However, even before these celebrated female singers emerged on the scene, there was a woman singer who was no less adept in the art of singing than any of these. That female singer was Shamshad Begum. She is the same Shamshad Begum who was the mother of Naseem Bano and grandmother of the famous film actress, Saira Bano. She was perhaps the first female singer to hit the silver screen.

Shamshad Begum was born in Amritsar in Punjab. She started her singing career on December 16, 1937, the day when radio was launched in Lahore. She sang many solos and duets. In the late 1930s she made her fans crazy with such songs as “Kankaan deyaan faslaanpakkiaan liain’, ‘aya, hai bulaawa mujhe darber-e-nabi se\ etc. In 1944 she shifted to Mumbai. She ruled the world of music for two decades in 1930s to 1960s. She died on August 14, 1998 at the age of nearly 100 in Mumbai.

The three films which made her most popular were Mughal- e-Azam, Mother India and CID though she sang for several other films, including Mehboob Khan’s Humayun. She is still remembered for several hit songs including ‘Kabhi Aar Kabhi Paar’, ‘Lekepehlapehlapyar’, ‘Kajra mohabbatwala’ etc. Some of her hit songs are available on various www lines.