Renowned Lavani singer and actress Sulochana Kadam-Chavan passed away following old-age related issues at her home here on Saturday morning, a family member said.
The widow of film-maker S. Chavan, she was 91 and is survived by her sons and grandchildren, said her granddaughter Aarti Chavan.
Sulochana Chavan breathed her last at the family’s Fanaswadi home and her last rites shall be performed later in the afternoon in Girgaum, south Mumbai, she added.
An exponent of Lavani singing – a Marathi style of folk music and dance – Chavan was honoured with the Padmashri award this year and has been a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2012) and the Lata Mangeshkar Award (2010) of the Maharashtra Government.
Starting her artistic career at the young age of only 6, the little Sulochana Kadam used to act in local drama, theatre and garba groups, followed by Gujarati stage acts, working in Urdu and Hindi plays and also performed roles in Punjabi and Tamil films.
Along with her mother, she started going to the famed Rajkamal Studios of the legendary film-maker V. Shantaram and started taking her singing lessons, landing her the first professional assignment when she was barely 11 years old.
Later, she started singing Lavani – a Marathi folk dance and music style – and excelled in that to be acknowledged over the years as the ‘Queen of Lavani’, a title given to her by the eminent litterateur Acharya P.K. Atre.
Sulochana married film-maker S. Chavan – of the Marathi film “Kalgitura” fame – and became known as Sulochana Chavan, while continuing her passion for acting and singing.
Chavan sang Lavani for solo or group albums, playback for Marathi and Hindi films and theatre, and was conferred several honours and awards during her film and music career spanning over eight decades.