The last of the Mohicans of the 1950s-80s golden era of Indian cinema, legendary playback singer Manna Dey, who enthralled multitudes for over six decades with his golden voice and soul touching intensity, died at a Bangalore hospital early this morning. The end came for the 94-year-old Dada Saheb Phalke award recipient, who was suffering from respiratory and renal ailments, at 0305 hrs in Narayana Hruday hospital here.
‘’He was moved to the ICU early last night following chest infection and renal failure. He was ailing since the last five months. His old age also added to his suffering,’’ hospital sources said.
Dey, whose wife Sulochana predeceased him last year, is survived by his daughters Shuroma and Sumita. Hundreds of fans bid farewell to the icon at Ravindra Kalakeshtra, a cultural auditorium, where the body was kept for public homage before the last rites.
The mortal remains of the legendary playback singer were cremated this evening. The last rites were performed by his son-in-law Jan Ranjan Deb in the presence of hundreds of Dey’s admirers, including Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh and film actress Tara. Dey was counted among the best classical singers of Hindi film music.
Although he sang various types of songs during his nearly six decade long career – from pop to folk to romantic melodies, Dey is best known for the ‘classical Hindi film songs’ that he rendered for ‘Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje’, ‘Kavi Kalidas’, ‘Jai Mahadev’, ‘Kabuliwala’, ‘Rustam Sohrab’, ‘Dil Hi To Hai’, ‘Chitralekha’ and ‘Parvarish’. The versatile singer rendered about 3,500 songs in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayali, Kannada, Assamese, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Punjabi, Maithilee, Konkani and Sindhi languages.