Had he been alive today the legendary singer, actor, lyricist, composer, producer, director, and screenwriter Kishore Kumar would be celebrating his 88th birthday, born on August 4, 1929. Kishore Kumar is one personality who continues to be a shining icon in the world of Bollywood even after almost 30 years of his death and would shine brightly for many more years amongst the constellation of the Indian Cinema.
He is well loved for his soulful melodies as well as giving character to songs through his yodeling and comic timing. Kishore Kumar gained much fame and glory singing songs for Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and much more. Kishore Kumar was not only a singer, but he acted as main leads in many movies as well which went on to become hits and blockbusters. He even directed quite a few movies like Badhti Ka Naam Dadhi, Zindagi and Door Wadiyon Mein Kahin. He is an all rounder and a real legend in every sense of the word.
We pay tribute to Kishore Kumar by presenting you fascinating facts about the mover and shaker of the Indian Bollywood Kishore Da.
- Master of all trades
Born in a Bengali family as Abhas Kumar Ganguly the singer, actor, lyricist, composer, producer, director, and screenwriter. Till his last breath, remained an ardent fan of world bard Rabindranath Tagore, Indian singer-actor KL Saigal and Hollywood singer-actor Danny Kaye. He had hung portraits of these three icons at his bungalow Gaurikunj. Every morning Kishore Kumar used to bow down in front of their portraits
He even tried modeling his career on his idol’s to a certain degree, but his journey took him on its unique course and till date, Kumar is known as one of the most prolific and successful icons of our country.
- Inimitable singer
Kishore Kumar was a born singer, had no formal training and did playback in 1,188 films. Besides Hindi, he even sang in Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam and Oriya in his four-decade long career.
He looked up to K. L. Saigal. Kumar for his acting and singing and even considered him as his Guru, as Kishore Kumar had no formal training in singing he even tried to copy his style.
Kishore Kumar even sang in both male and female voices for a duet song in the movie Half Ticket. The female part was supposed to be sung by Lata Mangeshkar, but Kishore Kumar sang both the parts as she was unavailable. The song is Aake Seedhi Lagi Dil Pe and is picturised on Kishore Kumar and Pran.
- Ardent actor
Kishore Kumar’s first film as an actor was ‘Shikari,’ in 1946 and he went on to act in 86 more films. He has eight Filmfare awards to his credit and the highest till date.
- Legendary Yoddler
Kishore Da’s unique style of yodeling was inspired by Jimmie Rodgers and Tex Morton. He yodeled for some songs like ‘Zindagi Ek Safar’ from the movie Andaz, ‘Chala Jata Hoon Kisi Ki Dhun Mein’ from the film Haathi Mere Saathi and so on.
- The Polymath
Apart from being an excellent singer, the multifaceted Kishore Da boasted of many other talents such as composing, lyricist, acting, direction, production, and scriptwriter. He wrote and produced 14 films though six of them were not completed. He penned the screenplay of five films though two of them remained unfinished. Out of the 12 films he directed, four were discarded.
- The Charismatic One
He married four times. His first wife was veteran filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s niece Ruma Guha Thakurta, who herself was an actress and singer. Next, he converted to Islam and married Hindi film’s original diva Madhubala. After Madhubala’s untimely death, he married actress Yogita Bali who is now married to actor Mithun Chakraborty. His fourth wife was yesteryear actress Leena Chandavarkar. He has two sons Amit Kumar from Ruma Guha Thakurta and Sumir Kumar from Leena Chandavarkar.
- The down to the earth one
Did you know what prompted Kishore to sing the favorite song – ‘Paanch Rupaiya Barah Aana’ from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi?
It was the same amount Rs. 5.75 that he owed at the canteen of Christian College in Indore, where he studied.
- His controversies
His denials to endorse then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s 20-point program lead to his ban on Vividh Bharti and All India Radio during the Emergency period of 1975-1977.
If you would have never heard this legendary person, it’s never late to hear him out now. He never fails to impress anyone.