Sangati Jogwar

News Highlights

  • Lata Mangeshkar fought for the rights of the singers when she was at her peak.
  • She was the reason why singers started receiving royalty and awards.

Lata Mangeshkar was an institution in the field of music. While her legacy of songs, compositions and contribution to the entire musical world will always be remembered, there are many more things that the Nightingale of India did which revolutionized the world of singers.

Nevertheless, even today, all the singers are reaping the benefits for the stand that she took or the changes that Bollywood was forced to make because of her impactful singing.

Name of Singer Was Never a Part of Record Earlier

When Lataji started singing, the names of the singers were never mentioned on the cover of the record. Only the names of the actresses, actors, music composers, production houses and directors made it to the cover. So, masses rarely came to know about the singers who were behind the melodious songs that the big actresses like Madhubala or Meenakumari enacted on the screen.

However, all this changed when 'Ayega Ayega Anewala' sung by Lata Mangeshkar in 1949 became a huge hit. In those days, there were no recording techniques available; which is why the effect of the sound coming from far off initially and slowly becoming louder in this song was made possible by a lot of practice by Lataji. The mic was placed in the middle of the room and she was asked to start singing from the corner of the room and slowly come forward as the song progresses while singing.

'Ayega Anewala' became such a big hit that despite beauty queen Madhubala enacting it on the screen, people were more interested to know about the singer behind the song. The production house received hundreds of letters asking them to include the name of the singer on the cover of the record. And from then on names of singers also started getting prominence along with the actors, directors and music composers.

From Getting Awards to Royalty Share in Songs

Now-a-days, there are so many awards given to singers at almost all the Awards Functions including Filmfare, Screen Awards, IIFA Awards and so on. But in the early fifties, the awards were restricted only to the music composers who walked away with all the credit if the song became a hit. However, Lataji was of the opinion that the way a singer sings also contributes hugely to making a song hit. That is why she wanted Filmfare to start awards for singers as well.

So, when Shankar Jaikishan was awarded the best music composer award at Filmfare, they requested Lata Mangeshkar to sing that song at the awards function but she refused. On her insistence, later on, awards for singers were started at Filmfare.

Similarly, singers used to get only one-time payment for their singing during the fifties. By the sixties, Lataji had become the topmost singer in India having delivered back-to-back hit songs. She was touring the Western world and had come to know about the royalty that the singers get there through their songs. However, in India at that time, only musicians were given royalty by the producers whereas singers were never considered for the same.

That is when the queen of melody decided to take a stand and demanded the then ineffective singers association to support her in her demand for royalty. Raj Kapoor, who was very close to her, denied this demand. She also had bad fallout with her favourite singer Mohammad Rafi and even her sister Asha Bhosale. But Kishore Kumar supported her and slowly producers started offering royalty to the singers.