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Commemorating Gauhar Jaan
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Gauhar Jaan

It is the 145th birth anniversary of legendary dancer and singer Gauhar Jaan and Google is celebrating the day with a beautiful doodle.

Born on June 26, 1873, Gauhar Jaan’s birth name was Angelina Yeoward. She was born to Armenian father and Indian mother (by birth). After her parents’ divorce, her mother Victoria Hemmings moved to Benaras with a Muslim nobleman and the then eight-year-old Angelina accompanied her. It was after moving to Benaras that Victoria changed her name to Malka Jaan and Angelina was called Gauhar Jaan.

After a few years, both mother and daughter moved to Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Gauhar began training in Hindustani Classical music. Her first performance was at the courts (today’s Bihar) in 1887 and was appointed as court musician.

Gauhar Jaan

Credit: mid-day.com

She started performing in Calcutta in 1896 and began to travel across the country for performances. She was also invited to perform at King George V’s coronation in Delhi. Gauhar’s most famous for songs like ‘Mora Nahak Laye gavanava’, ‘Jabse Gaye mori sur huna live’, ‘Ras ke Bhare Tore Nain mere Dard-e-jigar’.

Gauhar Jaan was among the first performers to record music on 78 rpm records in the country and the record was released by the Gramophone Company of India. Later, she was invited by king of Mysore Krishna Raja Wadiyar IV and became the palace musician there. In the palace, she survived only 18 months and died at an age of 56 On January 17, 1930.

Gauhar Jaan