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Disco King Bappi Lahiri Passes Into The Ages

Last updated on: February 16, 2022 08:59 IST

Photograph: Kind courtesy Bappi Lahiri/Instagram

Singer-composer Bappi Lahiri, who popularised disco music in India in the 1980s and 1990s, has died following multiple health issues, a doctor treating him said. He was 69.

Bappida died on the night of February 15 at the CritiCare Hospital in Juhu, northwest Mumbai.

"Mr Lahiri had been admitted to the hospital for a month and was discharged on Monday. But his health deteriorated on Tuesday and his family called for a doctor to visit their home. He was brought to the hospital. He had multiple health issues. He died due to OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) shortly before midnight," Dr Deepak Namjoshi, director of the hospital, told PTI.

The last rites will be held on Thursday, February 17, as the family is waiting for his musician-son Bappa Lahiri to return from Los Angeles.

"The last rites will be held at the Pawan Hans crematorium in Juhu," Lahiri's son-in-law Govind Bansal said.

The singer is survived by his wife Chitrani and two children -- daughter Reema, who is also a singer, and music composer Bappa Lahiri.


Bappida, a familiar figure for many with his trademark gold chains that he wore for luck and his sunglasses, last worked on Ganpati Bappa Morya in September 2021.

He gave the music to the devotional song, voiced by the US-based singer Anuradha Juju Palakurthi.

Born Alokesh Lahiri, the composer is credited as a pioneer of synthesised disco music in Indian cinema during 1970s to 1990s with songs like I Am A Disco Dancer, Jimmy Jimmy, Pag Ghunghroo, Intehan Ho Gayi, Tamma Tamma Loge, Yaar Bina Chain Kahan Re, Aaj Rapat Jaaye To and Chalte Chalte, among others.

In the 2000s, Lahiri lent his voice to hit songs like Bambai Nagariya from Taxi No 9211 (2006), and Ooh La La from The Dirty Picture (2011).

He also was one of the singers who sang Tune Maari Entriyaan from 2014's Gunday. The lyrics for the Bengali version of the song were penned by Lahiri and Gautam Susmit.

He also gave music to films in Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Gujarati cinema.

His last Bollywood song titled Bhankas was for the 2020 film Baaghi 3.

Lahiri was born in Calcutta in 1952 into a family of musicians.

His inclination towards music started at an early age of three when he started learning to play the tabla.

Kishore Kumar, who sang popular songs for him like Pag Ghunghroo and Chalte Chalte, was an uncle.

Not just Hindi films, Lahiri was a popular name in the Bengali cinema too where he began his career with 1972 film Daadu. His first Hindi film as a composer was Nanha Shikari in 1973.

There was no looking back after that for the musician who went on to work in Zakhmee, where he composed and sang.

Zakhmee paved the way for films such as Chalte Chalte, Surakshaa and others as his disco beats became popular among the youth, earning him the title of 'Disco king' in India.

He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2014. He contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Srerampur in West Bengal, but lost to Kalyan Banerjee of the All India Trinamool Congress.

The singer, in an interview with PTI in 2019, said he was grateful to have voiced for some of the biggest stars of their era.

"I feel so proud to have had this journey and to have worked with all the extremely talented people in the industry. Simply put, my life is Dilip Kumar to Ranveer Singh. From Dharm Adhikari to Gunday, I've done it all," he had said.