There was hardly any music composer in India who did not wish to have at least one song sung by legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar in their films. However, it might come as a surprise to learn that a renowned Bollywood music composer had never associated with Lata. It was none other than the talented Omkar Prasad Nayyar who had composed hundreds of evergreen songs. Moreover, he had created many hits with Lata’s sister, Asha Bhonsle. Nayyar even refused to receive an award instituted by the Madhya Pradesh government on Lata’s behalf. The rivalry and bitterness between Nayyar and Lata was so intense that it never repaired.

More than a petty rivalry, the duo had hatred and enmity between them. Lata was roped in to sing in the film “Aasmaan”, which was Nayyar’s first film as a freelance composer. However, Lata did not show up for the recording even after Nayyar and his background musicians waited for hours. This was the start of the infamous feud between two great musicians. Nayyar swore that Lata would never sing in his film. However, Lata had claimed that she could not reach Nayyar’s studio as she was busy with another recording. This incident had happened in the early 1950s. Even after decades, the enmity between the duo has not subsided. Instead, it kept getting intense as the wine ages. They shot each other every chance they got. Even though Lata quarreled with many other musicians and singers during her career, she managed to forget about everything and restore the relationship. However, in Nayyar’s case, both sides refused to end their feud.

His rivalry with Mohammed Rafi was quite famous. They had locked horns on the question of royalty. They were opposites in the issue that had rocked the Hindi film industry. Lata was of the opinion that singers too should get royalty. However, Rafi insisted that a singer has no right to earn money on a song after receiving the pay once. Meanwhile, Lata’s sister Asha Bhonsle supported Rafi. Due to this bitterness, Lata and Rafi did not sing together from 1963 to 1967. Many see this as a dry period in the history of the Hindi music industry. It was RD Burman who took the initiative to make things work between Lata and Rafi. After the patch, the duo created many spectacular hits together for many years.

Lata’s feud with singer MG Durrani began in 1949 when they were at the recording studio to record a romantic track for composer Naushad. A comment Durrani made about Lata’s neck chain didn’t go down well with the legendary singer. Lata was adamant that she would not sing unless Durrani was replaced. Finally, Naushad had to give in. Sadat Khan, a newcomer, was brought in to sing this song with Lata. Unfortunately, this incident turned out to be the beginning of the downfall of Durrani, who had been a busy and accomplished singer until then.


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