|Biographical detail : ||Singer extraordinaire
Leading singer and reigning queen of Bollywood, Shamshad Begum was known for her distinctive nasal twang in the 1940s and 1950s. She was a versatile singer.
Her golden voice immortalised songs such as Saiyyan Dil Mein Aana Re (Bahar: 1951) and Leke Pahla Pehla Pyar (C.I.D: 1956).
Born in Amritsar Shamshad Begum grew up with no formal music training. She was brought to Mumbai from Lahore by filmmaker Mahboob Khan. The music director Ghulam Haider became her mentor. Though her playback debut was in the Punjabi film Yamla Jat but her song Babu Darogaji in Mahboob Khan’s Taqdeer (1943) became a hit.
Music director Naushad used her voice in many films including Mela (1948), Andaz (1949), Aan (1952), Mother India (1957) and Mughal-e-Azam (1960). The hit qawwali Teri Mahfil Mein, a duet with Lata was her last song for Naushad. Shamshad Begum later combined with O. P. Nayyar for some of her biggest hits.
She made her mark singing for All India Radio, Lahore station in 1930s. Her earliest film hits came with her song Saawan Ke Nazare Hain (Khazanchi: 1941) that became wildly popular.
She was honoured with a Padma Bhusham award in 2009.
Shamshad Begum remained a private person, seldom seen, throughout her career and many of her fans did not know what she looked like until 1970s. She passed away after a prolong illness in Mumbai.