The famous singer-songwriter credited with popularizing disco music in India has died in the city of Mumbai.
Popular Bollywood singer and songwriter Bappi Lahiri, known as India’s ‘disco king’, has died at the age of 69, his family has said, prompting tributes from across India.
Born in the state of West Bengal into a family of musicians, the larger-than-life Lahiri was renowned for his gold chain and sunglasses and was credited with popularizing disco music in India.
He has had several collaborations with international stars, including English model and singer Samantha Fox in the 1995 Hindi film Rock Dancer and with Snoop Dogg on the Punjabi song Patiala Peg in 2015.
Lahiri’s family said in a statement that his death was a “deeply sad moment” for us.
“We are looking for love and blessings for his soul,” his wife and two children said.
Lahiri had “multiple health issues” and died on Tuesday evening in Mumbai, considered the capital of India’s film industry, said Deepak Namjoshi, director of CritiCare Hospital.
He had just been released from a month-long hospital stay on Monday, Namjoshi told the Press Trust of India news agency, but was readmitted on Tuesday after his condition deteriorated.
“He died because of the OSA [obstructive sleep apnea] shortly before midnight,” he said.
He composed the music for dozens of films starring top actors including Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn and Mithun Chakraborty.
Lahiri popularly known as Bappi da made fans dance to his hit songs in 1970s and 80s Bollywood movies such as Chalte Chalte, Disco Dancer and Sharaabi.
His music has also been a hit in Bengali films.
Lahiri has also voiced several characters for Hindi versions of Hollywood films.
In the early 2000s, he won a copyright lawsuit against American rapper-producer Dr Dre for using parts of one of his songs.
Condolences poured in from top politicians and Bollywood celebrities.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that Lahiri’s music was “global, beautifully expressing various emotions” and that “people of all generations could identify with his works”.
“His lively nature will be missed by everyone. Saddened by his passing. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” Modi added.
Shri Bappi Lahiri Ji’s music was all-encompassing, beautifully expressing various emotions. People of all generations could identify with his works. Her lively nature will be missed by all. Saddened by his passing. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanthi. pic.twitter.com/fLjjrTZ8Jq
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 16, 2022
Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman tweeted his condolences and called Lahiri the “Disco King of Hindi cinema”.
Bollywood lead actor Akshay Kumar said Lahiri’s voice “was the reason millions of people were dancing, including me”.
“Thank you for all the happiness you have brought through your music,” he wrote on Twitter.
Lahiri also had a brief stint in politics. He joined the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in 2014 but lost a parliamentary election which he contested for the party in Srerampur in West Bengal in national polls.
Lahiri is survived by his wife Chitrani Lahiri and a son and a daughter.