Dey, who was in and out of Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital in the last five months for respiratory and renal problems, died of cardiac arrest with his daughter Shumita Deb and son-in-law Jnanranjan Deb by his bedside when the end came at 3.50 AM.
     
The condition of Dey, who had made Bangalore his home for the last many years, deteriorated since yesterday afternoon, hospital spokesman Vasuki said.

Manna Dey's all-time hits (in pics)
    
With the demise of Dey, the void has become complete in the famous quartet of singers Rafi, Mukesh, and Kishore Kumar, who dominated the Hindi music industry from 1950s to 1970s.
     
The mortal remains of Dey, whose unique voice lent a rare dimension to his persona, were cremated at Hebbal crematorium here with Jnanranjan Deb performing the last rites with none from the Bollywood fraternity or government present. Dey's body was kept at Ravindra Kalakshetra for about two hours for paying homage amid criticism that arrangements were inadequate, before it was taken in a flower bedecked van to the crematorium.

PM, President condole Manna Dey's death, describe him as ‘king of melody’


    
"He (Dey) had simple ideals... he wanted the last rites to be as simple as possible," Shumita told reporters.
    
Dey, who had turned a recluse in the last years of his live, is survived by two daughters-- the second living in US. His wife Sulochana predeceased him in January this year.

Dey was part of the golden era of Bollywood, when Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar reigned supreme, and carved a niche for himself with his lilting, husky voice.

MUST READ: Manna Dey: A musical genius rarely matched

Twitter reactions to Manna Dey's death

AMITABH BACHCHAN, actor

Manna Dey, stalwart of the music world, passes away. Flooded with memories and his songs. In particular his rendition of Madhushala.

MAHESH BHATT, filmmaker

Manna Dey passes away. His voice shall linger forever.R.I.P.

NAVEEN JINDAL, lawmaker

Sad to hear of the passing away of Manna Dey Ji. RIP

MANOJ BAJPAYEE, actor

MANNA DEY is no more!a great singer!lets pray for him!my condolences to his family!his music will live for 1000 yrs.RIP

KUNAL KOHLI, director

#mannadey last of the greats,along with Kishore,Rafi & Mukesh,passes away.RIP.'ek chattur naar' to 'ae mere pyaare watan' what a range

HARSHA BHOGLE, cricket commentator

oh no. such terrible news to get up to. manna dey no more? less melody in the world. #mannadey

In this photograph taken on October 21, 2009, then Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil (C) presents The Dadasaheb Phalke Award to Indian singer Manna Dey (R) at the 55th National Film Awards Function in New Delhi

All-time Greatest Hits

 

  • 'Poocho Na Kaise Maine' (Meri Surat Teri Aankhen)
  • 'Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen' (Waqt)
  • 'Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli' (Anand)
  • 'Yeh Dosti' (Sholay)
  • 'Ek Chatur Naar' (Padosan)
  • ‘Laga Chunari Main Daag’ (Dil Hi To Hai)
  • Na To Karvan Ki Talash Hai’ (Barsaat Ki Raat)
  • ‘Aaja Sanam Madhur Chandani Mein Hum’ and ‘Ye Raat Bhigi Bhigi’ (Chori Chori)
  • ‘Dil Ka Haal Sune Dilwala’ (Shree 420)
  • ‘Jhanak Jhanak Tori Paaje Payaliya’ (Mere Huzoor)
  • ‘Tu Pyaar Ka Saagar Hai’ (Seema)
  • ‘Chunari Sambhal Gori Udi Chali Jaye Re’ (Baharon Ke Sapne)

'Manna Dey was a strict disciplinarian but soft at heart'

Manna Dey was a strict disciplinarian, with a thirst for knowledge and a bold persona, said a close associate.

Fondly recalling his nearly four decade long musical journey with the stalwart, violinist Durbadal Chatterjee said Dey was "close to his roots" and had a "soft interior despite strong exterior" and a keen interest in fishing.

"People had a misconception that he was rude and rough. He was in fact really soft inside. If he liked a person he would be very fond of him/her, but if he did not, then he could be rude. He was averse to strangers," Chatterjee said.

He narrated one such incident to buttress his point. "We were sitting at his old residence. He was singing accompanied by his harmonium and I was jotting down the notes. Suddenly the door opened and a girl was standing there. Dey rudely ordered the girl to go away, saying he was busy. But the girl showed up again after a few minutes," said Chatterjee.


This time the girl asked for confirmation whether it was Manna Dey's residence. Dey gruffly asked her why she was there. It turned out that the girl, an ardent fan, just wanted to touch the maestro's feet.

"As soon as Dey heard her plea, he got to his feet and allowed the fan to pay her respect. He was that humble...only a bit coarse towards strangers," said Chatterjee.

The vocalist had lent his mellifluous voice in Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, Assamese films - a testimony of his love for Indian folk music.

But the "son of the soil" was equally at home with the idea of adding a dash of modern twist to the traditional tunes.



"He was a very fast learner. Otherwise he couldn't have sung in so many languages. He had a liking towards Indian folk sounds. Not only did he have a vast knowledge of music, but he advised us to listen to folk tunes and imbibe them into our compositions with a modern punch," said Chatterjee.

"We had gone to a function in Howrah (neighbouring Kolkata) and someone had asked him about what he thought of other artists churning out different versions of his songs. He said it's okay ... they are only spreading it. But he added that listeners' standards had fallen. This was an indirect shot at people hearing remixes of his old songs," explained Chatterjee.

Performing globally in a career spanning over seventy decades, the "health-conscious" Dey made it a point to adhere to a disciplined lifestyle till the very end.

"He used to get up at 5 a.m...finish his ablutions...go for a jog and come back and make tea and then he used to wake up his wife...that was around 7 a.m.," revealed Chatterjee who had often been asked by the disciplinarian to get up early to enjoy nature's beauties at the crack of dawn.

Manna Dey's last wish was to record song for wife

A prolific singer, Manna Dey's last wish was to record an emotional love song in memory of his deceased wife Sulochana.
    
"He wanted to sing till his last breath. He was very keen to resume singing after a long hiatus despite his ill health. It was his last wish to record a song for his wife," his close associate Suparna Kanti Ghosh said.

Dey had decided to record four Rabindra Sangeet songs in his wife's memory this year.
    
Ghosh said since the Dadasaheb Phalke awardee was a perfectionist, he was waiting for his health to improve so that he could record the songs.
    
But unfortunately the last wish went unfulfilled as the legend passed away today due to prolonged illness in Bangalore.
    
"God should have let him fulfil his last wish at least. He only wanted to pay tribute to his departed wife as a lover," lamented Ghosh, himself a music director and lyricist.

Manna Dey's trademark cap was gifted by a fan in Kashmir

A brown Kashmiri fur cap which became singer Manna Dey's trademark was given by a fan when he was shivering in snow during a concert in the Kashmir Valley.
    
"It was the month of December and I had gone to Kashmir to take part in a concert. Apart from the fact that it was bitterly cold, it was snowing," Dey said in his autobiography.


    
"As I shivered onstage, I wondered how I would manage to get through the recital. I realized in dismay, when I launched into a number, that I was too numb with cold to sing the notes accurately," he said.
    
Noticing this, one of his fans stepped onto the dais and reverently offered him the cap which was gladly accepted. "And what relief that simple gesture afforded! I was myself again. Now that I was comfortably warm, my confidence soared and the audience responded to my performance with enthusiasm," the 'king of melody' had recounted.
    
Since then the Kashmiri fur cap became a permanent part of his wardrobe and he wore it wherever he went.

JPN/Agencies

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