India mourns singer Lata Mangeshkar known as ‘Nightingale of India,’ dead at 92

Lata Mangeshkar, a legendary Indian singer with a prolific, groundbreaking catalog and a voice recognized by a billion people in South Asia, has died, her doctor said. She was 92.

The iconic singer died Sunday morning of multiple organ failure at Breach Candy hospital in Mumbai, Dr. Pratit Samdani told reporters. She was hospitalized on Jan. 11 after contracting COVID-19.

India declared two days of national mourning and said Mangeshkar will be given a state funeral before being cremated in Mumbai on Sunday evening. The country’s flags will fly at half-mast.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “anguished beyond words.”

“The kind and caring Lata Didi (sister) has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled,” he wrote on Twitter Sunday. “The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people.”

Bollywood actors and Indian politicians paid tribute to the late star Sunday.
“How can one forget such a voice! Deeply saddened by the passing away of Lata Mangeshkar ji, my sincere condolences and prayers,” wrote actor Akshay Kunar on Twitter.
MP for the opposition Congress party Rahul Gandhi also offered his condolences in a tweet. “She remained the most beloved voice of India for many decades,” he said. “Her golden voice is immortal and will continue to echo in the hearts of her fans.”
From the age of 5, Mangeshkar began training with her father in classical Indian music. Her father, Deenanath Mangeshkar, was an accomplished classical singer and stage actor. His daughter began her career by singing at his musical plays.
Mangeshkar performed in public for the first time when she was just 9 years old and recorded her first song at the age of 13. A month after she recorded her first song, her father died. Left to support four younger siblings and her mother, Mangeshkar began to work in the Indian film industry. At first, music directors dismissed her, saying her voice was too thin and sharp. By 1948, she was lending her voice to half a dozen movies.

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