South Asia's film industry is renowned for the volume of its outpourings. Bollywood, the Bombay-based centre of the Hindi-language film industry, long ago overtook Hollywood in terms of output and, many suspect, also in terms of influence and worldwide market penetration. Very likely, as the lights dim and colour shatters the darkness, one voice will cut through the silence, and this will be Lata Mangeshkar's. Whether singing a bhajan (a Hindu devotional hymn), a liltingly romantic song about rebirth or a raga-based film hit, she is one of India's greatest vocalists and one of the pre-eminent and most popular singers of our age. In the entire history of Indian film song, the greatest playback artist of either sex, the one that has reigned the longest, the one that everyone looks up to, is Lata Mangeshkar.
'The soundtrack to generations of sub-continent lives.' The Observer