Prabodh Chandra Dey aka Manna Dey passed away on October 24, 2013, at the age of 94 in Bangalore due to cardiac arrest. The legendary playback singer went on to record more than 4000 songs in more than 15 languages in his career spanning over seven decades.
The recipient of the Padma Shri (1971), the Padma Bhushan (2005) and Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2007), Manna Dey dedicated his life to music.
On his death anniversary today, Here are some interesting facts about the celebrated singer:
1. Manna Dey’s singing talent came to the fore while he was studying at Scottish Church College. Later he started taking singing lessons from his uncle Krishna Chandra Dey as well as Ustad Dabir Khan.
2. Manna Dey’s career as a playback singer started with the movie Tamanna in the year 1943. His uncle, Krishna Chandra Dey composed the musical score and he paired up with the well-known Suraiya to sing this wonderful duet. The entire nation loved this song and Manna Dey became a household name.
3. Mohammad Rafi had famously said that though the world listens to his songs, he only listens to Manna Dey’s songs.
4. Manna Dey sang two hugely popular songs with the evergreen Kishore Kumar- Yeh Dosti (Sholay) and Ek chatur naar (Padosan)
5. In his playback singing career spanning over seven decades, Manna Day sang in many languages, mainly Bengali and Hindi. He sang more than 1200 songs in Bengali, 85 songs in Gujarati films, 55 songs in Marathi, 35 in Bhojpuri and several others in ten more different languages.
6. Dey had teamed up with Bhimsen Joshi and belted out the classic number Ketaki Gulab Juhi
7. His autobiography, Jiboner Jalsaghorey, has been published by renowned Ananda Publisher in the year 2005 which has been translated in English as memories Come Alive, in Hindi as Yaden Jee Uthi and in Marathi as Jiboner Jalsaghorey.
8. Manna Dey is one of the rarest singers who have worked with more than 100 music composers.
9. He sang a record 160 songs with Asha Bhosle and 101 duets with Mohd Rafi.
10. Dey was a huge fan of Rajesh Khanna. “I loved the way he picturized music. The success of a song depends upon how an actor picturizes it. He was the number one in picturizing songs. I will be ever indebted to him,” said Dey about the first superstar of the country.