Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 May 2019

DIFF honours Asha Bhosle with Lifetime Achievement Award

She is officially the most recorded voice in history, the singer in the shadows behind thousands of starlets of the screen, throughout eight different decades of cinema.
Legendary Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle receives her Lifetime Achievement Award from Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival, Abdulhamid Juma. Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images
Legendary Indian playback singer Asha Bhosle receives her Lifetime Achievement Award from Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival, Abdulhamid Juma. Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

DUBAI // She is officially the most recorded voice in history, the singer in the shadows behind thousands of starlets of the screen and song over eight decades of cinema.

And now Asha Bhosle can add a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dubai International Film Festival (Diff) to her glowing resume.

The 81-year-old Bollywood playback legend picked up the accolade at the opening ceremony of the festival. Speaking on Thursday at Madinat Jumeirah, Bhosle said: “I feel very honoured.

“I’m Indian, and Asian people everywhere in the world know me, but here I saw an audience from the Middle East enjoying my music.”

After collecting the trophy on Wednesday from Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid, Bhosle treated the audience to a moving vocal workout. Her singing sparked a group clap along among the 1,800-capacity auditorium – a move the singer confessed was entirely impromptu. “I had no plans to sing at all, but they asked me when I was on the stage – and there was Royal family there, so I couldn’t say ‘no’,” the singer said.

Beginning her career in recorded music in 1943 at the age of 10, Bhosle was recognised in 2009 by the World Record Academy as the most recorded artist in history, with more than 11,000 credited recordings in 20 languages – many as a playback singer soundtracking the vocal numbers in Bollywood classics.

Asked how many song titles she can recall from that five-figure list, Bhosle was at a loss.

“I can’t remember any of them,” she admitted.

Even those unfamiliar with the Bollywood universe may know Bhosle’s work – she is also an acclaimed restaurateur, and is behind the award-winning eponymous eatery Asha’s, in Dubai’s Wafi Mall.

The singer was using her visit to the Emirates to make sure standards were up to scratch, having dined at the venue on Tuesday, and with a table already booked for a follow-up visit on December 25.

“I will go back and tell them how to make this dish and that dish,” she said. “You always have to change things, otherwise people move on.”

She also has a restaurant at the recently opened Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Unsurprisingly after such a distinguished career, Bhosle is no stranger to awards parties, having picked up many trophies. In 1997 she became the first Indian artist to be nominated for a Grammy Award.

However, the accolade from Diff is one she will keep close to her heart.

“It is very special. I have so, so many awards, but I will put this one in my bedroom,” she said.

rgarratt@thenational.ae

Updated: December 11, 2014 04:00 AM

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