Kishore Kumar Biography: The Legend

Kishore Kumar Biography: The Life of a Maverick Maestro

Kishore Kumar – a name that resonates with the soul of Indian cinema, a voice that has become synonymous with musical versatility and a personality that can only be described as enigmatic. “The Life of a Maverick Maestro” is not just the biography of a playback singer; it’s a journey through the life of a man who wore many hats – singer, actor, director, producer, and comedian – and adorned each with unparalleled flair. Born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly in 1929 in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh, Kishore Kumar’s journey to stardom was as unconventional as his persona.

This biography paints a vivid portrait of Kishore Kumar’s multifaceted life, exploring his deep impact on the Indian music and film industry. From his early days of struggle to his emergence as a leading playback singer who revolutionized the Indian music scene, the narrative delves into his professional triumphs and the unique style that set him apart. But Kishore Kumar’s life was more than just his professional achievements; it was a tapestry of complex personal relationships, his love for solitude, and a constant quest for inner peace.

Kishore Kumar’s story is a compelling account of talent, eccentricity, and genius. This biography aims to offer an intimate look into the life of a man whose songs continue to resonate across generations, a man who could make the audience laugh and cry, often within the same song. His contribution to Indian cinema goes beyond mere playback singing; he left behind a legacy that continues to inspire artists and music lovers alike. In these pages, we embark on a journey to understand the enigma that was Kishore Kumar – the maverick maestro.

Kishore Kumar: Early Life and Childhood

Kishore Kumar, Central Provinces, British India, was the youngest of four siblings. His father, Kunjalal Ganguly, worked as a lawyer, and his mother, Gouri Devi, hailed from a wealthy family. Kishore’s eldest brother, Ashok Kumar, had already made a name for himself as a famous Bollywood actor when Kishore was still young. Later, his other brother, Anoop Kumar, joined the entertainment industry.

Watching his elder brothers succeed in the field sparked Kishore’s interest in cinema. As a young boy, he was an ardent fan of the legendary singer-actor K. L. Saigal. Despite lacking formal music training, Kishore Kumar followed his brother Ashok to Bombay (now Mumbai) and began a professional career. He changed his name to Kishore and started his musical journey as a chorus singer at Bombay Talkies, where his brother was associated. Kishore’s dedication and unique talent, including his trademark technique of yodeling,” soon made him one of the most popular playback singers of his time.

His melodious voice resonated across various Indian languages, including Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Assamese, Marathi, Malayalam, and Kannada. Kishore Kumar won several awards throughout his career, including eight Filmfare Awards. Even after his passing, his legacy lives on, and his unreleased song was auctioned for a staggering sum in 2012. Kishore Kumar remains an iconic figure in the world of Indian music and entertainment

Kishore Kumar: Full Information

Full NameKishore Kumar Ganguly
Date of BirthAugust 4, 1929
Place of BirthKhandwa, Central Provinces (now in Madhya Pradesh), British India
Date of DeathOctober 13, 1987
OccupationPlayback Singer, Actor, Music Director, Lyricist, Director, Producer
GenresFilmi, Indian classical music, playback singing
Early LifeBegan his career as a chorus singer at Bombay Talkies
CareerKnown for his work in Hindi cinema; also worked in Bengali and other regional films
Personal LifeMarried four times, including to famous Bollywood actresses Madhubala and Leena Chandavarkar
Notable WorksSongs like “Mere Sapno Ki Rani”, “Roop Tera Mastana”, “Koi Humdum Na Raha”, “O Mere Dil Ke Chain”
AwardsWon 8 Filmfare Awards for Best Male Playback Singer, among other accolades

Kishore Kumar: Family

FatherKunjalal Ganguly (Gangopadhyay)
MotherGouri Devi
Brother (Elder)Ashok Kumar (Actor)
Brother (Elder)Anoop Kumar (Actor)
Son (with Ruma Guha Thakurta)Amit Kumar (Playback Singer)
Son (with Leena Chandavarkar)Sumit Kumar
WivesRuma Guha Thakurta (1950–1958)
Madhubala (1960–1969)
Yogeeta Bali (1976)
Leena Chandavarkar (1980–1987)
Kishore Kumar Family
Kishore Kumar Family

Kishore Kumar: Education & Qualification

Education LevelInstitutionField of Study/Specialization
SchoolChristian College, IndoreGeneral Education

Kishore Kumar: Social Media link

YouTubeKishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar: Social Media link

Kishore Kumar: Debut & Awards

Film Debut“Shikari” (1946) as an actor
Singing DebutSong “Marne ki duayen kyon mangu” in “Ziddi” (1948)
Major Awards
Filmfare Awards– Best Playback Singer (8 times)
– Best Actor for “Ashirwad” (1969)
Bengal Film Journalists’ Association Awards– Best Playback Singer, Male (2 times)
– Best Actor for “Lukochuri” (1958)
Honorary Awards
Kishore Kumar AwardInstituted by the Madhya Pradesh government in his honor
Padma ShriAwarded posthumously in 1986
Kishore Kumar: Debut & Awards

kishore kumar awards
kishore kumar awards

Kishore Kumar: Popular Song

YearSong TitleMovie
1969“Roop Tera Mastana”Aradhana
1972“Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana”Andaz
1973“Mere Sapno Ki Rani”Aradhana
1975“Dil Kya Kare”Julie
1975“O Saathi Re”Muqaddar Ka Sikandar
1976“Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi”Mr. X in Bombay
1978“Humein Tumse Pyar Kitna”Kudrat
1981“Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si”Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi
1985“Manzilen Apni Jagah Hain”Sharaabi
1986“Saagar Kinare”Saagar

Kishore Kumar: Commonly Asked Questions

  • What was Kishore Kumar’s real name? Kishore Kumar was born Abhas Kumar Ganguly on August 4, 1929, in Khandwa, British India.
  •  What were some of Kishore Kumar’s notable works? Kishore Kumar was a multifaceted talent known for his contributions as an actor, playback singer, composer, and director.
  • His expressive and versatile singing voice graced many of India’s top screen actors.
    •  Notable films he acted in include: “Aradhana”
    •  “Door gagan ki chhaon mein”
    •  “Door ka rahi”
    •  “Jewel Thief”
  •  “Munimji”
  •  As a playback singer, he collaborated extensively with actor Dev Anand, lending his voice to hit songs in films like “Munimji,” Funtoosh,” Nau do Gyarah,” and “Jewel Thief.”
  •  What was Kishore Kumar’s journey to stardom? Kishore Kumar initially worked as an occasional chorus singer at the Bombay Talkies film studio in Bombay (now Mumbai).
  •  His elder brother, Ashok Kumar, was a reigning star there.
  •  Although his heart was in singing, Kishore made his acting debut in 1946 with the film Shikari.”
  •  The 1951 release of Andolan propelled him to stardom as both a singer and an actor, freeing him from his brother’s shadow.
  •  His comic roles in films like “New Delhi” and “Chalti ka naam gaadi” showcased his flair for humor and singing1.
  •  Did you know? Scores of other singers in India imitated Kishore Kumar’s unique voice.
  •  His partnership with Dev Anand created a musical gold mine, and his songs remain beloved by generations of fans.

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