Lata Mangeshkar, one of India’s most recognizable cultural icons and a singer who defined music and melody for generations of Indians, died on Sunday.
She was 92 years old and is survived by four siblings. She was admitted to the hospital on January 11 after contracting COVID-19, according to Reuters.
According to Reuter’s TV partner ANI, Mangeshkar died on Sunday morning of “multi-organ failure after more than 28 days of hospitalization post-COVID-19,” according to Dr. Pratit Samdani, who was treating her at Mumbai’s Breach Candy Hospital.
For most of independent India’s three-quarter century, Mangeshkar’s voice has rung out of television sets, crackly airwaves, and movie theatres, making her the defining voice of many generations and earning her the title “the Nightingale.”
“I am heartbroken beyond words,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
“The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us,” wrote the prime minister, referring to his older sister.
“She leaves an unfillable void in our country.” Future generations will remember her as a pillar of Indian culture whose melodious voice had an unrivaled ability to captivate people.”
I am anguished beyond words. The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people. pic.twitter.com/MTQ6TK1mSO— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 6, 2022
India has declared two days of national mourning and announced that Mangeshkar will be given a state funeral before being cremated on Sunday evening in Mumbai. The flags of the country will be flown at half-staff.
Mangeshkar, who was born in pre-independence India in 1929, began singing in her teens and sang more than 15,000 songs in 36 languages over the course of her 73-year career.