tab  Asha Bhosle
File photo of veteran Bollywood singer Asha Bhosle. Image Credit: IANS

Legendary singer Asha Bhosle — of the pre-eminent Mangeshkar clan — was conferred the coveted ‘Maharashtra Bhushan - 2021’ Award at a swank function near the Gateway of India, on yesterday.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and dignitaries, including yesteryear star cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, were present and hailed the 89-year-old for her singing career which has spanned 80 years.

“Asha-tai (mother in Marathi) is the ‘pride of Maharashtra’... The Mangeshkar family has been ruling the minds of the fans for over eight decades and served the field of arts through their singing and music,” said Shinde.

The award, instituted by the erstwhile Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government (1995-1999), carried a cash component of Rs 25 lakh (Dh111,491), a shawl, a memento and certificate. A documentary on the life and times of Bhosle was screened at the event, which enthralled audiences.

Shinde said that in her long music career, Bhosle had sung thousands of songs in various languages and genres with ease.

“The songs sung by her remain afresh even today and would continue to regale us in future too... the glory of ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’ has increased, thanks to her,” said Shinde.

He said that though she faced many travails in her life, she made others happy with her songs and inspired us all.

Fadnavis termed Bhosle’s musical journey (she started singing from 1943) as “stunning”, her versatility, ability to create different moods through her songs which left people humming the tunes long after.

Bhosle said that her father, the late Master Dinanath Mangeshkar, her mother and sister, the late Lata Mangeshkar (also conferred the same award in 1997) were among those whose blessings she got during her entire musical career.

“Singing has enriched my life immensely but the contributions of the musicians and co-singers in my musical journey cannot be forgotten... I urge you to listen to all types of music and songs,” said Bhosle.