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Bhimsen Joshi
Born on 04 February 1922 AD Died at the age of 89 years. Died on 24 February 2011 AD
One of the foremost exponents of Hindustani classical music, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi requires no introduction of sorts. A classicist by training and profession, he was known the world over for his ‘Khayal’ form of singing. What made him distinctive from his contemporaries was his ability to balance between the traditional music and mass-culture taste. This probably best explains his success as a Hindustani vocalist in terms of largest commercially recorded repertoire. Blessed with fine musical sensibilities and brilliant hold of fundamentals, his powerful voice, amazing breath control, rhythmic stance, and intelligent fusion of passion and creativity has marvelled all who have heard him play. He was a purist by heart and did not experiment much with his music which was marked by spontaneity, accuracy and unbelievably fast paced taans. However, he enriched the ‘Kiraana Gharana’ by adapting characteristics from other gharanas and adding his own distinctive taste to it. A Bharat Ratna awardee, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi was also conferred with numerous other prestigious and coveted l awards.

Kumar Gandharva
Born on 08 April 1924 AD Died at the age of 67 years. Died on 12 January 1992 AD
Kumar Gandharva was a renowned Hindustani classical singer, one of the most celebrated classical musicians of India. He was a child prodigy and a genius at creating innovative compositions. Disabled in his youth by the loss of the use of a lung, he found a new life in his music. It is said that ill health had majorly affected his voice in the coming years, and thus he had to develop a new style of singing characterized by short phrases and a very high pitch. He spent his temporary forced retirement in meditative and thoughtful concentration on the study of music. This helped him to emerge from the ordeal as a much matured and seasoned artist with newly sharpened creative faculties. A renowned Indian Hindustani classical singer, the unique feature about his singing style was that he refused to adhere to the specific tradition and rules of any particular musical Gharana. Though he may not have ascended the same level of fame as some of his contemporaries, he enjoyed the ample support and affection of his own ardent fans. His style of pronunciation was unmatched and he believed that words, if pronounced properly with the correct feel can be very powerful. His style of singing also included many dramatic gestures and smiles, which was thoroughly enjoyed by his audience. He was a gifted singer who fought against formidable odds to emerge victorious and dedicated himself solely to the study and advancement of music.

One of his most notable works was his unique style and creativity which resulted in compositions in the same raaga in both fast and slow paces, something rarely achieved by a north Indian musician. He was also perhaps the only one in this century to have dared to present a whole concert in the folk music of Malwa.

Another one of his best musical experiments was the one-hour long raaga expositions in which he would frequently perform as many as six different pieces in varying tempos, many of which were his own compositions.

Lata Mangeshkar
Born on 28 September 1929
Hailed as the ‘Nightingale of Bollywood’, there is no doubt that Lata Mangeshkar is one of the best recognized and respected female voices in India. With a singing career spanning over seven decades in the Hindi and Indian regional film industries where most wannabe singers fizzle off even before the decade is up, Mangeshkar is surely a formidable figure to reckon with. Not only has the lady with the Golden Voice made her indelible mark on the Hindi filmdom by singing for over a thousand Hindi films, but has also lent her voice to songs in over 36 regional Indian languages and foreign languages. Singing came naturally to young Lata as she was born as the eldest daughter of a classical singer. Her father was also a theater artist and Lata and her younger siblings were exposed to the big stage from an early age. The unfortunate death of her father while she was still young forced her to become her family’s breadwinner, a duty she fulfilled to her best. For her rare achievements and contributions to the art of India, she was honored with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award—a very rare tribute for a vocalist.

Mohammed Rafi
Born on 24 December 1924 AD Died at the age of 55 years. Died on 31 July 1980 AD
One of the golden voices of Hindi filmdom, Mohammed Rafi was definitely one of the greatest contemporary singers to have taken birth in India. He was blessed with such versatility that he could sing romantic numbers, sad songs, funny songs and ghazals, all with the same heartwarming soulfulness. Voted as “Indian Cinema’s Greatest Voice”, it is no surprise that even today he remains one of India’s most listened to singers—decades after his untimely death! Over a long and productive singing career that spanned over three decades, the singer recorded thousands of songs, several of which still remain etched in the memories of Indian film lovers. He had a strong command over the Hindi language and had the ability to modulate his voice and tone to suit the personalities of the actors he was singing for. Over his career, he sang for many of Bollywood’s superstars like Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, and Sunil Dutt. Along with his solos, he was also very famous for singing duets with the leading female singers of his time like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Though most of his songs were in Hindi, his repertoire also includes songs in Indian regional languages like Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, and Telugu.
Read more at http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/mohammed-rafi-5325.php#D7wkQeQWYl6JmuQ1.99

Hailed as the ‘Best Singer of the Millennium’, Mohammed Rafi was undoubtedly one of the best known playback singers to have graced Indian cinema. A multiple award winner, he recorded thousands of songs over his career which was cut short by his untimely death.

Begum Akhtar
Born on 07 October 1914 AD Died at the age of 60 years. Died on 30 October 1974 AD
Begum Akhtar, also known as Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, was a well-known Indian singer of Hindustani classical music, most famous for her renditions of the Ghazal, Dadra, and Thumri genres. Honored with the title of Mallika-e-Ghazal (Queen of Ghazals), she was one of the best known Indian singers of her era, known for her soulful, poignant, and melancholy melodies. A highly successful professional artiste, her personal life was a very tragic one. She was exposed to life’s difficulties at a young age after her father abandoned the family leaving her mother alone to fend for the children. Another tragedy followed soon after when she lost her beloved sister to poisoning. Miseries followed her throughout her early years, and singing offered her solace from life’s injustices and tragedies. Naturally inclined towards music, she started receiving singing lessons as a little girl and gave her first public performance at the age of 15. She received encouragement from the famous poet Sarojini Naidu which motivated the teenager to make a career in music. Good looking and talented, she ventured into films as an actress and also sang her songs herself in all her films. With her rich and soulful voice she carved a niche for herself, and received several honors and awards for her contribution to classical music.

Bestowed with the title of Mallika-e-Ghazal (Queen of Ghazals), Begum Akhtar was one of the finest singers of Ghazal, Dadra, and Thumri genres of Hindustani classical music. Known for her deep, soulful voice, she has nearly four hundred songs to her credit and was also famous for her skills as a composer of raag based ghazals

Kishore Kumar
Born on 4th August 1929 . Died at the age of 58 years. Died on 13th October 1987
The soulful voice behind many of the hit Bollywood songs of yesteryears’ superstar Rajesh Khanna, playback singer Kishore Kumar was a unique and eccentric personality. A multifaceted personality, he was not just a playback singer, but also an actor, comedian, lyricist, composer, producer cum director. One of the most recognized and well loved male voices of Hindi cinema, Kishore Kumar was also a much emotionally unstable personality, a genius troubled by the weights of his own talents. Born as the youngest among the siblings into a wealthy Bengali family, Kishore’s venture into filmdom simply happened by chance. In fact, it is nothing but a quirk of fate that the man who would one day become the voice of India’s superstars did not even receive a basic training in music! He was just a young boy when his elder brother became an actor in Bollywood and the youngster followed his brother to Bombay where his brother helped him find work. How would a young boy without any training in acting or music face up to the challenges of the colorful world of Bollywood? He need not have worried. As fate would have it, Kishore soon became the darling of the masses and still reigns over their hearts years after his death. Considered to be one of the most successful male playback singers of Indian cinema , Kishore Kumar was a class apart. He sang not only in the Hindi language, but also in several other languages including Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Kannada, Oriya and Urdu.

Asha Bhosle
Born on 08th September 1933
With a career spanning over six decades over which she sang thousands of songs in different languages, there is no doubt that Asha Bhosle is one of the most recognized female Indian voices all over the world. Even though she is most famous for being a playback singer who has over her long and productive career sung for over a thousand Bollywood movies, her versatility is something that differentiates her from other famous singers. Her repertoire of songs extends much beyond the Hindi film music she is most popular for. Ghazals, bhajans, pops, classical, and folk songs—there is no genre of music untouched by Asha Bhosle. Singing came naturally to young Asha as she was the daughter of the classical musician, Deenanath Mangeshkar. The untimely death of her father when she was just a little kid forced her and her elder sister Lata to start singing in films to earn a livelihood. A whirlwind teenage romance with a much older man and a disastrous marriage made her take up singing very seriously. Plucky, optimistic and ever the brave soul, Asha ji faced all life’s adversities to emerge a winner. Hailed to be a highly versatile singer, Asha Bhosle has sung over 12, 000 songs in more than 20 Indian and foreign languages till now. She has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in music history.

Jagjit Singh
Born on 08 February 1941 AD Died at the age of 70 years. Died on 10 October 2011 AD
Jagjit Singh was a renowned Indian singer, writer and musician, famously dubbed as the ‘Ghazal King’. Born into a middle class Sikh family, he was a child prodigy in music; his father identified his talent and encouraged him to learn classical music. After his graduation, he moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in music industry and experienced his fair share of struggle in the industry to find work. In the meantime, he married Chitra, another singer, and together they started singing compositions. But it was not until after seven years of marriage, when the couple’s first fruitful album was released. The magic of the duo's voice, their blissful romance and the utter intensity of their ghazals enthralled everyone. Thereafter the couple worked both on solo and joint musical projects and performed concerts worldwide. He achieved incredible success through his soulful and mesmerizing voice in several genres of singing ranging from romantic melodies to sad compositions and devotional hymns. However his personal life was deeply affected when his only son died at a young age, after which his wife gave up singing. But he continued to sing and his songs only gained more popularity with each passing day. A spellbinding singer and a great person, he established himself as one of India's most influential artists and his melodies continue to communicate with the deepest human emotions.

One of his most celebrated works is the album ‘The Unforgettable’ (1976) which features compositions such as ‘Baat Niklaygi Toh’ and ‘Sarakti Jaye Hai’. The album was an immediate success and established him and his wife, as remarkable Ghazal singers.

In 1988, he composed all of the songs for ‘Mirza Ghalib’, a TV series based on the life of the eponymous poet, Mirza Ghalib, featuring some of his evergreen tracks such as ‘Hazaron Khwahishen Aisi’ and ‘Dil-e-Nadaan Tujhe’.

Sonu Nigam
Sonu Nigam, who had performed for charity in troubled regions across the globe, has decided to hold a concert for the Kashmir Valley. Though he was a little hesitant initially, Sonu later decided to perform in the troubled torn region.
He was the first to perform in Kabul in 2005 at that notorious stadium where all the Taliban executions used to take place.
Sonu Nigam has done various charity work and shows all over India as well as abroad for senior citizens, cancer organizations, leprosy organizations, blind organizations, womens welfare organizations, Kargil war affected families, Earthquake affected families.
Fondly often referred to as the Elvis Presley of India.

Sunidhi Chauhan
Sunidhi Chauhan feature in charity singalong of John Lennon's 'Imagine'
The song was launched at the United Nations General Assembly, in order to raise awareness of the ‘rights of children’ and to also help raise funds to support the organisation’s work to advance these rights for every child.
Special legal permissions have also been from the late Beatle singer’s wife Yoko Ono, to use the song.

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