Lata Mangeshkar (About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) (born 28 September 1929) is an Indian playback singer, and occasional music-composer. She is one of the best-known and most respected playback singers in India.Mangeshkar’s career started in 1942 and has spanned over seven decades. She has recorded songs for over a thousand Hindi films and has sung songs in over thirty-six regional Indian languages and foreign languages, though primarily in Marathi and Hindi. She is the elder sister of singers Asha Bhosle, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Mangeshkar. India’s highest award in cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, was bestowed on her in 1989 by the Government of India. She is the second vocalist, after M. S. Subbulakshmi, to have ever been awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.Lata Mangeshkar was born in a Marathi-speaking Gomantak Maratha family, in the princely state of Indore, part of the Central India Agency (now part of Madhya Pradesh). Her father, Pandit Deenanath Mangeshkar was a classical singer and theater actor. Her mother Shevanti (Shudhamati) who was from Thalner, Maharashtra, was Deenanath’s second wife. The family’s last name used to be Hardikar; Deenanath changed it to Mangeshkar in order to identify his family with his native town, Mangeshi in Goa. Lata was named “Hema” at her birth.
In 1942, when Mangeshkar was 13, her father died of heart disease. Master Vinayak (Vinayak Damodar Karnataki), the owner of Navyug Chitrapat movie company and a close friend of the Mangeshkar family, took care of them. He helped Lata get started in a career as a singer and actress.
In 1974, The Guinness Book of Records listed Lata Mangeshkar as the most recorded artist in the history, stating that she had reportedly recorded “not less than 25,000 solo, duet and chorus backed songs in 20 Indian languages” between 1948 and 1974. Her record was contested by Mohammed Rafi, who was claimed to have sung around 28,000 songs.After Rafi’s death, in its 1984 edition, the Guinness Book of World Records stated Lata Mangeshkar’s name for the “Most Recordings”, but also stated Rafi’s claim.