A versatile singer in true sense


With his duet with Suraiya, composed by his paternal uncle Krishna Chandra Dey, becoming an instant hit, there was no looking back for Dey as he was trained in classical traditions.

A versatile singer in the truest sense, Dey has sung complex classical-based numbers, qawwalis, ghazals, romantic songs, pathos-laden songs, light fun-laced numbers and bhajans.

Dey also rendered noted Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s epical “Madhushala” in an album that continues to be in the bestsellers list even today.

Dey started his musical journey inspired by his uncle K C Dey, who was also his guru along with Ustad Dabir Khan. A passionate practitioner of wrestling and boxing, Dey had his education in Bengal before moving to Mumbai 1942.

After assisting his uncle, he assisted Sachin Dev Burman and some others before charting an independent path even while continuing to learn Hindustani classical music from Ustad Aman Ali Khan and Ustad Abdul Rahman Khan.

After his success in ‘Tamanna,’ Manna Dey sang “Upar Gagan Vishal” composed by S D Burman in the 1950 film “Mashal,” and in 1952, sang for the Bengali and Marathi versions of “Amar Bhupali,” which made him a leading playback singer.

Among Dey’s other famous songs are a duet, ‘Ketaki Gulab Juhi’, with Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, ‘Yeh Dosti Hum Nahin Todenge’ and ‘Ek Chatur Naar’ with Kishore Kumar.

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