Geeta Dutt

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Geeta Dutt
Portrait of Indian playback singer Geeta Dutt.jpg
Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri

(1930-11-23)23 November 1930
Died20 July 1972(1972-07-20) (aged 41)
Bombay (Present day: Mumbai), Maharashtra, India
Nationality British Indian (1930–1947)
Indian (1947–1972)
OccupationPlayback singer, classical artist
Years active1946–1972
(m. 1953;died 1964)

Geeta Dutt (born Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri; 23 November 1930 – 20 July 1972 [1] ) was a prominent Indian playback singer and a famous Hindi and Bengali classical artist, born in Faridpur before the Partition of India. She found particular prominence as a playback singer in Hindi cinema. She also sang many modern Bengali songs, both in the film and non-film genre.


Early life

Geeta Ghosh Roy Chowdhuri was one of 10 children born to a wealthy Zamindar family in a village named Idilpur, Madaripur Subdivision (presently under Gosairhat Upzilla of Shariatpur District, Bangladesh), formerly under Faridpur district in Bengal, British India. Her family moved to Calcutta and Assam in the early forties, leaving behind their land and properties. In 1942, her parents moved to an apartment in Bombay. Geeta was twelve and continued her schooling at the Bengali High School. [1]

Singing career

2016 postcard and stamp featuring Geeta Dutt from the series Legendary Singers of India Geeta Dutt 2016 postcard of India.jpg
2016 postcard and stamp featuring Geeta Dutt from the series Legendary Singers of India

K. Hanuman Prasad took Geeta under his patronage, trained and groomed her in singing and later launched her into singing for movies. In 1946, she got the first break with an opportunity to sing in the mythological film Bhakta Prahlad for which Prasad was the music director. She was given two lines to sing for two songs. She was sixteen at that time.

Personal life

During Geeta's recording of songs for the movie Baazi, she met its young up-and-coming director, Guru Dutt. Their romance culminated in marriage on 26 May 1953. Together they had three children: Tarun (1954-1985), Arun (1956-2014) and Nina (b. 1964).

She also cut a number Non-film discs, singing to the tune of notable music directors like Sudhin Dasgupta and Anal Chatterjee.

In 1957, Guru Dutt launched the film Gauri with Geeta Dutt as its singing star. It was to be India's first movie in cinemascope but the project was shelved after just a few days of the shooting. By then, Guru Dutt had got romantically involved with Waheeda Rehman and Geeta had taken to drinking. The break up of their marriage affected Geeta's singing career.

In 1958, S.D. Burman had developed discord with Lata Mangeshkar as a playback singer and he attempted to work with Geeta as the main singer of his compositions rather than the upcoming Asha Bhosle who, he felt, was relatively raw. However, out of her personal problems, Geeta would not practice her art sufficiently and failed to meet Burman's demanding standards. He and O.P. Nayyar then started to work with Asha and helped her blossom as a singer.

In 1964, Guru Dutt died from a combination of alcohol and an overdose of sleeping pills. (His death was widely perceived as a suicide following two earlier attempts. [2] ) Geeta then suffered a serious nervous breakdown and ran into financial problems. She tried to resume her singing career, cutting discs at Durgā Pujā and giving stage shows. She performed a leading role in a Bengali movie, Badhu Baran (1967), and sang admirably in Anubhav (1971), which was her final performance to the music of Kanu Roy.


Geeta Dutt died on 20 July 1972 due to cirrhosis of liver at the age of 41 in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She was survived by her three children and siblings.

Notable songs

She is supposed to have sung over 1200 songs in Hindi films. In addition, she has sung songs in many other Indian languages including Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Maithili, Bhojpuri and Punjabi. She has sung in Nepali evergreen movie Maitighar. [3]

Some of the songs sung under S. D. Burman's direction: [4]

Some of the songs she sang under O. P. Nayyar's direction: [6]

Some of the songs sung under Hemant Kumar's direction [7]

Madan Mohan's direction

For movie Anubhav (1971)

Several songs from Jogan :

Some Bengali songs: [9]

A few Bengali songs of non-film genre:

Government recognition

2013 stamp of India featuring Dutt Geeta Dutt 2013 stamp of India.jpg
2013 stamp of India featuring Dutt

Postage stamps featuring Dutt were issued by India Post in 2013 and 2016.

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  1. 1 2 Ali, Nasir. "The Impact of Geeta Roy in Nineteen Forties". Archived from the original on 20 June 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  2. 'Guru Dutt attempted suicide thrice' Archived 9 September 2012 at WebCite 8 October 2004.
  3. 'The Geeta Dutt Website' Archived 26 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 2018-11-06.
  4. 'Geeta Dutt's Collaboration with S.D. Burman' Archived 23 March 2011 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 2018-11-06.
  5. Video on YouTube
  6. 'Geeta Dutt's Collaboration With O.P. Nayyar' Archived 29 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  7. 'Geeta Dutt's Collaboration With Hemant Kumar' Archived 24 August 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Video on YouTube
  9. 'Geeta Dutt's Bengali Film Career' Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Tumi Je Amar". Youtube.Com. Archived from the original on 13 December 2015. Retrieved 29 March 2008.