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Legendary Bengali singer Sandhya Mukherjee is no more

Legendary Bengali singer Sandhya Mukherjee breathed her last on Tuesday evening following a massive cardiac arrest. She was 91.

She had been in hospital since January 27 due to ill health and was put on vasopressor support and shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) earlier in the day following a drop in her blood pressure, hospital sources said.

As per reports she had tested positive for Covid-19 and had suffered multi-organ dysfunction and fracture in the neck of femur (left side) after she fell in her bathroom for which she was being treated.

Mourning Mukherjee’s demise West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee informed that the singer’s body would be kept at Rabindra Sadan from noon to 5PM on Wednesday for her admirers to pay their last respect.

“Sandhyadi’s last rites will be conducted with full state honours including a gun salute. Her body will be kept at the `peace heaven’ (mortuary) tonight and I am trying to be back in the city by tomorrow after which the last rites will be conducted,” Banerjee said.

Born in 1931 in Kolkata, Sandhya became one of the most popular singer in west Bengal and Bangladesh. She lent her voice in many Hindi and Bengali movies.

She is the recipient of `Banga Bibhushan’, and National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer. Recently when her name was announced for the Padma Shri awards for 2022, she refused the award.

In the late forties, she started learning music from Santosh Kumar Basu, A T Kannan and Chinmoy Lahiri. However, he began her formal training  under the legendary Indian Hindustani classical vocalist Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan of Patiala Gharana. Under his guidance, she mastered the art of Indian classical music.

She began her career as a playback singer in the early fifties. She has worked with many leading music directors which includes SD Burman, Madan Mohan, Naushad, Anil Biswas, Salil Chaudhury among others.

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