Lata Mangeshkar (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. She is the second vocalist, after M. S. Subbulakshmi, to have ever been awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.
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.
Mangeshkar sang the song "Naachu Yaa Gade, Khelu Saari Mani Haus Bhaari" which was composed by Sadashivrao Nevrekar for Vasant Joglekar's Marathi movie Kiti Hasaal (1942), but the song was dropped from the final cut. Vinayak gave her a small role in Navyug Chitrapat's Marathi movie Pahili Mangalaa-gaur (1942), in which she sang "Natali Chaitraachi Navalaai" which was composed by Dada Chandekar. Her first Hindi song was "Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu" for the Marathi film, Gajaabhaau (1943).
Mangeshkar moved to Mumbai in 1945 when Master Vinayak's company moved its headquarters there. She started taking lessons in Hindustani classical music from Ustad Amanat Ali Khan . She sang “Paa Lagoon Kar Jori” for Vasant Joglekar's Hindi-language movie Aap Ki Seva Mein (1946), which was composed by Datta Davjekar. The dance in the film was performed by Rohini Bhate who later became a famous classical dancer. Mangeshkar and her sister Asha played minor roles in Vinayak's first Hindi-language movie, Badi Maa (1945). In that movie, Lata also sang a bhajan, "Maata Tere Charnon Mein." She was introduced to music director Vasant Desai during the recording of Vinayak's second Hindi-language movie, Subhadra (1946).
Following the partition of India in 1947, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan migrated to newly formed Pakistan, so Mangeshkar started to learn classical music under Amanat Khan Devaswale. Pandit Tulsidas Sharma, a pupil of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, also trained her.