Superstar Madhuri Dixit and renowned singer Asha Bhosle have been honored with a Padma award. The Padma Awards, which include: the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri, “are given for exceptional and distinguished service in any field including service rendered by Government servants,” according the government of India’s website. The awards are given not only to those in the entertainment industry but to businesses and people from sports, business, education and many other industries.
Madhuri Dixit was one of the 71 personalities honored with the Padma Shri, the third highest award given to civilians by the Indian government. Also honored were Hollywood filmmaker Manoj Night Shyamalan, actor Tom Alter and national football captain Baichung Bhutia.
Asha Bhosle was awarded the second highest honor, the Padma Vibhushan. Happy to win the award she said, “since I got it before dying. I got (the award) without having to receive (it) on a stretcher or bed.”
The 74-year old added jokingly, “They announced the award so that I stop singing.”
Bholse’s career has lasted for over 60 years and she has been the singing voice for movie stars in over 900 films. According to her she has sung in over 14 different languages in 12,000 songs.
Winners of the Padma Vibhushan also included crickter Sachin Tendulka, Indian-born American Astronaut Sunita Willams and Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mount Everest, who was awarded it posthumously.