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Manna Dey Biography: Age, Birth Anniversary, Early Life, Career, Personal Life, Death

In the first week of October 2013, he was hospitalised once more, and he died of a cardiac arrest at 3:45 p.m. on October 24 at the Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital in Bengaluru at the age of 94

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Manna Dey Biography: Manna Dey, also known as Prabodh Chandra Dey, was an Indian playback vocalist. He debuted as a playback vocalist in the 1942 film Tamanna and recorded over 4000 songs between 1942 and 2013. The Indian government awarded him the Padma Shri in 1971, Padma Bhushan in 2005, and Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2007. At 3:50 AM on 24 October 2013 in Bangalore’s Hrudayalaya, he died of cardiac arrest at the age of 94.

Manna Dey primarily sang in Hindi and Bengali, though he also recorded music in several other Indian languages. His prime in Hindi playback vocals occurred between 1953 and 1976.

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Manna Dey Biography

Early years

On May 1, 1919, Dey was born to Purna Chandra (father) and Mahamaya Dey (mother). Sangeetacharya (meaning “Venerable Teacher of Music” in Sanskrit) K. C. Dey, his youngest paternal relative, greatly inspired and influenced him. He received his early education at Indu Babur Pathshala, a modest pre-primary institution. Subsequently, he attended Scottish Church Collegiate School and Scottish Church College, where he excelled in sports such as grappling and boxing. Throughout his college years, Manna Dey displayed a keen interest in sports such as wrestling and boxing. He earned his degree from Vidyasagar College. Since 1929, he performed on stage as a young singer in school performances.

During his time at Scottish Church College, Dey entertained his companions by singing. His singing lessons began with his uncle, Krishna Chandra Dey, and Ustad Dabir Khan. During this period, Manna Dey won three consecutive intercollegiate vocal competitions in three distinct categories.


Dey accompanied Krishna Chandra Dey on a trip to Bombay in 1942. There, he began his career as an assistant music director for Krishna Chandra Dey and Sachin Dev Burman. Later, he assisted other composers before beginning to work independently. Manna Dey continued to study Hindustani classical music under the tutelage of Ustad Aman Ali Khan and Ustad Abdul Rahman Khan while working independently as a music director for numerous Hindi films.

In 1942, Dey began his career as a playback singer with the film Tamanna. The score was composed by Krishna Chandra Dey, and the duet “Jago Aaaee Usha Ponchi Boley Jago” performed by Manna and Suraiya was an instant success. His songs like “O Prem Diwani Sambhal Ke Chalna” from the 1944 film Kadambari composed by Anil Biswas, “Dil Churaney Ki Liye from Dur Chaley” (1946) composed by Jafar Khurshid, his duets with Amira Bahee like “E Diniya Jara Suney” from Kamala (1946) and duet song “Aaj Bor Aayee” with Meena Kapoor from 1947 film Chaltey Chaltey became chartbusters in respective years.

In the 1950 film Mashal, he sang for the first time songs composed by Sachin Dev Burman, Upar Gagan Vishal and Duniya Ke Logo, and his association with S.D.Burman began. Kavi Pradeep composed the song’s lyrics. In 1952, Dey sang for the Bengali and Marathi versions of Amar Bhupali, a film with the same title and plot. In 1953, this established him as a prominent playback singer in Bengali and Marathi films.

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A career in music in other languages

  • He sang around 1262 melodies in Bengali. He has recorded 611 tunes for Bengali films and 356 non-film Bengali songs. In addition, he sang 46 Bengali Rabindra Sangeet Songs, 3 Dwigendra Geet, 84 Shayam Sangeet, 23 songs in Akashvani, 3 title songs for Bengali television serials, 103 Bengali songs from unreleased Bengali films, and 33 Bengali songs of other varieties.
  • He performed 35 Bhojpuri film songs, 2 Magadh songs, and one Maithilee song.
  • He sang 13 Punjabi film songs and 5 non-film songs
  • He sang two songs in Assamese films and four songs outside of films in the Assamese language.
  • He sang 7 songs in the Oriya language and 1 number each in the Konkani film and Sindhi film.
  • He sang 85 melodies in Gujarathi films.
  • He performed 55 Marathi tunes for Marathi films and 15 non-film Marathi songs.
  • He sang 2 film songs in Kannada. He sang two songs in Malayalam: “Maanasamaine Varoo” from the 1965 film “Chemmeen” and “Chemba Chemba… Nellu, performed by P Jayachandran, was composed by Salil Chowdhary and written by Vayalar.

Manna Dey Awards

Manna Dey, born Prabodh Chandra Dey, was a legendary Indian playback vocalist who is regarded as one of the greatest singers in Indian cinema history. During his five-decade-long career, he sang in a variety of languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Marathi, Kannada, Malayalam, and Gujarati.

Manna Dey has received numerous awards and distinctions for his outstanding contributions to the Indian music industry. Among the most notable are:

  • Padma Shri (1971): In recognition of his contributions to Indian classical and contemporary music, Manna Dey was conferred the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award in India.
  • Padma Bhushan (2005): In 2005, Manna Dey was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honour, for his outstanding contributions to the Indian music industry.
  • Dadasaheb Phalke accolade (2007): In 2007, Manna Dey was awarded the most prestigious accolade in Indian cinema, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award. This award recognises an individual’s contributions to the progress and development of Indian cinema throughout their lifetime.
  • Manna Dey won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer twice, the first time in 1971 for the song “Beimaan Piya Re” from the film “Paraya Dhan” and the second time in 1990 for the song “Ae Ri Pawan” from the film “Bhumika.”
  • Manna Dey won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer twice, first in 1959 for the song “Upar Gagan Vishal” from the film “Mashaal” and then in 1971 for the song “Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli” from the film “Anand”

Manna Dey Personal Life

Dey wed Sulochana Kumaran in December 1953. She was a native of Kannur, Kerala. Together, they had two daughters: U.S.-based scientist Shuroma Herekar (1956-2016) and Bangalore-based businesswoman Shumita Dev (born 1958). Sulochana died in Bengaluru in January 2012. She had been afflicted with cancer for a while. After spending over fifty years in Mumbai, Dey moved to Kalyan Nagar in Bengaluru after her passing.


On 8 June 2013, Dey was admitted to the ICU of a hospital in Bengaluru after complications arose from a respiratory infection. His condition progressively improved, and approximately one month later, doctors removed the ventilator support. He was discharged from the hospital later.

In the first week of October 2013, he was hospitalised once more, and he died of a cardiac arrest at 3:45 p.m. on October 24 at the Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital in Bengaluru at the age of 94. On his passing, musicians, politicians, cricketers, and other notable figures released statements. His cremation took place in Bengaluru itself.

Eric Joseph Gomes
Eric Joseph Gomes
Seasoned professional blog writer with a passion for delivering high-quality content that informs, educates, and engages readers.

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