Songs of Kanan Devi

Kanan Devi was one of the early singing stars of Indian Cinema as well as the first star of Bengali Cinema. She was born around 1916 at Howrah, West Bengal. She was illegitimately born as Kanan Dassi and adopted by another family. She and her mother were left to earn and live on their own after the death of her adoptive father. Her name was soon changed to Kanan Bala. She was married to Shri Ashok Maitra but soon divorced him and remarry with Haridas Bhattacharya. Kanan made her acting debut in the year 1926 when she was only ten years of age. She was introduced to Jyoti Studios by her well wisher and there she played a small role in the movie ‘Joydev’ in 1926. Later she started working with Radha Films. She worked in mainly in Jyotish Banerjee movies.
Hit songs of Kanan Devi are listed below:

1. Aaj Hui Hai Bhor - Arabian Nights
2. Ae Chaand Chhup Na Jaana - Jawaab
3. Ae Ronewaale Hasne Ke Din - Hospital
4. Duniya Toofaan Mail - Jawaab
5. Kaisa Ujada Chaman - Mukti
6. Man Mein Mere Aandhi - Sapera

Kanan Devi was shot to fame with the movie ‘Maa’ which was directed by Prafulla Ghosh in 1934. The movie was proved to be a superhit and she gained more chances in many movies. She gave another blistering performance in 1936 where she played the lead role in the movie ‘Khooni Kaun’ alongwith Jahar Ganguli and Bhumen Roy. Again the movie was successful. After being noticed in that movie she moved to New Theatres, Calcutta (Kolkata). There she came in contact of maestro Raichand Boral who coached her Hindi accent. She had also received her initial musical training under Ustad Alla Rakha and was employed as a singer at the Megaphone Gramaphone Company. She later learnt Rabindra Sangeet under Anadi Dastidar and changed her name to Kanan Devi for the purpose of films.

She could not act in the movie ‘Devdas‘ in 1935 which was directed by P.C. Barua due to some reason but later she played the lead role of Chitra in his next movie titled ‘Mukti’ which he directed in 1937. Her performance was proved to be a milestone in her career. Perhaps that was her finest acting performance making her the studio’s top star. She resigned the contract of New Theatres in 1941 and began to freelance in Bengali and Hindi movies. She starred in her career’s biggest hit ‘Jawaab’ in 1942. She moved to Bombay (Mumbai) in 1948 where she seen for the last time in bollywood in the movie ‘Chandrashekhar’ in which she starred opposite Ashok Kumar. She was awarded ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Award’ for her contribution to Indian cinema. She died on 17th July, 1992 in Calcutta.


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