Bappi Lahiri, legendary singer-songwriter, dies at 69; music lovers pay homage to “Disco King”
Bappi Lahiri, the legendary music composer and singer, died Tuesday night in a hospital in Mumbai. He was 69 years old. A film industry veteran who captivated music lovers for over five decades, “Bappi da” was the man credited with bringing the “disco” genre to Indian shores. Starting with ‘Daadu’, his first Bengali film in 1969, Bappi Lahiri reached the pinnacle of success with Bollywood hits such as ‘Namak Halal’, ‘Sharaabi’, ‘Disco Dancer’, ‘Chalte, Chalte’.
Confirming Bappi Lahiri’s demise, CritiCare director Dr Deepak Namjoshi said the music composer died just before midnight on Tuesday. The cause of his death was recorded as obstructive sleep apnea in medical terms. Bappi Lahiri had been undergoing treatment in hospital for a month and was discharged on Monday. However, by Tuesday his condition had deteriorated and his family had called a doctor from the hospital to visit him at his home. After the initial examination, he was taken back to hospital, where he breathed his last on Tuesday evening.
Tabla prodigy at ‘Disco King’ – The Journey Unknown
Born as Alokesh Lahiri on November 27, 1952, Bappi Lahiri was a child prodigy. His parents, Aparesh and Bansari Lahiri, were very well known singers in Kolkata at that time. At the age of 4, Bappi Lahiri made his brilliant debut when he played the tabla at a concert at the iconic Eden Gardens. At the age of 11 he had already started composing music and at 20 he had already signed up for his first film as a musical director. The movie was “Daadu” and the year was 1969. But it was Bollywood that made Bappi Lahiri the legend he became known as. He fled from Kolkata to ‘Bombay’ to work in the Hindi film industry. His mother was close to the family of great singers Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. ‘Kishore Mama’ helped secure his first Hindi film ‘Nanha Shikari’ in 1973. But it was Tahir Hussain’s Zakhmee that proved to be a watershed moment for the young music composer. And then there was no turning back. Lahiri idolized Elvis Presley and it showed. Whether it’s his flamboyant vocals, his golden chains, Lahiri has made an entire generation groove to his beats.
Tributes pour in for ‘Bappi Da’
Since news of his passing became public Wednesday morning, social media has been full of heartfelt tributes to music lovers, executives and film celebrities remembering the musical genius. Prime Minister Naredra Modi took to Twitter to express his grief over the death of Bappi Lahiri.