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Friday, 19 October, 2001, 14:27 GMT 15:27 UK
Top award for Indian film singer
Film set
Her songs were used for thousands of films
Asha Bhosle, one of India's most famous playback singers, has expressed her delight at receiving the film industry's prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award.

If your thoughts remain simple, your face remains young, and your voice, youthful.

Asha Bhosle
"The time to prance and sing is behind me now," she told the BBC.

"So, to see that people still remember Asha Bhosle and her songs is really nice."

Asha Bhosle has performed on stage across India and in many other countries in addition to recording over 12,000 songs in a number of Indian languages during a career spanning some 50 years.

The award was announced on Thursday at a glittering ceremony attended by high-profile stars from Bollywood and members of Bombay's elite, considered the highlight of the Bollywood calendar.

Musical family

Asha Bhosle is a member of a well-known musical family with two equally famous sisters who too have recorded thousands of songs for the Indian movie industry.

Her elder sister, Lata Mangeshkar, is India's most famous playback singer.

Asha Bhosle said she never imagined she would receive such recognition.

'I have always worked without any expectation of awards,' she said.

In a musical career spanning several decades, Asha Bhosle has built up a formidable repertory ranging from Indian classical ragas to the song-and-dance routine of the Bollywood movies.

Diverse interests

Famous for the synthesis of classical styles with Western pop, Asha Bhosle said she had always loved music from different cultures.

"I love music from Latin America, Africa and the West", she said.

'When recording a song with a pop format, I try to bring diverse elements into my music.'

The Dadasaheb Phalke award, named after the founder of the Indian movie industry, is given in recognition of a lifetime's contribution to the industry.

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