Kishore Kumar, also known as Abhas Kumar Ganguly, was an extraordinary playback singer, lyricist, film director, music director, producer, screenwriter and even an actor. Kishore made his acting debut in his brother Ashok Kumar’s film Shikari (1946) and his singing debut in 1948’s Ziddi. While Ashok Kumar wanted Kishore to be an actor like him, the latter hated acting. He soon developed a serious interest in singing. His songs including Tum bin jaaon kahan, Zindagi ek safar hai suhana and Chala jata hoon became an instant hit. On his 90th birth anniversary, here are some of the lesser-known facts about the maestro.
1. Kishore Kumar sang most number of songs for Rajesh Khanna (245), followed by those of Jeetendra, Dev Anand and Amitabh Bachchan respectively.
2. He sang both the male and female parts for the song Aake Seedhi Lagi Dil Pe which was supposed to be sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
3. One of his popular songs Paanch Rupaiya Barah Aana was inspired by a debt of Rs 5. 75 that he owed his college canteen in Indore.
4. There used to be a sign board outside his bungalow that read, 'Beware of Kishore'.
5. The singer, who was immensely popular among the youth, holds the record for winning 18 Filmfare Awards.
6. He has an award named after him which is called ‘Kishore Kumar Award’. It’s awarded to people for their contribution to Hindi Cinema.
7. Artist and composer Bappi Lahri is Kishore Kumar’s nephew.
8. At the time of Emergency, Kishore was asked to sing for an Indian National Congress rally in Mumbai, which he refused. As a result, there was ban on playing his songs by national broadcasters, All India Radio and Doordarshan from 1976 till the end of Emergency.
9. Kishore was paranoid about payment and strictly followed the policy of ‘no pay, no work.
10. He married four times - his first wife was Ruma Guha Thakurta (1950-1958). His second wife was Madhubala (1960-1969). He later married actor Yogeeta Bali in 1976, only to get divorced in 1978. He married actor Leena Chandravarkar in 1980 and they were together till his death 1987.