Name : Kishore
Full / Real Name : Kishore Kumar / Abhas Kumar Ganguly
Born : 4-Aug-1929, Khandwa, MP
Died : 13-Oct-1987, Mumbai
Notable Films : Amar Prem, Aradhana, Chalti Ka Naam Gadi, Door Gagan Ki Chhanv Me, Door Ka Rahi, Fareb, Jhumroo, Mere Jeevan Sathi, Namak Haram, Paying Guest, Ziddi
Contributed by : K Vijay Kumar
Kishore Kumar was born to Kunjalal Ganguly and Gauri Devi in 1929. By the time he was ten, his elder brother, Ashok Kumar, was already a leading man in films. Kishore was interested in music, and revered K L Saigal, but had little time for academics. He had no formal training in music. The family finally moved to Bombay in 1946, in the hope that Kishore (and the middle brother, Anoop), would find work to do in the Hindi Film industry.

Kishore's first break came in Ziddi, under the baton of Khemchand Prakash, singing songs like 'marne ki duaaen kyon maangu?' and 'jagamag jagamag karataa nikalaa' for Dev Anand. His 50s output included films like Naukri, Fareb, Baap re Baap, Jaal, Chacha Zindabad, Nau Do Gyarah, Funtoosh, Paying Guest and Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi.

It is rumoured that Kishore was spending money faster than he could make it, and he started taking up acting assignments to keep the debt and tax collecters from his door. A versatile comic genius, his films did well at the box office. There came a point when his acting career overtook his singing career, and there were occasions when Kishore was too busy to record the songs he was to sing, and Rafi stepped in (Ragini, '58 - man mora baavara; ajab hai daasta teri ai zindagi). With Jhumroo (1961), several new aspects of Kishore Kumar were revealed. He composed the songs for the film, even writing a few, sang the songs, acted in the film, produced and directed it!

His work as a singer remained sporadic through the 50s and most of the 60s, singing mostly under the baton of SD Burman for Dev Anand. It was with Aradhana (69) that things changed. The songs (mere sapno ki rani, roop tera mastana) became instant hits and Kishore emerged with Rajesh Khanna as the voice and looks for the new generation. From then on, till his death in 1987, Kishore was the undisputed leading male voice in Hindi filmdom.

Beyond the Hindi film world, he recorded puja songs in Bengali (Noyono Sharashi Keno, Aamar Moner Ei Moyur Mahaley, Aamar Dweep Nebhano Raat), some of which he composed himself. Kishore cut two "Rabindra Sangeet" albums under the baton of Hemant Kumar, who was also the composer of many of his most popular "Adhunik Gaan" (pop songs), like Aamar Pujar Phool and Shey Jeno Aamar Pashey Aajo Boshe Aachhe. Kishore's Bengali films include the extremely popular Lukochuri (Hide'n'seek) and Dushtu Projapoti (The Naughty Butterfly). Kishore also sang the Tagore songs in Satyajit Ray's Charulata and Ghare Baire.

Kishore had a reputation for being whimsical and unpredictable, and for being something of a buffoon and a miser in his life. He was however, very dedicated to his singing, and used to rehearse his songs extensively, ensuring he got the words, the notes, and the feelings right.

Kishore married four times - all actresses - Ruma Guhathakurta, Madhubala, Yogeeta Bali and Leena Chandavarkar. He has two sons - Amit & Sumit Kumar.