Manna Dey started his career as an assistant music director first, with his uncle and then legendary S.D. Burman in the year 1942. After continuing his work for a relatively long time, he began to work independently. In between, he also continued his classical music training. His first movie as a playback singer was ‘Tamanna’ in the year 1943. This was a duet with renowned singer Suraiya. The song proved to be a major hit and thereafter, he kept on getting numerous offers for singing. His second solo track ‘Upar Gagan Vishal’ was also a big hit. He also sang for Marathi and Bengali movies and along the way also established himself as numero uno Bengali playback singer.  

 

Manna Dey is known for his mesmerizing versatility. According to one story, he was adept at imitating any other singer’s voice but no other singer was able to sing the classical way he used to. Even legendary Mohammad Rafi once said, he himself listens to only Manna Dey’s songs. That comment itself shows his talent and popularity even amongst his peers. His reputation as best trained singer of the industry was ably reflected in his collaborations with great talents like Bhimsen Joshi and Kishore Kumar in songs ‘Ketaki Gulab Juhi’, ‘Yeh Dosti’ and ‘Ek Chatur Naar’. He was equally eefiecint in classical as well as popular filmy songs. He has sung songs in many languages and has also performed in many parts of the world. He has also received awards like National Singer of India, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan from the Government of India.

 

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