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Shamshad Begum falls silent

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Mumbai: Shamshad Begum, one of the earliest and most versatile playback singers from the golden age of Bollywood music, died here at her residence here on 23 April after prolonged illness. She was 94. Born in Amritsar in Punjab in 1919, she made her debut on Peshawar Radio in Lahore in December 1947. She then sang for All India Radio as part of her music group, The Crown Imperial Theatrical Company of Performing Arts, set up in Delhi. In her nearly 35-year tryst with the Hindi film music, Begum recorded some of the finest and most popular songs ever composed by crème de la crème of the film music fraternity. Begum received a Padma Bhushan in 2009. The same year, she was also decorated with the O.P. Nayyar award for her contribution to film music. Tributes flowed in from all quarters. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his message said, "Ms. Begum was among the most popular singers of the country for over three decades and captured the hearts of music lovers with her enchanting voice and unique tonal rendition."

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 May 2013 on page no. 4

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