Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar was a man of immense talent. At the age of 18 Kishore came to Bombay where elder brother Ashok Kumar was a major star. He got his first opportunity as a singer in Bombay Talkies Ziddi (1948) where he sang the song Marne ki Duayen Kyon Mangu for Dev Anand. Being an ardent admirer of K.L. Saigal, the song was sung in the style of the legend.

However he didn’t get the lucky break until S.D. Burman gave him the song Qusoor Aapka in Bahar (1951) which became a hit. As he got more singing assignments, he also began being offered leading roles in films. Kishore was initially taken quite lightly as a singer and was given mainly lighter songs by Burmanda and other music directors. But with the soulful Dukhi Man Mere from Funtoosh (1956), Kishore was now taken seriously as a singer.

He was first noticed in 1955 in the hilarious Baap Re Baap which was followed by Bhagambhhag, Bhai Bhai, Dilli Ka Thug, Naya Andaaz, New Delhi, Aasha, Musafir, Shararat and many others. In 1958, the three Ganguly brothers, Ashok Kumar, Kishore Kumar and Anup Kumar came together in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi, directed by Satyen Bose. The film was a runaway hit and is today considered as one of the finest films ever made in Indian history.

After Kishore's marriage to Ruma Devi disintegrated, he married Madhubala. The two starred in Jhumroo (1961), which Kishore produced and directed. He also composed the music of the film. The riotous Half Ticket (1962) with the two of them saw Kishore at his madcap best impersonating a 12 year old! Door Gagan ki Chaon Main (1964) further confirmed Kishore's acting talent as he scored heavily in a rather serious film.

Slowly the black and white era came to an end and Kishore almost stopped acting occasionally doing a Padosan, Sadhu Aur Shaitan, Pyar Kiye Jaa, and a guest appearance in Bombay To Goa. There was a lean period for some time, and then in 1969 came Aradhana and Rajesh Khanna, India's first superstar for whom Kishore Kumar churned out some of the best songs of his career like Roop Tera Mastana, Yeh Kya Hua, Chingari Koi Bhadke, Ye Lal Rang, O Mere Dil Ke Chain and many more. It was a second coming
and there was no turning back.

Kishore formed a solid hit pairing with Rajesh Khanna and in the early 70s the duo churned out hit after hit. He overtook all competition and was the undisputed number one male playback singer of Hindi films, his voice pulsing with verve and exuberance. After bagging the prestigious Filmfare award seven times, in 1985 the actor-singer-comedian announced his retirement and expressed his desire to settle down in Khandwa, his hometown. But on October 13, 1987 he went away quietly after a massive stroke thus leaving a void that can never be filled.

 
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