Runa Laila in 2017
|Native name||রুনা লায়লা|
17 November 1952 |
Sylhet, East Bengal, Dominion of Pakistan
|Genres||Ghazal, fusion music, Pop|
Runa Laila (Bengali: রুনা লায়লা; born 17 November 1952) is a Bangladeshi playback singer, widely regarded as one of the most popular singers in South Asia. She 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 pair with him after replacing another singer Mala. Her playback singing in films – "Jadur Banshi", "Accident", "Ontore Ontore", "Tumi Ashbe Bole", "Devdas" and "Priya Tumi Shukhi Hou" - earned her six Bangladesh National Film Awards for Best Female Playback Singer.
Laila was born in Sylhet to her parents Syed Mohammed Imdad Ali, a civil servant posted in Karachi, and Amina Laila. She started taking dance lessons of Kathak and Bharatanatyam genre. She then learned classical music with her elder sister Dina Laila (d. 1976). 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.
In 1966, Laila made her breakthrough with the song "Unki Nazron Sey Mohabbat Ka Jo Paigham Mila" for the film Hum Dono. 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 "Shaader Lau" in Kolkata. She also had her first concert in India in 1974 in Mumbai. She started in Bollywood with director Jaidev, whom she met in Delhi, who took her under his wing 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, a collection of Punjabi wedding songs, in India. In 2012, Laila served as a judge on the show Sur Kshetra, an Indian television contest show for amateur singers. She described her relationship with fellow judge Asha Bhosle as that of sisters. In 2014, she collaborated with Sabina Yasmin on a song for a television play "Dalchhut Projapoti", the first time they worked on a song together. Runa 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 then actor Alamgir. She has a daughter Tani. 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 Laila held several 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 met India's External and Health ministers.
- Runa Laila-Kala Siah Kala (2010)
- Runa Laila – Moods & Emotions (2008)
- The Loves of Runa Laila
- Ganga Amar Ma Padma Amar Ma-Runa Laila
- Superuna (1982)
- Runa Goes Disco (1982)
- Runa Sings Shahbaz Qalandar (1982)
- Geet / Ghazals (1976)
- Runa in Pakistan (Geet) (1980)
- Runa in Pakistan (Ghazals) (1980)
- Sincerely Yours- Runa Laila
- I Love to Sing for You- 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 (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 (1968, 1970)
- Critics Award, Pakistan
- Graduate Award, Pakistan (twice)
- National Council of Music Award- Gold Medal, Pakistan
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- Press Trust of India. "Ajay Devgn, Runa Laila named SAARC ambassadors for HIV/AIDS". business-standard.com. Business Standard Private Ltd. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
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