Singer-composer Bappi Lahiri dies at 69

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Mumbai: Singer-composer Bappi Lahiri, who popularised disco music in Indian cinema in the 80s and 90s, has died following multiple health issues, quoting a doctor news agency PTI reported.

Lahiri (69) died on Tuesday night at the CritiCare Hospital in Juhu.

“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 singer-composer, a familiar figure for many with his trademark gold chains that he wore for luck and his sunglasses, was known for his songs in several films of the late 70s-80s. These included “Chalte Chalte”, “Disco Dancer”, and “Sharaabi”.

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

“The last rites will be held at Pawan Hans crematorium in Juhu,” Lahiri’s son-in-law Govind Bansal told PTI.

The musician last worked on “Ganpati Bappa Morya” in September 2021. He gave the music to the devotional song, voiced by the US-based Indian singer Anuradha Juju Palakurthi.

Born Alokesh Lahiri, the music 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.

Lahiri joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2014. He contested from the Lok Sabha seat of Srerampur but lost to Kalyan Banerjee of the All India Trinamool Congress.

His last Bollywood song titled ‘Bhankas’ was for the 2020 film “Baaghi 3”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the tributes, saying Lahiri’s lively nature will be missed by everyone.

“Shri Bappi Lahiri Ji’s music was all encompassing, beautifully expressing diverse emotions. People across generations could relate to his works. His lively nature will be missed by everyone. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” the prime minister tweeted with a picture.

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