Asha Bhosle Biography, Music, Family, Net Worth, Awards And More!
Asha Bhosle (born 8 September 1933), is an Indian singer. She is best known as a playback singer in Hindi cinema, although she has a wider repertoire. Bhosle’s career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over a thousand Bollywood movies. In addition, she has recorded several private albums and participated in numerous solo concerts in India and abroad. Bhosle is the sister of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Asha Bhosle’s Early Life and Career
Asha Bhosle was born in the small hamlet of Goar in Sangli, then
in the salute princely state of Sangli (now in Maharashtra), into the musical family of Master Deenanath Mangeshkar, who belongs to the Marathi-speaking Gomantak Maratha Samaj. Her father was an actor and classical singer on Marathi Musical stage. When she was nine years old, her father died. The family moved from Pune to Kolhapur and then to Mumbai.
She and her elder sister Lata Mangeshkar began singing and acting in films to support their family. She sang her first film song ‘”Chala Chala Nav Bala” for the Marathi film Majha Bal (1943). The music for the film was composed by Datta Davjekar. She made her Hindi film debut when she sang the song “Saawan Aaya” for Hansraj Behl’s Chunariya (1948). Her first solo Hindi film song was for the movie Raat Ki Raani (1949).
At the age of 16, she eloped with 31-year-old Ganpatrao Bhosle, marrying him against her family’s wishes.
Asha Bhosle’s Bengali Career
Asha Bhosle sang her first Bengali song in 1958 under the banner of HMV. The songs were duets with Binod Chattopadhyay and composed by Manna Dey. The following year, she recorded her very first “Pooja Songs” from HMV with music arranged by Dey again. She sang many pooja songs in Bengali. Rahul converted some Hindi tracks to Bengali such as “Gunjone Dole Je Bhramar” (made from Gunguna Rahe Hain Bawre in Aradhana), “Chokhe Name Bristi” (from Jane Kya Baat Hai), “Gungun Gunje” (from Pyaar Deewana Hota Hain).
In the mid 1970s, she would frequently sing for Bengali songs tuned by Sudhin Dasgupta, Nachiketa Ghosh rtc. In 1975, she sang the duet “Sara Pyaar Tumhara” with Kishore Kumar in Anand Ashram and “Amar Swapno Tumi” in its Bengali version with the same title. In the 1970s, she sang a lot of songs in films such as Chhadmabeshi, Bandi, Mouchak, Anand Ashram etc. In 1980, she sang the Bhajan “Kunjo Bihari He Giridhari” in Mayer Ashirbad.
In 1981, she sang the duet “Adho Alo Chhayate” with Kishore in Kalankini Kankanati. In 1982, she sang a Bengali Adhunik song “Kotha Hoyechilo” in Troyee for Debasri Roy. In 1986, the duet with Kishore Kumar “Chiridini Tumi Je Amar” composed by Bappi Lahiri. In 2014, She has created the album “Pancham Tumi Kothay” in honor of her husband Rahul Dev Burman’s 75th birth anniversary. In this album she has sung 8 songs previously composed by Burman. She has also sung in a 2014 film Parapar at the age of 81.
Asha Bhosle’s Personal Life
Asha’s house is situated in Prabhukunj Apt on the Peddar Road area of South Mumbai. Asha, at the age of 16, had eloped with 31-year-old Ganpatrao Bhosle. They separated in 1960. They have three children and five grandchildren. The eldest of her three children, Hemant Bhosle (named after Hemant Kumar), spent most of his early years as a pilot and quit to have a brief career as a music director. Bhosle’s daughter Varsha committed suicide on 8 October 2012; she was 56 years old and worked as a columnist for The Sunday Observer and Rediff.
Asha’s youngest child, Anand Bhosle, has studied business and film direction. He manages Asha’s career. Her grandson, Chaitanya (Chintu) Bhosle (Hemant’s son) is a part of the world of music. He is a member of India’s first & only boy band, “A Band of Boys”. Her sisters Lata and Usha Mangeshkar are playback singers. Her other, sister Meena Mangeshkar and brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar are music directors.
Hemant Bhosle ‘s best known compositions were the Kishore-Asha duets such as “Aji Kaho Kya Haal Hai” from Anpadh picturised on Vijendra Ghatke and “Sarika” and “Salamat Raho Tum” from the same film “Anpadh” picturised on Ashok Kumar and Sarika. Her son Hemant died of cancer in 2015.
Asha’s first husband Ganpatrao was her personal secretary. Their marriage failed miserably in 1960. Her husband and in-laws mistreated her. After a few years of marriage, Asha was turned out by a suspicious Ganpatrao and she went to her maternal home with two children while pregnant with her third child. She continued to sing in films to earn money. Asha married Rahul Dev Burman in 1980. This was the second marriage for both Rahul and Asha. Rahul, 6 years younger than her, earlier got divorced from Rita Patel in 1971.
Asha is an excellent cook and cooking is her favorite hobby. She often gets flooded with requests by Bollywood celebrities for kadai ghosht and biryani dishes and has rarely turned down a request. In fact, her paya curry, Goan fish curry and dal are very popular with the Kapoor family of Bollywood.
Once, when asked in a Times of India interview, what if her singing career had not taken off, she said “I would have become a cook.
I’d have cooked in four houses and made money.” The love of cooking got Asha into a successful restaurant business. She runs restaurants in Dubai and Kuwait called Asha’s. Asha’s offers traditional north-western Indian cuisine. It has a presence in the Wafi City development in Dubai, as well as three restaurants in Kuwait, at The Avenues Mall, the Marina Mall and a brand new third outlet at the Spoons Complex.
Other restaurants can be found in Abu Dhabi’s Khaldiya Mall, Doha’s Villagio and Bahrain’s City Center Mall, with future outposts planned for Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates and Cairo, Egypt. Asha Bhosle has a 20% stake in the business. Asha is not involved in the day-to-day running of the restaurant which is looked after by the Wafi Group. She takes care of the kitchen and the décor.
She personally trained the chefs for almost six months. According to a December 2004 report in Menu Magazine, Russell Scott, a former head of Harry Ramsden’s (the fish and chips chain), secured the UK rights to the Asha’s brand and planned to open up to 40 restaurants over the next five years. As part of her chain of restaurants, Asha has recently opened a new restaurant in Birmingham, UK. Asha Bhosle will be on view at the Madame Tussauds gallery that opens in New Delhi soon.
Asha Bhosle’s Rivalry with Lata Mangeshkar
Asha’s sibling rivalry with Lata Mangeshkar is often talked about, in spite of their insistence that these are just tales. As young children, they were very close. As a child, Lata used to carry Asha all the time. They were so inseparable that when Lata went to school she would take Asha with her. One day the teacher protested and said that they cannot have two students on one fee. Lata refused to return to school without Asha and quit her studies.
Lata considered Asha’s act of eloping with her lover as irresponsible, leaving her alone to sing and earn for the family. This led to tensions between them. Asha herself stated in an interview – “It was a love marriage and Lata didi did not speak to me for a long time. She disapproved of the alliance.” At one time, their relationship was very adversarial and there have been periods of non-communication.
In her initial days in the industry, Asha always played second fiddle to her elder sister. Some say that Lata had once criticised Asha’s relationship with O. P. Nayyar. This widened the rift between the two sisters and O P Nayyar also decided that he would never work with Lata. O.P. Nayyar had once revealed that “Asha and Lata, staying in opposite flats at Bombay’s Peddar Road, shared a maid. Said maid’s responsibility was to come and tell the younger sister that Lata had just recorded something wonderful for Asha to lose her vocal poise.
Such was her Lata phobia that it took me some months to convince Asha that she had a voice individualistic enough to evolve a singing style all of her own.” Asha once said that she has worked for years to create a voice and a style that was different from Lata, so that she could carve her own niche and not be banished to live in her sister’s shadow.
Asha and Lata have also sung together. Their first duet was for the film Daman (1951). Some of their songs include “Man Bhawan Ke Ghar aye” (Chori Chori, 1956), “Sakhi ri sun bole papihaa us paar” (Miss Mary, 1957), “O chaand jahaan woh jaaye” (Sharada, 1957), “Mere Mehboob Mein Kya Nahi” (Mere Mehboob, 1963), “Ai kash kisi deewane ko” (Aaye Din Bahar Ke, 1966), “Jabse Laagi Toose Najariya” (Shikar, 1968), “Main Haseena Nazneena Koi Mujhsa Nahi” (Baazi, 1968), “Main Chali Main Chali” (Padosan, 1968), “Chhap tilak sab” (Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki, 1978), and “Man kyun behka” (Utsav, 1984). While singing, Lata used to hold her notebook in her right hand, while Asha held hers in the left hand. This meant Lata had her face away from Asha, making it difficult for them to “anticipate” each other.
The movie Saaz was supposedly based on Lata and Asha’s rivalry. Asha said about the movie – “To have two women in long plaits, take a couple of incidents and exaggerate them into a 3-hour film is such a waste of time.” In the last few years, Asha and Lata have often been seen in public, enjoying each other’s company. In an interview with The Times of India, Asha once said – “I remember, sometimes both of us would be at a function and some industry types would ignore me and interact only with her, as if to prove their loyalty. Later, didi and I would have a good laugh!”
Asha Bhosle In popular Culture
British alternative rock band Cornershop released “Brimful of Asha” in 1997. The song dedicated to Asha Bhosle became an international hit single for the band and topping the UK Singles Chart in February 1998. A number of remixes have been released as well, notably by Norman Cook, also known as Fatboy Slim.