Music » Critics' Picks

Asha Bhosle

7 p.m. Sunday, June 3. Roberts Orpheum Theater, (416 North Ninth Street)


Asha Bhosle is the once and future queen of the "playback singers" of Indian cinema. Since the 1940s, she has recorded anywhere from 5,000 to 25,000 songs; no one seems to know exactly how many are out there. Her trademark high-pitched, versatile vocals have provided the backdrop to innumerable Bollywood singing-and-dancing extravaganzas. Once virtually unknown outside of Asia, Bhosle's profile has grown with the increasing Western popularity of Indian film music (particularly from the wildly eclectic '60s and '70s). Most famously, Cornershop's hit song "Brimful of Asha" celebrates Bhosle as "the one who keeps the dream alive" to the backing of no less than a "7,000-piece orchestra set." Now in her seventies, she continues to record and perform with the stamina and vitality of vocalists one-third her age.

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