughal-E-Azam (1960) to 'Are Re Are' from Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Mangeshkar rose to fame as a playback singer.

The Wall Street Journal report said, "Revered as the “Nightingale of India,” Ms. Mangeshkar rose to fame as a playback singer. Over a decades long career, she provided her distinctive vocals to prerecorded songs that were dubbed over lip-syncing actors in India’s lavishly-choreographed Bollywood musical sequences."

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