I will never stop singing, says Asha Bhonsle on her 76th birthday

I will never stop singing, says Asha Bhonsle on her 76th birthday

Playback singer Asha Bhosale cuts the cake during her 76th birthday celebration in Mumbai on Monday night. PTI

"My music is god's gift to me and I believe that I still have not used even one per cent of it. I like to go on world tours and do more stage shows because it helps me connect with my audience directly," she said.

Bhonsle, who has been the voice behind more that 12,000 songs in a career spanning six decades, however she is not very happy with the quality of songs that are being made in Bollywood.

"It is not that there is a dearth of good songs but it is no longer the same. They sound empty. I do not want to sing for the sake of it. This is why I have limited my singing assignments in Bollywood," the singer says.

From cabaret numbers like 'Aaja, Aaja Main Hoon Pyar Tera' to ghazal's like 'En Ankhon Ki Masti' in 'Umrao Jaan', Bhonsle is one of the most versatile singers in Bollywood by belting out hits, which have been mixed and remixed time and again.

She has crooned for yesteryears' actresses Madhubala, Vaijayantimala, Helen and Asha Parekh to the new-age heroines like Urmila Matondkar and Kareena Kapoor.

Bhonsle, who in her own words "achieved success in Bollywood without any godfather", emerged from the shadow of her elder sister, singing icon Lata Mangeshkar, with 'Maang Ke Saath Tumhara' in Dilip Kumar-Vaijayatimala starrer 'Naya Daur' in 1957.

"I have seen a lot in my life. I had no godfather when I started working in the industry but I am happy with what I have achieved in my life because I feel it is the result of my own struggle and hard work."
RD Burman, fondly called Panchamda, who married Bhonsle later, was instrumental in directing some of her biggest hits like 'O Haseena' and 'Piya Tu Aab to Aaja'.

The Padma Vibhushan awardee, who has made non-singers like Sanjay Dutt, Urmila Matondkar and Australian cricketer Brett Lee sing to her tunes in 'Asha and Friends', has now set her heart on collaborating with Sachin Tendulkar.
"I want to sing with Sachin. I have not talked to him about it because he is so busy but I hope that we will sing together," she says.

When asked about her birthday plans, Bhonsle said, "My birthday has always been celebrated by my fans. I have never made any special birthday plans. This time also, I will spend my day with my grandchildren and family."
Bhonsle has recently recorded songs for Mani Ratnam's 'Ravana' starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwayra Rai Bachchan.

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