Mumbai: Veteran music director Usha Khanna has been conferred the Maharashtra government’s ‘Lata Mangeshkar Award’ for 2019-2020, Culture Minister of the state Vinod Tawde said here Wednesday. The award, which carries a cash reward of Rs 5,00,000, a citation and a memento, will be awarded to the 78-year old Usha Khanna at a later date.
Instituted in 1993 by the Maharashtra government, the previous recipients of the award have been on Krishna Kalle, Ram-Laxman, Uttam Singh, Pushpa Pagdhare and other personalities.
One of the earliest and few women music directors in the Indian film industry, Usha Khanna made her mark in a largely male-dominated field by composing music for around 150 Hindi films, and a few for the South Indian film industry.
Starting her career in the Hindi film industry barely in her teens, Usha Khanna first composed superhit songs for the Asha Parekh debut film ‘Dil Deke Dekho’ (1959) and never looked back since.
Over the years, she not only worked with stalwarts like Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, KJ Yesudas and S Janaki, but also afforded big opportunities to newcomers like Anuradha Paudwal, Hemlata, Mohammed Aziz, Roop Kumar Rathod, Shabbir Kumar, Sonu Nigam and others.
Some of her evergreen songs are ‘Dil Deke Dekho’, ‘Chhodo Kal Ki Baatein’ (‘Hum Hindustani’, 1960), ‘Hum tumse juda hoke, mar jayenge ro roke’ (‘Ek Sapera Ek Lutera’, 1965), ‘Jiske liye sabko chhoda’ (Saajan Ki Sahelia, 1981), ‘Shaayad meri shaadi ka khayal’ and ‘Zindagi Pyaar Ka Geet Hai’ (‘Souten’, 1983) and ‘Tu Is Tarah Se Meri Zindagi Mein Shaamil Hai’ (‘Aap To Aise Na The’, 1980).
She also scored music for films like ‘Shabnam’ (1964), ‘Badal’ (1966), ‘Honeymoon’ (1973), ‘Do Khiladi’ (1976), ‘Saajan Bina Suhagan’ (1978), ‘Bin Phere Hum Tere’, ‘Dada’ (1979), ‘Gopichand Jasoos’ (1982) and her swansong film, ‘Dil Pardesi Ho Gaya’ (2003).
Yesudas bagged the Filmfare Award for the song ‘Dil Ke Tukde, Tukde Karke’ (‘Dada’, 1979) which was also composed by Usha Khanna.