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Shamshad Begum will continue to enthrall music lovers: Manmohan Singh
Paying tributes to singer Shamshad Begum, who died at the age of 94 on April 23, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that she was a singer of extraordinary talent and abilities, and her songs will continue to enthrall music lovers. It seems that Singh had been a fan of hers and her soft nasal songs like 'Kahin Pe Nigahen Kahin Pe Nishana.'

Begum passed away at her residence Wednesday due to old-age ailments. Reportedly, for past several months, she was confined to bed and was under constant medical attention. With her passing away, an era popular film songs with nasal tone comes to an end. She was awarded with Padma Bhushan in 2009.

Besides singing Hindi songs, she sang in Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Punjabi. Paying tributes to Begum, singer Lata Mangeshkar described her as a 'very nice, cheerful and simple human being'. Similarly, Amitabh Bachchan said that Begum was a 'playback singer of great eminence' with a 'golden voice'.

Information and Broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said, “The film industry has lost one of its most versatile singers. Shamshadji's style of singing set new benchmarks. Her melodious voice with powerful lyrics gave us songs that have remained popular even today."

Singer Bappi Lahiri said Begum's death was a huge loss to the industry as she had a unique style of singing. Likewise, composer-singer Shankar Mahadevan said Begum's voice will always be remembered.

Begum is survived by her married daughter Usha Ratra, who said, “She (Shamshad Begum) kept herself away from glamour of the industry despite being one of the top singers of her era as she did not like limelight. My mother used to say that artistes never die. She wanted to be remembered for her songs.”

Some facts:

- Shamshad Begum (1919 – 2013) sang over 6000 songs in various Indian languages.

- Shamshad was born in Amritsar in 1919.

- She married Ganpat Lal Batto at the age of 15 in 1934.

- She started her career on Lahore Radio on December 16, 1947.

- Begum sang for the All India Radio (AIR) through her musical group 'The Crown Imperial Theatrical Company of Performing Arts', set up in Delhi.

- In 2009, she was conferred with the prestigious O P Nayyar award and Padma Bhushan for her contribution to Hindi film music.

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