Shamshad Begum: Little-known facts

Apr 24, 2013, 12:38 IST | By A Correspondent

The legend, who passed away at the age of 94, was among first playback singers of Hindi cinema. Here are some unknown facts from her life and times

Begum was a big fan of K.L. Saigal and is said to have watched ‘Devdas’ 14 times

Shamshad Begum
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan being blessed by singer Shamshad Begum after receiving the Padma Shri Award from then President Pratibha Patil, at Padma Awards 2009 ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi. File pic

In her earlier days, Begum was paid Rs.15 per song

Shamshad made her singing debut on Peshawar Radio, Lahore, in December 1947

She sang for renowned Lahore-based composer Ghulam Haider in some of his earlier films – ‘Khazanchi’ (1941) and ‘Khandaan’ (1942)

‘Meri jaan...Sunday ke Sunday’, sung by her, was among the first westernised tracks in Hindi cinema

Owing to the clarity of her tone, O.P. Nayyar equated her voice to that of a ‘temple bell’

The legendary singer was conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2009

In the same year, she was also conferred with the O.P. Nayyar award for her contribution to Hindi film music

Back in 1998, it was inadvertently reported that Shamshad Begum had passed away. It was later reported that the Shamshad Begum who died was yesteryear actress Saira Banu's grandmother

Shamshad Begum’s famous songs:
Leke pehla pehla pyar (CID)
Kabhi aar kabhi paar zara dere chalo (Aar Paar)
Kahin pe nigahen kahin pe nishana (CID)
Mere piya gaye Rangoon (Patanga)
Holi aayee re kanhaai (Mother India)
Kajra mohabbatwala ankhiyon mein aisa dala (Kismat)
Saiyan dil mein aana re (Bahar) 

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