Laila performing in BCFC (Dec 2012)
|Native name||রুনা লায়লা|
|Born||Sylhet, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)|
|Genres||Ghazal, fusion music, Pop,|
Runa Laila is a Bangladeshi singer, widely regarded as one of the popular singers in South Asia and started her career in Pakistan film industry in late 1960s. Her style of singing is inspired by Pakistani playback singer Ahmed Rushdi and she also made a popular pair with him after replacing singer Mala.
Laila was born in Sylhet, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), in 1952. Her parents hoped for her to be a dancer and made her learn Kathak and Bharat Natyam. Her elder sister Dina Laila was learning classical music and she picked up from her lessons. Dina’s teacher then decided to teach Runa also. Her father, Syed Mohammed Imdad Ali was a civil servant posted in Karachi. She and her sister went to school in Karachi. In those days, Ahmed Rushdi was leading film music as he introduced hip-hop, rock n roll, disco and other modern genres in South Asian music and has since then been adopted in Bangladesh, India and lately Nepal as a pioneering influence in their respective pop cultures. Following Rushdi's success, Christian bands specialising in jazz started performing at various night clubs and hotel lobbies in Karachi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Dhaka and Lahore. She became a fan of singer Ahmed Rushdi whom she considered her guru (teacher), and tried to emulate not only his singing style but also the way he used to perform on the stage.
Laila started her career in 1965. She played two songs in the Pakistani film Jugnu." Her first song was Gudiya si munni meri bhaiya ki pyari and the second song was Marna bhi nahin aasan which was a love song. She was 12 when she sang the song. At the age of 14, She made her breakthrough with the song "Unki nazron sey mohabbat ka jo paigham mila…"(The message of love that I received from his eyes) for Pakistani film Hum Dono (1966). She used to perform on PTV. Laila started appearing on the 'Zia Mohyuddin Show' (1972–74) and later did songs for films in the 1970s such as the film Umrao Jan Ada (1972). In 1974 she recorded sad'er lau in Kolkata, which was popular in both Bengals. She also had her first concert in India in 1974 in Mumbai. She started in Bollywood with director Jaidev who she meet in Delhi, who took her under his wings and got her the chance to play at the inauguration of Doordarshan. She first worked with the music composers Kalyanji-Anandji for the title song of a movie called Ek Se Badhkar Ek. Lata Mangeshkar gave her blessings to Laila during the recording of the song. She gained popularity in India with the songs O mera babu chail chabila and Damadum mast kalandar.
In October 2009 she released [Kala Sha Kala] which is a collection of Punjabi Wedding songs in India. In 2012, Laila served as a judge on the show Sur Kshetra-an Indian TV contest show for amateur singers. She described her relationship with fellow Judge Asha Bhosle as that of sisters. In 2014 she colarborated with Sabina Yasmin on a song for a TV play "Dalchhut Projapoti", the first time they worked on a song together. 2015 would mark her 5 decades of her music career and a concert was held to celebrate the occasion. Runa has performed in many different Languages. She has sung in seventeen languages including her native Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Gujarati, Pashto, Baluchi, Arabic, Persian, Malay, Nepalese, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, French and English.
Laila has been married three times. She first married Khawaza Javed Kaiser, secondly a Swiss citizen named Ron Daniel and lastly the actor Alamgir. She has one sister Dina Laila. Her grandson Zain Islam had been selected for the Arsenal progression center in 2012 when he was eight.
After her sister died in 1976 from cancer she held 10 charity concerts in Dhaka. The money raised was used to build a cancer hospital in Dhaka. Runa Laila was named a SAARC Goodwill Ambassadors for HIV/AIDS. She is the first Bangladeshi to hold this post. She visited New Delhi in 2013 on her first trip as SAARC ambassador. She meet India's External and Health ministers.
- Runa Laila-Kala Siah Kala- 23 March 2010
- Runa Laila – Moods & Emotions- 1 December 2008
- The Loves of Runa Laila
- Ganga Amar Ma Padma Amar Ma-Runa Laila
- Superuna - 1 December 1982
- Runa Goes Disco - 1 September 1982
- Runa Sings Shahbaz Qalandar - 1 September 1982
- Geet / Ghazals - 1 September 1976
- Runa in Pakistan (Geet) - 1 December 1980
- Runa in Pakistan (Ghazals) - 1 December 1980
- Sincerely Yours- Runa Laila
- I Love to Sing for You- Runa Laila
For complete list of songs, see List of Songs recorded by Runa Laila
Films in Pakistan
- Commander (1968)- "Jaan-E-Mann Itna Bata Do Mohabbat,Mohabbat Hai Kya" music by Master Abdullah
- Hum Dono (1966)-Her debut super-hit film song "Unki Nazron Se Mohabbat Ka Jo Paigham Mila" music by Nashad
- Anjuman (1970)-"Hoey Hoey Dil Dharkay Mein Yeh Kaisay Kahoon" music by Nisar Bazmi
- Umrao Jaan Ada (1972)-"Kaatey Na Katay Rattia Sayyan Intezar Ki" music by Nisar Bazmi
- Man Ki Jeet (1972)- "Dinwa Dinwa Mein Ginuun,Kab Aeingay Sanwaria" music by M Ashraf
- Ehsaas (1972)- "Hamein Kho Kar Bahut Pachhtao Gay Jab Hum Nahin Haun Gay" music by Robin Ghosh
- Dilruba (1975)- "Chhanak Gaii Paayal Tau Kya Hoga" A duet song with Masood Rana,Runa Laila- music by M Ashraf
- Zaildar (1972) A Punjabi language film -"Do Dil Ik Doojay Kolon Duur Ho Gaey" music by Ghulam Ahmed Chishti
Films in India
- Phir Subah Hogi
- Gharaonda (1977)
- Ek Se Badhkar Ek (1976) (Dama Dam Mast Qalandar)
- Jaan-e-Bahaar (1979)
- Yaadgaar (1984)
- Ghar Dwaar (1985)
- Agneepath (1990)
- Sapnon Ka Mandir (1991)
Film in Bangladesh
- Dui Jibon
- Antore Antore
- The Rain
- Beder Meye Josna
- Kayamat Theke Kayamat Porjonto
- Sopner Nayok
- Sottyer Mrittyu Nei
- Meghla Akash
- Megher Koley Rod
- Hridoyer Badhon
- Radio Mirchi Music Award presented by Radio Mirchi at Nazrul Mancha in Kolkata in 2015.
- Independence Day Award, Bangladesh
- Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer : 1976, 1977, 1989, 1992, 2012
- National Film Awards (Bangladesh)- best singers (female) 2015.
- Shelteck Award, Bangladesh
- Lux Channel I Lifetime Performance Award, Bangladesh
- Saigal Award, India
- Nigar Award, Pakistan (twice)1968 and 1970
- Critics Award, Pakistan
- Graduate Award, Pakistan (twice)
- National Council of Music Award- Gold Medal, Pakistan
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