- Across the world, fans mourn the loss and try to imagine an India without the iconic singer.
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar died on Feb. 6 due to covid-related complications. She was 92. Regarded as one of Indian cinema’s greatest playback singers, Mangeshkar started her career at the age of 13 in 1942 and has sung over 25,000 songs in various Indian languages. A recipient of the Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan, Dadasaheb Phalke Award, and many others, she was also conferred by France its highest civilian award, the Officer of the Legion of Honor, in 2007.
Soon after the news of her death broke, reactions started pouring in from every section of society. Twitter was flooded with obituaries, condolences, rich tributes and memories. Politicians, singers, actors, cricketers, and fans took to the microblogging site to mourn the legendary singer. Many took to Facebook and Instagram as well to remember “India’s Nightingale.”
President Ram Nath Kovind said Mangeshkar’s death was heart-breaking. “Lata-ji’s demise is heart-breaking for me, as it is for millions the world over. In her vast range of songs, rendering the essence and beauty of India, generations found expression of their innermost emotions. A Bharat Ratna, Lata-ji’s accomplishments will remain incomparable.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to express condolence. “I consider it my honor that I have always received immense affection from Lata Didi. My interactions with her will remain unforgettable. I grieve with my fellow Indians on the passing away of Lata Didi. Spoke to her family and expressed condolences. Om Shanti.”
In another tweet, Modi wrote how Mangeshkar’s songs brought out a variety of emotions. “She closely witnessed the transitions of the Indian film world for decades. Beyond films, she was always passionate about India’s growth. She always wanted to see a strong and developed India.”
Modi also attended Mangeshkar’s funeral in Mumbai on Feb. 6, along with Bollywood stars including Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, alongside cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. The Indian government ordered two days of national mourning for the late singer.
Several politicians took to their social media handles to mourn her death. “Lata Mangeshkar is no more,” tweeted India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. “Generations of Indians loved listening to her songs. They remain evergreen. She led a life dedicated to music. Condolences to her family and all lovers of music.”
“Deeply saddened by the passing away of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar ji,” tweeted S. Jaishankar, India’s External Affairs Minister. “She was the voice of the country ever since I can remember. This is truly the end of an era.”
Congress Party member Rahul Gandhi also offered his condolences in a tweet. “She remained the most beloved voice of India for many decades. Her golden voice is immortal and will continue to echo in the hearts of her fans.”
Joining Indian politicians were leaders from the neighboring country including Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan. “With the death of Lata Mangeshkar the subcontinent has lost one of the truly great singers the world has known,” he tweeted. “Listening to her songs has given so much pleasure to so many people all over the world.”
Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa tweeted Mangeshkar is “a legend whose memory will remain in our midst for centuries through her melodious voice.”
Mourning her demise, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in a tweet said, “Rest In Peace Nightingale of #India, #LataMangeshkar. Thank you for the decades of entertainment that transcended borders & gave life to the phrase music is a universal language.”
Sri Lanka’s main Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa also took to Twitter to pay condolences. “Lata Mangeshkar the legend who built bridges across cultures with her mesmerizing voice. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans.”
Bidya Devi Bhandari, the president of Nepal, recalled the contribution of “genius” Lata Mangeshkar to Nepali songs as she paid her tribute to the legendary Indian singing maestro. “I am saddened by the news of the demise of famous Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar, who has also lent her melodious voice to many Nepalese songs,” Bhandari tweeted in Nepali.
Ambassadors and missions of various countries also condoled Mangeshkar’s demise and said her melodies will forever remain with music lovers across generations.
The embassy of India in Washington, D.C., in a tweet, paid heartfelt tributes to the Bharat Ratna. “Her legacy as an icon of Indian music and culture is eternal and will continue to inspire all of us.”
The Consulate General of India in New York also paid respects to the iconic singer. “Our deepest respects too . She was an icon. India, Indians and her fans across the world will remember her melody forever.”
The U.S. Embassy in India also tweeted. “We join India in paying tribute to legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, who passed today at the age of 92. History will mark her contribution to India’s music in golden words.”
The British High Commission in India also joined India and Indians worldwide to pay tribute to Mangeshkar, adding that her legacy will live forever.
Similarly, German envoy to India Walter Lindner hailed Mangeshkar as a musical genius. “A legend, an irreplaceable voice and an institution of music for seven decades! Very sad news… her legacy will live forever,” he tweeted.
In a tweet, French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain said, “Deeply saddened by the demise of Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar. An institution in herself, she was conferred Officier de la Legion d’Honneur’ in recognition of her incomparable singing career.”
Katharina Wieser, Austrian Ambassador to India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, in a tweet, called Mangeshkar “the unforgettable voice of India.”
Tahir Qadiry, Ambassador of Afghanistan to Poland, also remembers the iconic singer. “Her voice enthralled millions for years – cutting across generations – also in #Afghanistan,” he tweeted.
British singer and songwriter Boy George took to Twitter to mourn the loss. “R.I.P Lata Mangeshkar is one of India’s most beautiful voices,” he wrote. “My deepest condolences to her family and most especially to her sister Asha Bhosle who sang on Bow Down Mister. A gifted family.”
Cricketers also posted on social media as well to mourn the loss. Virat Kohli expressed his sadness and paid condolences to Mangeshkar’s family and loved ones. “Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Lata ji. Her melodious songs touched millions of people around the world. Thank you for all the music and the memories. My deepest condolences to the family & the loved ones.”
Former Pakistan cricketer and currently the head of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ramiz Raja also paid his condolences. “Lata Mangeshkar was the epitome of grace, humility and simplicity and therefore greatness.. a lesson for all. Kishore Kumar, and now her death has left music broken!” Ramiz wrote on the micro-blogging platform.
Former West Indies cricketer Daren Ganga wrote he grew up in the Caribbean listening to Mangeshkar’s “timeless music.”
Some Indian American fans also took to social media to express their sadness at Mangeshkar’s death. Many shared videos of their favorite song.
Taking to Facebook to pay tributes to “an ethereal Prodigy” is New York-based Romeo Dasgupta. “People often said Lata Mangeshkar was the Goddess Saraswati herself….she proved it today by departing for her heavenly abode on Saraswati Puja,” he wrote. He noted how Mangeshkar’s “ultra feminine, high pitched, thin, almost childish voice redefined the voice of the ‘Ideal Indian Woman’ for almost a century now. She was one of the most magnificent and precious jewels in India’s illustrious history.”
Comedian Vir Das tweeted: “I am extremely saddened by the demise of Lata Mangeshkar Ji, the Nightingale of Indian Cinema and legendary singer. India has lost its voice in the death of Lata ji, who has enthralled music lovers in India & across the globe with her mellifluous & sublime voice for many decades.”
A tweet by Indian author Anand Ranganathan summed up Mangeshkar’s popularity and impact on the world of music and Bollywood. “She was not a queen or a president; she did not rule oceans or command armies; her only possessions were a cotton saree and a silken voice; and yet, the flag representing a billion people flies half mast in her honor,” he tweeted. “Don’t ever ask again what real power is.”