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A multitude of fans, celebs bid adieu to Lata Mangeshkar

The veteran playback singer, lovingly referred to as the Nightingale of India, who passed away at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on Sunday morning due to covid, was cremated in the evening. She was 92. Starting her career at the age of 13 in 1942, she had lent her incredible voice to over 25,000 songs. The entire Bollywood had converged on Prabhu Kunj, the veteran's residence at Peddar Road, as soon as the news flashed. The PM too had arrived soon to pay his last respects to the Melody Queen.

MUMBAI, Feb 6: Legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar, who died of covid at the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on Sunday morning, was cremated in the evening at Shivaji Park, swamped by a sea of her fans and the Bollywood fraternity. She was 92. She breathed her last at 8:12 am.

The entire Bollywood had converged on Prabhu Kunj, the veteran's residence at Peddar Road, as soon as the news broke. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his last respects at Shivaji Park maidan where the funeral was conducted with full State honours at 6:30 pm. The singer's brother Hridaynath Mangeshkar lit the funeral pyre.

Monday has been declared a public holiday in Maharashtra.

The Central Government has announced a two-day "State mourning." The national flag will fly at half mast from February 6 to February 7 throughout the country. There will be no official entertainment in this period.

Her health had deteriorated on Saturday and was put back on ventilator after a week of improvement in the condition, hospital sources had said.

Known as the Nightingale of India and Melody Queen for her incredible voice, the 92-year old singer was admitted to the Breach Candy hospital on January 8 after testing positive for covid. She continued to be in the ICU and was being treated by Dr Pratit Samdani and his team.

She was taken off from the ventialator on January 29 but continued to be in the ICU. "She is not doing well. She continues to be in the ICU under treatment and has been put on a ventilator again," Dr Samdani told PTI on Saturday evening.

In her long career as a playback singer, Lata Mangeshkar had sung over 25,000 songs, starting her career at the age of 13 in 1942. Her first Hindi song was “Mata Ek Sapoot Ki Duniya Badal De Tu” for the Marathi feature 'Gajaabhaau', which was released in 1943. Some of her hit songs are "Ajeeb dastan hai ye", "Pyar kiya to darna kya," "Neela asman so gaya" and "Kora Kagaz". It is said, on January 27, 1963, Lata Mangeshkar's "Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon," sang in the background of the India-China war, brought then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to tears.

She is the recipient of Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Dada Saheb Phalke Award and a host of other awards.

SEE earlier report: Lata Mangeshkar shifted to ICU at Breach Candy hospital

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