Legendary singer Asha Bhosle - of the pre-eminent Mangeshkar clan - was conferred the coveted 'Maharashtra Bhushan - 2021' Award at a swank function near the Gateway of India, on Friday evening.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and other dignitaries, including Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar, were present and hailed the 89-year-old Asha Bhosle's singing career which has completed 80 years.
"Asha-tai is the 'pride of Maharashtra'... The Mangeshkar family has been ruling the minds of the fans for over eight decades and served the field of arts through their singing and music," said Shinde.
The Award, instituted by the erstwhile Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party regime (1995-1999), carried a cash component of Rs 25-lakh, a shawl, a memento, and certificate. The event saw a documentary on the life and times of Bhosle screened which left the audiences enthralled.
Shinde said that in her long music career, Bhosle had sung thousands of songs in various languages with ease, ranging from devotional to disco.
"The songs sung by her remain afresh even today and would continue to regale us in future too... the glory of 'Maharashtra Bhushan' has increased, thanks to her," said Shinde.
He said that though she faced many travails in her life, she made others happy with her songs and inspired us all.
Fadnavis termed Bhosle's 80-year-long musical journey (she started singing from 1943) as 'stunning', her versatility, ability to create different moods through her songs which left people humming the tunes long after.
Replying to accolades, Bhosle said that her father, the late Master Dinanath Mangeshkar, her mother and the late Lata Mangeshkar (also conferred the same award in 1997) were among those whose blessings she got during her entire musical career.
"Singing has enriched my life immensely but the contributions of the musicians and co-singers in my musical journey cannot be forgotten... I urge you to listen to all types of music and songs," said Bhosle with folded hands.
Other prominent persons present included Maharashtra Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar, Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Mumbai Guardian Minister Deepak Kesarkar, Chief Secretary M.K. Srivastava, Cultural Affairs Principal Secretary Vikas Kharge and invitees.