Bangalore, Oct 24 (IANS) India's legendary playback singer Manna Dey died early Thursday at a private hospital here after prolonged illness. Hundreds of people, including youngsters, thronged Ravindra Kalakshetra to pay tribute to Mannada.
"Mannada's end came around 4 a.m. after his condition suddenly deteriorated in the wee hours due to cardiac failure and renal problem at ripe age," Narayana Hospital spokesman K.S. Vasuki told IANS here.
He was 94. The nonagenarian multi-lingual singer is survived by two daughters - Rama and Sumita - and grand children.
His body was taken to Ravindra Kalakshetra from the hospital. Braving a downpour, hundreds of people, including youth, came to the theatre in the city centre to pay tribute to Mannada.
"Dey's eldest daughter (Rama) rushed to the hospital and was at his bedside when the end came after we alerted her about her father's deteriorating condition," Vasuki said.
According to Dey's family sources, Sumita lives in the US.
Dey's wife Sulochana Kumaran died here in January last year. She was suffering from cancer.
Dey was admitted to the super specialty hospital in early June after he complained of breathlessness due to lung infection and was undergoing treatment for respiratory disease.
The family will perform Dey's last rites at the Hebbal crematorium in the northwest of the city by evening.
As news of Mannada's death spread across the city since morning through multi-media, his die-hard fans expressed shock and sadness, as a unique voice which had charmed them over seven decades turned quiet.
A million-strong Bengali community joined Dey's family and relatives to mourn the death of a melodious singer, who belonged to the golden era of Bollywood music, with Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Mukesh as part of the quartet.
Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah joined actors and composers in the state to pay homage to Dey.
"Mannada was one of the greatest singers in the Indian sub-continent during the 20th century with a unique and original voice. Though he is known more for his hits in Hindi movies, he had shown his versatility by rendering songs even in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati and Marathi," said Rajendra Babu, noted Kannada producer-director.
Dey was in the same hospital for about 20 days in May, a week after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hononured him with Bengal's Vishesh Maha Sangeet Samman award in recognition of his yeoman service to the world of music and the film industry for over seven decades.
In an illustrious career spanning seven decades since 1943, Mannada, whose original name was Prabodh Chandra Dey, sang over 3,500 songs. His oeuvre boasts of a range of songs - from romantic numbers to classical to fun songs.
He went behind the mike to sing all kind of songs like "Aaja sanam madhur chandani mein hum", "Chunari sambhal gori udi chali jaye re", "Zindagi kaisi hai paheli", "Chalat musafir moh liyo re", "Tere bina aag yeh chandni", "Mudh mudh ke na dekh", "Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo" and "Yashomati maiya se bole Nandlala" and proved his versatility.
Dey was also honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the country's highest award in the film world, in 2007.
He was also a recipient of several awards, including Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan, from the Indian government.