The Maharashtra government has decided to confer the coveted Maharashtra Bhushan Award to legendary singer Asha Bhosle.
Asha Tai, as the 87-year-old is popularly known, is the second from the illustrious Mangeshkar family – the other being Melody Queen and Bharat Ratna recipient Lata Mangeshkar.
The Government of India honoured Asha with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008.
The decision to confer Asha Bhosle with the state's highest honour was taken at a meeting on Thursday presided over by Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in which Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Cultural Affairs Minister Amit Deshmukh and Minister of State for Cultural Affairs Rajendra Patil-Yadravkar were present.
Her work includes film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, and Rabindra Sangeet. Apart from Hindi, she has sung in over 20 Indian and foreign languages.
The previous recipients of the award are Pu La Deshpande (literature – 1996), Lata Mangeshkar (art and music – 1997), Vijay Bhatkar (science – 1999), Sachin Tendulkar (sports – 2001), Bhimsen Joshi (arts and music – 2002), Abhay and Rani Bang (medical services – 2003), Baba Amte (social service – 2004), Raghunath Mashelkar (science – 2005), Ratan Tata (public administration – 2006), Ramrao Patil (social work – 2007), Nana Dharmadhikari (social work – 2008), Mangesh Padgaonkar (literature – 2008), Sulochana Latkar (arts and cinema – 2009), Jayant Narlikar (science – 2010), Anil Kakodkar (science – 2011) and Babasaheb Purandare (2015).