Mukesh Chand Mathur was born on 22 July 1923 in Delhi. Amongst the numerous nominations and awards he won, his song "Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai" from film Rajnigandha (1973) won him the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer. Mukesh is also popular as being the voice of legendary actor Raj Kapoor.
He got his break as a playback singer for actor Motilal in 1945 with the film Pehli Nazar with music composed by Anil Biswas and lyrics written by Aah Sitapuri. The first song that he sang for a Hindi film was "Dil Jalta Hai To Jalne De".
Mukesh created his own singing style with the help of music director Naushad Ali, who helped Mukesh to come out of his Saigal style and create his own style. Naushad gave him songs for the film Andaz. Initially Mukesh was the ghost voice of Dilip Kumar in this movie and Mohammed Rafi sang for Raj Kapoor. He delivered many Hits for Naushad in films like: Anokhi Ada (1948), Mela(1948), Andaz (1949). Other composers who used Mukesh voice for Dilip Kumar in Hit songs like Jeevan Sapna toot gaya were Anil Biswas in Anokha Pyar, Ye Mera Diwanapan hai, Shankar-Jaikishan in Yahudi and Suhana Safar and Dil Tadap Tadap ke, Salil Choudhary in Madhumati.
In 1974, Mukesh received National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song "Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai" from Rajnigandha (1974), and Filmfare Awards for the songs "Sab Kuch Seekha Humne" in the movie Anari (1959), "Sabse Bada Naadan Wahi Hai" in Pehchaan (1970), "Jai Bolo Beimaan Ki" in Beimaan (1972) and "Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein", the title song of film Kabhie Kabhie (1976). A total of around 1,300 songs were sung by him.
Mukesh sang many memorable songs for Kalyanji Anandji music director duo. Mukesh sang more songs with the K-A duo than any other composer. From "Naina hai jadoo bhare..." Bedard Zamana Kya Jane (1958) composed by Kalyanji alone as Kalyanji Virji Shah, and "Main hoon mast madari..." Madari (1959) as the first Kalyanji-Anandji-Mukesh combo, to "Chahe aaj mujhe napasand karo..." Darinda/ 1977, the K-A, Mukesh combination gave numerous popular songs like "Chhalia mera naam...", "Mere toote hue dil se...", "Dum dum diga diga" Chalia(1959), "Mujhko iss raat ki tanhai mein..." Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960), "Hum chhod chale hain mehfil ko..." (Ji Chahta Hai), "Humne tumko pyar kiya hai jitna..." (Dulha Dulhan), "Chal mere dil lehraake chal..." Ishara and "Dheere se chalo..." Johar Mehmood In Goa,"Main to ek khwab hoon..." and "Chand si mehbooba ho..." Himalay ki God Mein(1965),"Waqt kartaa jo wafaa..." Dil Ne Pukara,"Deewanon se yeh mat poocho..." Upkar, "Khush raho har khushi hai..." Suhaag Raat and "Humsafar ab yeh safar kat jaayega..." Juari, "Chandi ki deewaar..." and "Le chal le chal mere jeevan saathi..." Vishwas (1969), "Koi jab tumhara hriday tod de..." Purab Aur Paschim, "Darpan ko dekha..." Upaasna, "Jo tumko ho pasand..." Safar and "Mujhe nahin poochni tumse beeti baatein..." Anjaan Raahein (1970).
Mukesh died of a heart attack on 27 August 1976 in Detroit, Michigan, USA, where he had gone to perform in a concert. That morning, he got up early and went to take a shower. He came out panting and complaining of chest pains. He was rushed to a hospital but was pronounced dead. The rest of the concert was completed by Lata Mangeshkar. His body was flown to India by Lata Mangeshkar, where a grand funeral ceremony was held in the presence of several actors, with personalities of the Indian film industry and fans paying tribute. When news of his death reached Raj Kapoor, he burst into tears, and remarked, "I have lost my voice,which is a testimony to the association of Mukesh's voice (in playback) to the immensely popular songs of Raj Kapoor's films. A famous song of the 50s featured on Bharat Bhushan Aa laut ke aa ja mere meet is another example of his earlier melodies, as is Dil tadap tadapke keh raha hai, picturised on Dilip Kumar.
After Mukesh's death, his newer, hitherto unreleased, songs were released in 1977 in films such as Dharam Veer, Amar Akbar Anthony, Khel khiladi ka, Darinda and Chandi sona. The year 1978 also featured a considerable number of Mukesh's songs in films such as Aahuti, Paramatma, Tumhari kasam and Satyam Shivam Sundaram, where Mukesh sang his last film song Chanchal sheetal nirmal komal for Raj Kapoor's younger brother, Shashi Kapoor.
National Film Awards
1974 - National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song "Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai" from the film Rajnigandha
|1959||"Sab Kuch Seekha Humne"||Anari||Shankar Jaikishan||Shailendra|
|1970||"Sabse Bada Naadan"||Pehchan||Shankar Jakishan||Varma Malik|
|1972||"Jai Bolo Beimaan Ki"||Be-Imaan||Shankar Jakishan||Varma Malik|
|1976||"Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein"||Kabhi Kabhie||Khayyam||Sahir Ludhianvi|
|1960||"Hothon Pe Sacchai Rehti Hai"||Jis Desh Men Ganga Behti Hai||Shankar Jakishan||Shailendra|
|1964||"Dost Dost Na Raha"||Sangam||Shankar Jaikishan||Shailendra|
|1967||"Sawan Ka Mahina"||Milan||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anand Bakshi|
|1970||"Bas Yehi Apradh Main Har Baar"||Pehchan||Shankar Jakishan||Neeraj|
|1972||"Ek Pyar Ka Nagma"||Shor||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Santosh Anand|
|1975||"Main Na Bhoolunga"||Roti Kapda Aur Makaan||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anand Bakshi|
|1976||"Main Pal Do Pal Ka Shayar"||Kabhie Kabhie||Khayyam||Sahir Ludhianvi|
|1977||"Suhani Chandni Raten"||Mukti||Rahul Dev Burman||Anand Bakshi|
|1978||"Chanchal Sheetal"||Satyam Shivam Sundaram||Laxmikant-Pyarelal||Anand Bakshi|