Veteran playback singer Asha Bhosle was conferred the coveted “5th Yash Chopra Memorial National Award” which has been instituted in the memory of legendary producer-director Yash Raj Chopra. Maharashtra Governor C.V. Rao gave away the award to Bhosle.
Asha Bhosle said, ‘I want to ask God to please make me a classical singer in my next life’. In her reply, Bhosle recalled her long association with legendary Chopra whom she likened to “a younger brother”.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a gold bracelet has been instituted by philanthropist and MP T. Subbarami Reddy, in association with Anu Ranjan, President of Indian Television Academy, and Shashi Ranjan, Chairman and Managing Director, ITA School of Performing Arts.
“It is unfortunate that he is not her any more. I was associated with him for nearly 50 years, even before he was married. Once I complimented him on his choice of songs and melodies and said his ‘ear for music’ has greatly improved with time,” she recalled.
She continued: “At that time, Chopra shared his secret with me, with a request not to tell anyone. He said actually it was his wife Pamela who decides the songs in the films. So I added, no wonder, your taste in music has only got better.”
The jury that decided on this year’s award comprised Pamela Chopra, Boney Kapoor, Honey Irani, Alka Yagnik, Padmini Kolhapure, Madhur Bhandarkar and Reddy.
The previous recipients of this award are Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Rekha Ganesan and Shah Rukh Khan, all known for their close association with the late Chopra.