The legendary singer Manna Dey passed away on October 24th in a Bangalore hospital aged 94.
Manna Dey, born Prabodh Chandra Dey, had learnt his art from his uncle, the ‘blind singer’ Krishna Chandra Dey and had also worked as an assistant to him in the early stages of his career. His musical career kicked off in 1942 with the film ‘Tamanna’ and spanned an impressive six decades. Dey sung a number of Bollywood hits but his talent also extended to Rabindra Sangeet and other musical styles with songs sung in over 10 languages.
Although Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh were the more popular choices for lead playback singing, Dey left his mark with iconic songs such as ‘Puchho na kaise’, ‘Aye keri zoharajabi’ and ‘Laga chunri mien daag’, and was particularly revered for his skill with classical numbers. After singing over 3500 songs, Dey quit the film industry with his final song for the film Umar in 2006
Dey had been ill for a few months and finally passed away with a respiratory infection in a private hospital in Bangalore. Stars from the film industry, music industry and government have been grieving his death and President Pranab Mukherjee was amongst the many paying tribute to the singer; “In the passing away of Manna Dey, the nation has lost a veteran playback singer, a versatile artist of extraordinary ability, and a creative genius who mesmerised listeners with his enchanting voice.”
The Bollywood industry has lost an inspiring artist and legendary singer, but Manna Dey’s voice will live on through his evergreen songs for years to come.