top of page

DIVA at the V&A: Celebrating Lata Mangeshkar

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) has unveiled its upcoming exhibition, DIVA, which promises to be a groundbreaking celebration of iconic performers throughout history. Opening on June 24, 2023, and running until April 7, 2024, DIVA will showcase the extraordinary power, creativity, and resilience of legendary divas who have made their voices heard from the 19th century to the present day.

The exhibiton aims to redefine the meaning of the term "diva" and explore the profound impact these performers have had on society, driving change through their art, platform, and influence.

DIVA will trace the origins of the term "diva," which means goddess in Italian, and examine how its meaning has evolved over time. The exhibition will delve into the ways in which the label has been subverted, embraced, and reclaimed by performers, their fans, and wider society.

The exhibition will showcase more than 60 remarkable costumes as well as 250 objects drawn from the V&A collection and loans from across the world, spanning fashion, photography, design, music, and live performance.

The exhibition will showcase the renowned singer Lata Mangeshkar, hailed as the epitome of the Indian musical landscape and widely recognized as the voice of India.

"Lata Mangeshkar at Vishwashanti Kala Academy Award" by Bollywood Hungama is licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Lata Mangeshkar's career spanned an astonishing eight decades, during which she recorded songs in over thirty-six Indian languages and several foreign languages, showcasing her versatility and linguistic prowess.

While her primary focus was on Marathi, Hindi, and Bengali, she also ventured into English, Indonesian, Russian, Dutch, Nepali, and Swahili, captivating audiences around the globe with her incredible voice.

Recognized and celebrated for her exceptional contributions, Lata Mangeshkar received prestigious awards throughout her illustrious career. In 1989, she was honored with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award by the Government of India, recognizing her outstanding achievements.

In 2001, she was bestowed with the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor, becoming only the second female singer, after M. S. Subbulakshmi, to receive this prestigious accolade. France also honored her with the Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, the country's highest civilian award, in 2007.

Her influence extended beyond the borders of India, as she became the first Indian playback singer to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, in 1974, leaving an indelible mark on the global music scene.

Lata Mangeshkar's extraordinary achievements were recognized by the Guinness World Records, which listed her as the most-recorded artist in history between 1948 and 1987, a testament to her prolific and enduring career.

Her impact on the Indian music industry and her unparalleled talent earned her numerous accolades and honorific titles, solidifying her status as one of the greatest and most influential singers in the world.

I am a self-made person and I have learned how to fight. I have never been scared of anyone. I am quite fearless”

Lata Mangeshkar

The V&A's recognition and celebration of Lata Mangeshkar as one of the most iconic performers of all time aligns with the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre's acknowledgement of her incredible talent.

The Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre, situated in Mumbai, India, was established by our female lead icon Nita Ambani (who featured in The Female Lead: We Rise By Lifting Others), a philanthropist and chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, with the aim of preserving and promoting Indian arts.

This cultural center, located within the Jio World Centre complex in the Bandra Kurla Complex, opened its doors on March 31, 2023.

'Nita Ambani herself has expressed her admiration for Lata Mangeshkar, stating "The late Lata remains a timeless favorite for our family across generations"

(The National News, 2023).

These words further underscore Lata Mangeshkar's enduring influence and significance in the world of music.

The Female Lead's founder, Edwina Dunn, at the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre meeting Mrs Nita Ambani


bottom of page