20 Facts About Begum Akhtar


Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, known as Begum Akhtar, was an Indian singer and actress.

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Begum Akhtar received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for vocal music in 1972, was awarded Padma Shri, and later a Padma Bhushan Award posthumously by the government of India.

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Begum Akhtar was barely seven when she was captivated by the music of Chandra Bai, an artist attached to a touring theatre group.

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Begum Akhtar cut her first disc for the Megaphone Record Company, at that time.

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Begum Akhtar was amongst the early female singers to give public concert, and break away from singing in mehfils or private gatherings, and in time came to be known as Mallika-e-Ghazal.

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Begum Akhtar's good looks and sensitive voice made her an ideal candidate for a film career in her early years.

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Begum Akhtar chose her repertoire in primarily classical modes: a variety of raags, ranging from simple to complex.

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Subsequently, Begum Akhtar moved back to Lucknow where she was approached by the famous producer-director Mehboob Khan, to act in Roti which was released in 1942 and whose music was composed by the maestro Anil Biswas.

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Begum Akhtar's name appears differently in many film credits as Akhtaribai Fyzabadi, Akhtaribai Faizabadi, Akhtari and Begum Akhtar.

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Begum Akhtar sang three ghazals and a dadra at Lucknow All India Radio station.

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Begum Akhtar started crying afterwards and returned to singing in concerts, which she continued to do unto death.

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Begum Akhtar sang publicly in Lucknow, in a women's only concert in aid of the war with China, which was held in 1962.

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Begum Akhtar's voice matured with time, acquiring richness and depth.

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Begum Akhtar sang ghazals and other light classical pieces, in her inimitable style.

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Begum Akhtar was a regular performer on All India Radio.

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Begum Akhtar usually composed her own ghazals and most of her compositions were raag based.

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Begum Akhtar sang the timeless Bengali classical song "Jochona Koreche Aari".

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Begum Akhtar died on 30 October 1974 in the arms of Nilam Gamadia, her friend, who invited her to Ahmedabad, which became her final performance.

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Begum Akhtar's tomb was a mango orchard within her home, 'Pasand Bagh' in Thakurganj area, of Lucknow.

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Begum Akhtar's disciples include Shanti Hiranand, who later received Padma Shri and wrote a biography Begum Akhtar: The Story of My Ammi.

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