India’s nightingale Lata Mangeshkar was the recipient of the first ever Yash Chopra Memorial Award on Saturday. The legendary 84 year old singer accepted the award during a special function held in Mumbai to commemorate the first death anniversary of Yashji. Lataji is known for singing in almost all of Yashji’s films and has contributed to giving them that romantic touch by singing some memorable and soulful tunes. Mr T. Subbarami Reddy, who instituted the award via the TSR Foundation, stated the following about the award. “In our first year, we are giving this award to Lata Mangeshkar for her immense contribution to cinema. She was very close to Yashji and she has sung for almost all his films.”
As a recipient of the Yash Chopra Memorial Award, Lataji received a trophy and a cheque of Rs. 10 Lakhs. However, during the function, she stressed that she did not come for the prize but to remember Yashji, whom she considers to be her brother. She was even unwell on the day and was advised by doctors not to go out until she recovers. “I have been unwell since the last three days. I have fever and doctors have asked me to take complete rest and not go out. But I just had to come here.” Lataji also added; “I have not come here for the award and Rs. 10 lakhs. I have only come here to offer my pranaam to my dear brother, Yashji. He was very special and close to my heart. Though we did not meet often, we were close as we loved each other.”
The event was attended by a number of major stars, who came to pay their respects to Yashji and to congratulate Lataji on the award. They included Sridevi and Boney Kapoor, Anil Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Simi Garewal, Anushka Sharma, Akshay Kumar, Jeetendra, Alka Yagnik, Poonam Dhillon, Adnan Sami and many more.