The majority of Bollywood films use a playback singer

Did you know that the majority of Bollywood films use a “playback singer” to sing the songs in the films, replacing the actor or actress’ voice. One such singer, Lata Mangeshkar, had a monopoly for decades, dominating the “ideal” female voice in Bollywood with thousands of recordings.


Lata Mangeshkar pronunciation (help·info) (born 28 September 1929) is an Indian singer, and occasional music-composer. She is one of the best-known and most respected playback singers in India. Mangeshkar’s career started in 1942 and has spanned over seven decades. She has recorded songs for over a thousand Hindi films and has sung songs in over thirty-six regional Indian languages and foreign languages, though primarily in Hindi. She is the elder sister of singer Asha Bhosle, Hridayanath Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Mangeshkar. She is the second vocalist to have ever been awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.


Mangeshkar was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records from 1974 to 1991 for having made the most recordings in the world. The claim was that she had recorded approximately 25,000 solo, duet, and chorus-backed songs in 20 Indian languages between 1948 to 1974. Over the years, while several sources have supported this claim, others have raised concerns over its veracity, claiming that this number was highly exaggerated and that Mangeshkar’s younger sister, Asha Bhosle, had more song recordings than she had.[4][5] In 2011 Guinness officially acknowledged Bhosle as the most recorded artist in music history.

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