24th October 2013 was a dark day for Indian music industry. It was the day when internationally acclaimed Indian musician Manna Dey breathed his last.
Born Prabodh Chandra Dey, Manna Dey was the man with the golden voice and a pioneer of Indian music for almost 70 years. Although he’s renowned for his musical contributions, he was also interested in wrestling and boxing. His talents extended beyond just singing as a playback – he has been one of the most versatile musician with much flair as an Indian classical vocalist as well as music director.
Like many singers today, Manna Dey realized his passion for singing early on in his life. When he was a boy, he won the Best Singer award at his school for three consecutive years and took singing lessons from UstadDabir Khan and his uncle Krishna Chandra Dey.
He started his Bollywood journey as an assistant music director to his uncle, Krishna Chandra Dey and then moved on to assisting Sachin Dev Burman. His playback singing career took off when he sang the duet ‘JagoAayeUshaPonchiBoleyJago’ with Suraiya. Manna got his first solo break in Ram Rajya (1943). There was no turning back for him after his solo song’s success.
Across the length of his Bollywood career, Dey has recorded more than 4,000 songs in not just Hindi and Bengali but other regional languages as well. For his exemplary contribution to the Indian music scene, he garnered much appreciation and walked away with some of the most prestigious awards in the country.
He was honored the Padma Shri in 1971, the Padma Bhushan and the Lifetime Achievement Award by Government of Maharashtra in 2005 and the DadasahebPhalke Award in 2007.
Manna Dey’s songs EkChathurNaar, Aye Mere PyaareWatan and LagaChunari Mein Daag are just few of the songs which are remembered even today.