MUMBAI—Padma Vibhushan Asha Bhosle was conferred the 5th Yash Chopra Memorial Award, instituted by philanthropist and Member of Parliament Dr. T. Subbarami Reddy in association with Anu Ranjan (president, Indian Television Academy) and Shashi Ranjan (chief managing director, ITA School of Performing Arts), at the JW Marriott Hotel on Feb. 17. The chief guests for the evening were governor of Maharashtra, Chi. Vidyasagar Rao and actress Rekha, who received the award in 2016.

The award held in the memory of Yash Chopra has the blessings of his wife Pamela Chopra, who is part of the jury. The jury this year also comprised Boney Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure, Madhur Bhandarkar, Honey Irani and Alka Yagnik, besides Dr. Reddy himself.

Bhosle said, “Yash-ji was like my younger brother. It is unfortunate that he is not here anymore. I had a long association of close to 50 years with him. Once I complimented him on his choice of songs and melodies and told him that his ear for music has greatly improved with time. That’s when Yash-Ji told me, ‘I will tell you the secret if you will not share it with anyone – that it is actually my wife Pam who decides the songs in my movies.’ It is an emotional moment for me to receive this honor in his name.”

Added Rekha, “I absolutely adore the Mangeshkar sisters. Between them, they have sung close to 90 percent of the songs in the Hindi film industry, and that’s just phenomenal. I feel my performances in movies went up a notch because of Asha- ji’s songs. I would feel the pressure to match up to her soulful renditions and get my act perfect. The constant feeling of having to meet her expectations also kept me on my toes.”

Previous winners include LataMangeshkar (2014) Amitabh Bachchan (2015), Rekha Ganesan (2016) and Shah Rukh Khan (2017). The award includes a sum of Rs. 10 lakh along with a Swarna Kangan and a trophy.

Celebrating the phenomenal contribution of the legendary filmmaker to the world and art of Indian entertainment, this endeavor confers honor upon one peerless performer of the industry every year. Dr. Reddy, a long-time close associate and friend of Chopra, has been holding this event annually since 2014.

Guests this year included Parineeti Chopra, Talat Aziz, Mukesh Rishi, David Dhawan, Poonam Dhillon, Rahul Rawail, Jackie Shroff, Neha Pendse, Krutika Lulla, Debina Banerjee Shubhangi Atre, Rohitashv Gaur and others.

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