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Google Doodle Celebrates 145th Birth Anniversary of Legendary Indian Artist Gauhar Jaan

Gauhar's birth name was Angelina Yeoward and her place of birth was in present-day UP’s Aazamgarh. Her mother, Victoria Hemmings, was Indian by birth while her father was of Armenian descent

News18.com

Updated:June 26, 2018, 10:30 AM IST
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Google Doodle Celebrates 145th Birth Anniversary of Legendary Indian Artist Gauhar Jaan
Google Doodle Celebrates 145th Birth Anniversary of Legendary Indian Artists Gauhar Jaan
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The Google Doodle for today celebrates the 145th birth anniversary of singer and dancer Gauhar Jaan. Born on June 26 in 1873, she was one of the first performers to record music on 78 rpm records in India. The record was released by the popular Gramophone Company of India. Gauhar's birth name was Angelina Yeoward and her place of birth was in present-day UP’s Aazamgarh. Her mother, Victoria Hemmings, was Indian by birth while her father was of Armenian descent. After her parents divorced, Gauhar and her mother moved to Benaras along with a Muslim nobleman, ‘Khursheed’.

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In Benaras, both mother and daughter converted to Islam. While Victoria changed her name to Malka Jaan, her daughter Angelina changed it to Gauhar Jaan. Malka Jaan established herself as a noted singer and Kathak dancer in Benaras.

After a few years, the mother-daughter duo made a move to Calcutta which is where Gauhar began her training as a Hindustani Classical musician. It wasn’t long before she becomes accomplished in Kirtan and Rabindra Sangeet, among others genres, as well.

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Gauhar first performed in the courts of Darbhanga Raj, present in modern day Bihar, in 1887. She was appointed as a court musician. In 1896, Gauhar had garnered a huge fan following. She soon began to travel across the country for performances. She had also received an invitation to perform at King George V’s coronation in Delhi.

Some of Gauhar’s most famous songs are 'Mora Nahak Laye gavanava', 'Jabse Gaye mori sur huna live', 'Ras ke Bhare Tore Nain mere Dard-e-jigar'. She also wrote gazals under the pen-name of Hamdam and was also noted for her bhajan performances.

Later on her life, Gauhar moved to Mysore at the invitation of Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV where she was appointed as palace musician. Unfortunately, she passed away within just 18 months of moving to Mysore at the age of 56 on January 17, 1930.

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