Legendary Indian singer Manna Dey has died in a Bangalore hospital at the age of 94.
Manna Dey had been ill for the past few months and was in hospital for a respiratory infection. His funeral is due to take place later on Thursday.
Born Prabodh Chandra Dey in 1919, Manna Dey was popularly known as Manna, and chalked up a number of hit Bollywood songs in a career spanning six decades.
Tributes have been pouring in for the legendary singer from the government, the film industry and his fans.
President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Manmohan Singh led the country in paying tributes to Manna Dey.
India “has lost a veteran playback singer, a versatile artist of extraordinary ability and a creative genius who mesmerized listeners with his enchanting voice,” the president said.
PM Manmohan Singh described Manna Dey as the “king of melody” and said with his death, the music world had lost one of its most talented artistes.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the demise of the King of Melody, Manna Dey. An accomplished singer with a unique voice, he was multi-talented and excelled in Rabindra Sangeet and various other forms of popular music,” the prime minister said in his condolence message.
“In his death, the music world has lost one of its most talented artistes. Dey’s legacy will, however, live on through the many songs he sang,” Manmohan Singh added.
Manna Dey sang in several languages including Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi and Bhojpuri.
His long career saw him win several awards for his contribution to music, including state honors like the Padma Shri in 1971 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2005. He was also given the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007.
Manna Dey sang more than 3,500 songs, including romantic ballads, intricate raga-based songs, Qawwalis and fast-paced modern numbers in his career.
Along with Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, and Kishore Kumar, he made up what was known as the “famous quartet of singers” who dominated the Hindi film music industry from 1950s to 1970s.
Many of Manna Dey’s tracks for Bollywood films became huge hits and he sang for some of the biggest Bollywood names like Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Dharmendra.
His most popular numbers included Zindagi kaisi hai paheli (Life, what a riddle it is) from the film Anand; Poocho na kaise maine raen bitayee (Don’t ask how I spent my night) from Meri Surat Teri Aankhen; Ek chatur naar (A clever woman) from Padosan; and Eey bhai zara dekh ke chalo (Oh brother, look where you’re going) from Meraa Naam Joker.
Manna Dey also sang for Bollywood super-hits Sholay and Amar Akbar Anthony.
In the last few years, he had largely withdrawn from public life.
Mangeshkar’s duet Pyar hua ikraar hua (I admit I’m in love), played as background to film of actors Raj Kapoor and Nargis on a rainy night under an umbrella in Shri 420, is among the most popular romantic songs of Bollywood.
Manna Dey, a Bengali, also charmed neighboring Bangladesh with songs in his mother tongue and in a message on Thursday, PM Sheikh Hasina said Dey would remain alive forever among music-loving people of the subcontinent.
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