Legendary Playback Singer Mubarak Begum Is No More

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Mubarak Begum

Indian film industry’s golden era is at a standstill as its most gifted artists are withering away one after the other leaving a deep void in its legendary history.

Now the news of the demise of Mubarak Begum Shaikh, a celebrated singer, has added to the grief of Bollywood fans of the classic age. According to the statement of a family member, the singer passed away late at night yesterday, July 18, around 9:30 p.m. at her Jogeshwari residence in Mumbai. She was suffering from a prolonged illness before succumbing to it at the age of 80.

The accomplished ghazal singer is remembered for her contribution to Bollywood music throughout the 60s and 70s which included solos, duets and ghazals. The maestro had begun her singing career by performing on All India Radio, and her playback career commenced during the early 50s with her vocal contributions to the film Aaiye, in which she had performed a duet with Lata Mangeshkar. A major hit in her career was the song “Kabhi Tanhaiyon Mein Yun” for composer Snehal Bhatkar in Kidar Sharma’s film Hamari Yaad Aayegi; a song which is, till this day, regarded as a classic. Throughout her career, Begum collaborated with the biggest names in the music industry, including S.D. Burman, Shankar Jaikishan and Mohammed Zahur Khayyam and performed celebrated songs like “Kabhi Tanhaiyon Mein Hamari Yaad Ayegi”, “O Mere Humrahi” and “Hum Haal-e-Dil Sunayenge”.

However, despite her glowing career, the artist has been ignored in her old age by the industry as well as the government. An earlier inquiry into the ageing artist’s living conditions revealed shockingly low income levels for her family, based on a meagre pension which she received from her late husband’s employer and her son’s uncertain income as a car-driver.

The singer’s health had been on a steady decline for the last year. In 2011, the government of Maharashtra had sanctioned afinancial aid of Rs 1 lakh for her treatment.She had been ailing and was hospitalised frequently since over a year with various health problems.

Her funeral is to be conducted on July 19 around 11 am at the Oshiwara Muslim Kabrastan, Mumbai.

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