Remembering Kishore Kumar on his 30th death anniversary

13 October, 2017

Kishore Kumar was an Indian playback singer, actor, lyricist, composer, producer, director, and screenwriter. He was considered one of the most successful playback singers in the Hindi film industry.

Apart from Hindi, he sang in many Indian languages including Bengali, Marathi, Assamese, Gujarati, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Odia, and Urdu. He has also sung in private albums in several languages especially in Bengali which are noted as all time classics.


He won 8 Filmfare Awards for Best Male Playback Singer and holds the record for winning the most Filmfare Awards in that category. He was awarded the "Lata Mangeshkar Award" by the Madhya Pradesh government in the year 1985-86.

In the year 1997, the Madhya Pradesh Government initiated an award called the "Kishore Kumar Award" as a contribution to Hindi cinema. Kishore Kumar married four times. His first wife was Bengali singer and actress Ruma Guha Thakurta aka Ruma Ghosh. Their marriage lasted from 1950 to 1958.


His second wife was actress Madhubala, who had worked with him in many films including his home production Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958) and Jhumroo (1961). When Kumar proposed to her, Madhubala was ill and was planning to go to London for treatment.

After his divorce, the couple had a civil wedding in 1960 and Kishore Kumar converted to Islam and reportedly changed his name to Karim Abdul. His parents refused to attend the ceremony. The couple also had a Hindu ceremony to please Kumar's parents, but Madhubala was never truly accepted as his wife. Their marriage ended with Madhubala's death on 23 February 1969.


Kishore's third marriage was to Yogeeta Bali, and lasted from 1976 to 4 August 1978. Then his fourth wife was Leena Chandavarkar from 1980 until his death. He had two sons, Amit Kumar with Ruma, and Sumit Kumar with Leena Chandavarkar.