Kishore Kumar- One of the Most Versatile Playback Singers of 90’s- Wiki Bio

Updated October 11, 2022

Kishore Kumar was an Indian playback singer, songwriter, director, music composer, and actor. He created a great legacy in the Indian music industry, widely called “Kishore Da”. In the ’90s, he ruled the Indian music industry with his magical voice. He is still inside the heart of many 90’s kids.

He is recognized as one of the best vocalists from the Indian subcontinent ever as well as one of the greatest and most dynamic singers in the history of Indian music. His style of singing and ability to sing songs in different voices is one of the main reasons to achieve great success in the music industry.

He sang in different languages including Hindi, Bhojpuri, Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, Assamese, Kannada, Urdu, etc. Additionally, he produced a number of non-film albums, many of which are considered classics of all time.

The “Kishore Kumar Award” for services to Hindi cinema was established by the Madhya Pradesh government in 1997. At the Osian’s Cinefan Auction in New Delhi in 2012, Kumar’s unpublished last song brought in Rs 1,560,000.

He currently holds the record for the most Filmfare Awards in that category after winning 8 of them for Best Male Playback Singer. The Madhya Pradesh government gave him the Lata Mangeshkar Award in 1985–1986.

Childhood and Early Life of Kishore Kumar

Kishore Kumar, also known as Abhas Kumar Ganguly was born in a Bengali Family in Khandwa, Central Provinces (now in Madhya Pradesh). His father, Kunjalal Ganguly (Gangopadhyay), was a lawyer and his mother was a housewife who came from a prosperous Bengali family.

Ashok, Sati Devi, and Anoop were siblings of Kumar. He was the youngest of four children. Kishore’s brother Ashok started acting in Hindi movies when he was still a little child. Later, with Ashok’s assistance, Anoop also went to the movies. He completed his graduation from the Christian College, Indore.

As he spent time with his siblings, Kishore Kumar developed a passion for both music and movies. Soon, Kishore Kumar developed a strong admiration for the well-known Bollywood vocalist K. L. Saigal and began to imitate his vocal technique. Kishore stated in an interview that K. L. Saigal was his “Guru.”

Abhas Kumar adopted the name “Kishore Kumar” after travelling to Bombay (now Mumbai), where his brother Ashok Kumar worked. He started his cinema career as a chorus singer at “Bombay Talkies.” He was given the opportunity to perform “Marne Ki Duayen Kyon Mangu” for the movie “Ziddi (1948)” by music director Khemchand Prakash.

Kishore started getting more work after his first song in Ziddi. At that time, he wasn’t really committed to a career in movies. In 1949, he settled in Mumbai and bought a new green coloured Morris Minor car. It is said that in 1961, following his divorce from his first wife, Ruma Guha Thakurta, he buried the car.

Acting Career of Kishore

His brother wanted him to become an actor but he was more interested in Music.  He had an appearance as a “Hero” in Phani Majumdar’s 1951 film Andolan. S. D. Burman, the film’s music director, is credited with recognizing Kishore Kumar’s singing talent.

In 1950, Burman once visited Kumar’s home while “Mashaal” was being produced. He praised Kishore Kumar for imitating K.L Saigal and advised him to create his own singing style rather than copying Saigal. Salil Chowdhury, the music director for the 1954 movie Naukri, was originally unimpressed with Kishore Kumar as a singer when he discovered that Kishore Kumar had any formal musical training.

Salil gave him the song “Chhota Sa Ghar Hoga,” which was scheduled to be performed by Hemant Kumar, after Kishore’s voice.

Kishore Kumar had a successful acting career and had roles in popular movies like “Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi” (1958), “Half Ticket” (1962), “Padosan” (1968), etc. His own production, Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958), starred Madhubala, the three Ganguly brothers, and other family members.

R. D. Burman, the legendary music director, and Kishore Kumar had a great bonding with each other. They both worked together on several successful movies, including Taxi Driver (1954), Funtoosh (1956), Paying Guest (1957), Guide (1965), Jewel Thief (1967), and Prem Pujari (1970), among others.

Kishore Kumar was the producer and director of the 1961 movie Jhumroo. He also played a part in it and wrote the music. He also authored the lyrics for “Main Hoon Jhumroo,” the movie’s theme song.

Kumar became a well-known Bollywood playback singer due to the songs “Kora Kagaj Tha Ye Man Mera,” “Mere Sapnon Ki Rani,” and “Roop Tera Mastana” from the 1969 movie Aradhana.

For “Roop Tera Mastana,” he also received his first “Filmfare Award.”

Later Life and Death of Kishore Kumar

It is said that he is one of the main reasons behind the stardom of Rajesh Khanna because many of his movies featured chart-topping Kishore Kumar songs. Kishore Kumar is regarded as the most adaptable vocalist in Bollywood because of his reputation for altering his voice’s pitch to suit the actor appearing on screen.

Along with Rajesh Khanna, Kishore Kumar also provided the voices for many other actors, including Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra, Dev Anand, Shashi Kapoor, Shammi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Raaj Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty, Aditya Pancholi, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Naseeruddin Shah

He made his final acting performance in the movie Door Wadiyon Mein Kahin (1980). He had four marriages. Madhubala, his second wife, had a hole in her heart and was getting ready to travel to London for treatment when he proposed to her.

Kishore Kumar reportedly changed his identity to Karim Abdul and converted to Islam in order to wed Madhubala. The marriage was rejected by Kishore Kumar’s parents, and Madhubala was never genuinely regarded as Kishore’s wife.

By September 1987, Kumar had made the decision to quit because he was dissatisfied with the types of songs and tunes being created by music directors. He also intended to go back to Khandwa, the city where he was born.

At 4:45 p.m. on October 13, 1987—his brother Ashok’s 76th birthday—he passed away in Bombay from a heart attack. For cremation, his remains were sent to Khandwa. The day before he passed away, Kumar had finished recording “Guru Guru,” a duet with Asha Bhosle for the 1988 film Waqt Ki Aawaz, which was written by Bappi Lahiri for Mithun Chakraborty and Sridevi.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How did Kishore Kumar Die?

Ans: Due to Heart Attack.

Q. How did Kishore Kumar Learned Singing?

Ans: He never took any formal training in Music.

Q. Where is Kishore Kumar from?

Ans: Khandwa, British India

Q. Did Kishore win National Award?

Ans: Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer, Bengal Film Journalists’ Association – Best Male Playback Award.

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