Happy Birthday Lata jee!

Mumbai: There may not be a moment when somebody, somewhere, is not listening to a song sung by Lata Mangeshkar. It has been so for the last six decades or so.

That golden voice turns 90 today. No singer has captured the imagination of an entire nation like she has.

Music fans may be divided when it comes to choosing their favourite male singers – some might swear by Mohammed Rafi, others by Kishore Kumar, and some others by K.J. Yesudas – but the majority of them may pick Lata the female voice they most want to listen to. Not without reason.Her voice is heavenly. Her range wide. Her expressions always so right. And she is incapable of singing out of tune.

Little wonder, the leading heroines of the day insisted in their contracts that the songs picturised on them will be rendered by Lata. She was nearly always the first choice for the composer even otherwise.

Here is rewinding to some of the unforgettable songs by India’s favourite voice:There cannot be too many more popular Indian songs than this one. Because there cannot be too many better songs.

This hunting melody for the 1964 film was composed by Madan Mohan, the genius whose muse Lata was. It is so beautiful, you will never want to stop listening to it. Many singers have attempted covers of this classic but failed to capture the soul of the song the way Lata did.

Raja Mehdi Ali Khan’s lyrics – meaning: Come, hug me one more time/ This lovely night may not come again – also played a part in making the song immortal.K. Asif’s magnum opus had just about everything. A splendid script, an excellent cast led by Prithviraj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Madhubala, beautiful costumes and art design, graceful choreography… A film like that deserved an outstanding musical score, too. Naushad provided that. Pyaar kiya to darna kyaa… may be the most popular Lata song from the album, but this one is probably the pick for its sweet innocence and the way Lat lent her emotions.