Happy 69th birthday, Parveen Sultana!
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Born in Assam to parents originally from Afghanistan, Begum Parveen Sultana is a Hindustani classical singer of the Patiala gharana. She started learning music from her father when she was a small child – he was a very strict teacher and allowed to listen to only established Indian classical vocalists and to the songs of Lata Mangeshkar, who was fast becoming established as the reigning goddess of the playback world. The young Parveen was also trained by her Pathan grandfather but soon began musical studies under the tutelage of Birendra Kumar Phukan, Hiren Sarma,  Pandit Chinmoy Lahiri of Bengal and later, Dilshad Khan, whom she married. Allergic to yoghurt but a foodie as well, she was diligent in her music training; she would sit in front of a mirror for hours as she sang, making sure that her posture and facial expressions were just so!

Her first stage performance happened when she was just 12 years old, in 1962. But she has been recording and performing since. Her professional music career was launched with an Assamese film, Morom Trishna, and she has sung for Hindi movies like Gadar, Kudrat, Do Boond Pani, Pakeezah, 1920 and others. Awards and honours have come her way in plenty, and lines to watch her in concert can stretch along many city blocks!

To celebrate the 69th birthday of Begum Parveen Sultana, SoundboxIndia lists 5 of her well-known Hindi film songs….

Song : Kaun Gali Gayo Shyam
Movie: Pakeezah
Singer: Parveen Sultana
Music Directors: Ghulam Mohammed and Naushad Ali
Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

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Song: Peetal ki meri gaagari
Movie: Do Boond Paani
Singer: Parveen Sultana and Meenu Purushottam
Music Director: Jaidev
Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi

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Song: Humain Tum Se Pyar Kitna
Movie: Kudrat
Singer: Parveen Sultana
Music Director: R. D. Burman
Lyrics:  Majrooh Sultanpuri

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Song: Aan Milo Sajna
Movie: Gadar: Ek Prem Katha
Singer: Parveen Sultana, Ajoy Chakraborthy
Music Director: Uttam Singh
Lyrics: Anand Bakshi

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Song: Aan Milo Sajna
Movie: 1920
Singer: Parveen Sultana 
Music Director: Adnan Sami
Lyrics: Sameer

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