Talat Mahmood (24 February 1924–9 May 1998) is considered one of the greatest male Indian non-classical and semi-classical singers. He was a born singer with an intuitive sense of beauty, charm and grace. He was truly a legendary Indian playback singer. Although he tried his luck as a film actor, he couldn’t succeed a great deal in acting.
Talat received Padma Bhushan in 1992, in recognition of his profound artistic contributions in the spheres of cinematic and ghazal music. he had a unique, elegant and profoundly artistic style of singing. Talat was a very gifted singer in every sense. He was particularly famous for singing soft and sombre semi-classical and non-classical ghazals, but the film songs sung by him are also considered critically flawless and outstanding. Although Talat’s typical genre was Ghazal, he was an astoundingly brilliant film singer who sung innumerable fantastic film songs.
Romantic and tragic were the moods, he liked most and it was him who helped a great deal in shaping the style and method of modern ghazal singing. He can honestly be described as the real founder of modern semi-classical and non-classical ghazal. During the 1950s and 60s, Talat used to be the first choice of the high-brow literary and artistic community of Indian sub-continent, especially Urdu-speaking community. Even, his cancelled songs were immensely popular among them. No other singer had such intellectually high-class and learned audience at the time. Talat’s voice has often been described as the softest male voice of Indian sub-continent, not only this, but his voice is also considered among the most soulful male voices ever heard in the Indian sub-continent.