The London farewell tour of legendary Asha Bhosle

  • Mon,11 Feb 2019 06:53:53 PM

British Asia News Network

Smita Sarkar

London: The legendary Asha Bhosle will be visiting UK and performing in Birmingham (World Arena) and in London (SSE Arena Wembley) on the 2nd and 3rd of March, 2019. The 85 year old diva will be reliving her best hits in a career that spans more than 13000 songs in almost all the major languages of India.

It is futile to even try to introduce Asha Bhosle. To most of us Indians, she needs no introduction - and to those who have not heard of her yet, no description, no article and no documentary film will be able to adequately capture the phenomenon that is Asha Tai.

You can start describing her as the most recorded artist in human history, the Padma Vibhushan and the Dadasaheb Phalke awardee, the go-to artiste for film producers and music directors for more than seven decades – but you will still not quite get to describe her, not by a long way.

She has been described as timeless, evergreen and versatile by generations of music lovers – but, what is more apt is to recognise that Asha ji probably defines these terms and not the other way round.

Timeless like no other – the ten year old who nervously recorded her first Marathi song Chala, Chala Nav Bala and got paid 100 Rs for it; the voice for the leading actress in Naya Daur to the 62 years old voice for Tanha Tanha and even later, the 70 year old singing Lucky Lips – she has made each decade her own.

Versatile like no other – from racy cabaret numbers to devotional songs, from her mother tongue Marathi to Hindi and Bengali, from playback singing to live concerts – she has not just done it all, she has rules over each genre.

Asha Tai has displayed this versatility beyond the arena of music. She has tried her hand at acting and is also a successful entrepreneur – with her restaurant chain ‘Asha’ that aims to provide homely food and atmosphere for the discerning food lovers.

The legendary poet Javed Akhtar was probably the closest in describing Aaha Ji’s voice. At the Zee Cine Awards, he introduced her saying - “If all the bubbling rivers flowing down all the mountains of the world unite, if all the colourful birds in the sky come together, if the drops of honey dripping from all the honeycombs in the world accumulate, if all the butterflies merge and are mixed together under intoxicating moonlight – what you get is the voice of Asha Bhosle.”

While this voice has ruled the box office for years, Asha Ji’s concerts and stage appearances are eagerly awaited, full house events. Asha Ji has toured tirelessly all over the world. Inclement weather, ill-health, technical glitches – she doesn’t allow anything to come in between her and her thousands of fans, some of whom wait for years to have Asha Tai grace their city.  

She has sold out concerts in Stockholm, Dubai, London and all over USA – collaborating not just with legends like Kishore and Rafi, but also with the more recent performers like Sudesh Bhosle, Siva Mani and Babul Supriyo.

Her stage performances are a treat – effortlessly switching from the racy numbers, to romantic songs and then to album numbers and folk tunes. Moving from one language to the other to entertain her audience’s requests

Her relationship with UK and London is a long-standing one. She has been performing in London for many years and it is only fitting that she remembers her favourite city in her last world tour. Come March 2019, Asha Ji is going to wrap up a wonderful concert career at the SSE Arena in Wembley.

With her immense qualities, it is of no surprise that Asha ji is an inspiration to a generation of musicians. Accomplished playback singer Barnali Chakrabarti says – “I consider Asha Tai as my mentor. Main unko Sur ki Saraswati Maanti Hoon. If a musician follows Asha Tai’s style of singing, he or she must be pitch perfect and a complete artist. She is my diva in all senses. She is such a fabulous singer and a zestful human being as well.”

Music lovers of UK and London, young and old, are eagerly awaiting the March 3rd event to celebrate a career that is studded with the brightest gems in Indian film music history. As her immortal song goes – “Who knows if our paths will cross again in this life! (Shaayad Is Janam Mein – Mulakaat Ho No Ho!)”

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