Legendary singer Shamshad Begum dies at 94

Legendary singer Shamshad Begum dies at 94 Legendary singer Shamshad Begum, one of the first playback singers in the Hindi film industry and voice behind hit songs like Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon, Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar and Kajra Mohabbat Wala, has died at her Mumbai residence. She was 94.

“She was not keeping well for past few months and was admitted to the hospital. She passed away last night. The funeral was a solemn affair with a few friends present,” Shamshad Begum’s daughter Usha told PTI.

Shamshad Begum was born on April 14, 1919 in Amritsar, Punjab. She made her debut on Peshawar Radio in Lahore on December 16, 1947, captivating the hearts of her listeners with her enchanting voice.

The singer has been living with her daughter Usha Ratra and son-in-law in Mumbai, ever since her husband Ganpat Lal Batto died in 1955. Her other hit tracks include Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana, Boojh Mera Kya Naam Re, Saiyan Dil Mein Aana Re, Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar and Chod Babul Ka Ghar.


  1. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago


    Had posted her song O Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar as SOTD just a few days back.

    SOTD: O Leke Pehla Pehla Pyar – C.I.D.

    This is a Filmfare Interview of hers I had posted some time back elsewhere.

    ““Rather it was her chacha (uncle), a Sufi at heart, who enjoyed listening to qawwalis and ghazals and secretly took her to Jenophone Music Company (HMV’s sister group) for an audition with musician Master Ghulam Haider. An impressed Haider gave her a contract of 12 songs with all facilities provided to top singers including Rs 2 as tonga fare.

    Years later her Punjabi numbers in Yamla Jat and later Hindi songs in Khajanchi (both Ghulam Haider scores) in the early ’40s her voice made waves in the Hindi film industry. Then Mehbbob Khan made her sing for Taqdeer with her song Babu darogaji becoming popular. Ramchandra, Anil Biswas, Naushad and Shyam Sunder made a beeline for her and she settled in Mumbai in 1942.

    Later, the songstress fell in love and married lawyer Ganpat Lal Batto after much familial objection. But after the death of her husband in an accident in 1955, a heartbroken Shamshad stopped singing for almost a year. Says daughter Usha, “She’d keep saying, ‘Main gaa hi nahin sakti (I just cannot sing)’.” Again it was Mehboob Khan who drew her out of this emotional blockade. “He wanted a full-throated voice for his protagonist (Nargis) in Mother India and said, ‘If you don’t come; I’ll come and take you,” states Shamshad. Ironically, the first number she recorded was Pee ke ghar aaj pyari dulhaniya chali.

    As a professional Apa, as Shamshad was fondly called, was stringent. She’d indulge in no small talk. She didn’t encourage smoking in her presence. She never socialised or attended premieres. Her family never visited her in the studio nor did any industrywallahs visit her home. Her mantra was, “Na mujhe maska maro, na main maska maroongi (Don’t flatter me, I’ll not butter up anyone either).” Yet she went out of her way to help newcomers be it Madan Mohan, Kishore Kumar, OP Nayyar or even a young Raj Kapoor.

    For someone who sang more than 5000 songs in five languages, her career came to an abrupt end. “The more hits I gave, the less work I got,” says the singer who then opted to retire. Apparently, her songs were seldom played on radio and even if they were, credit was not given to her. But she steers clear from commenting on this.

    • Meri jaan Sunday ke Sunday (Shehnai)
    • Kabhi aar kabhi paar (Aar Paar)
    • Boojh mera kya naam re (CID)
    • Kajra mohabbatwala (Kismat)
    • Teri mehfil mein kismat (Mughal-e-Azam
    • Saiyan dil mein aana re (Bahar)
    • Reshmi salwar (Naya Daur)
    • Door koi gaaye (Baiju Bawra)”’

  2. aryan 9 years ago


  3. Author
    sputnik 9 years ago

    Rare Interview of Shamshad Begum.

    Embedding is disabled for these videos.



  4. rajesh 9 years ago


  5. Anjanpur685Miles 9 years ago

    Chhod baabul ka ghar mohe pee ke nagar aaj jaana pada.

    Rest in peace.

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