Pride of the nation: Artistes from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan wish Runa Laila on 70th birthday

Thursday marked 70th birthday of Runa Laila, iconic Bangladeshi singer and one of the most respected artistes in South Asia.

The legendary singer was born in Sylhet, then East Pakistan.

Greeting the singer on this special occasion, celebrities and musicians of the country shared heartfelt messages on social media platforms, UNB reports.

Dhallywood superstar Shakib Khan shared a post from the Facebook page of his SK Films, writing: “Happy birthday to Runa Laila, the first vocalist from Bangladesh to achieve international success and win the admiration of viewers and listeners around the subcontinent for her wonderful songs. She is our living legend, and her timeless melodies have been sung by successive generations.”

Singer Akhi Alamgir wrote: “She came, she sang, she conquered! That’s our Runa Laila, pride of the nation. The sole inspiration for many to become artistes. May your 70 stay 17 forever and you continue this magical, blessed journey of yours forever and ever. Happy birthday Runa aunty – Love, hugs, prayers, and keep shining like those diamonds.”

Thespian and lawmaker Suborna Mustafa shared a photograph with the singer on her Facebook, writing: “Happy birthday dearest Runa Apa. Love you so much.”

Popular singer Dilshad Nahar Kona wrote: “Happy birthday to the splendor of world music! You have our respect, our love — our artistic crown. Love to you, Runa Laila ma’am.”

Singer-composer Kishore wrote, “Happy birthday Runa Laila ma’am. I was lucky enough to sing the first playback song of my life with you. May your hands of love and blessings be on my head forever. Wish you good health and long life.”

Alongside these artists, several media outlets and celebrities in both India and Pakistan conveyed their best wishes to the living legend on social media.

Runa Laila, who was already a star in Pakistan before 1971, moved to her motherland Bangladesh along with her family in 1974. Her first Bangla song was “O Amar Jibon Shathi” for the film“Jibon Shathi” (1976), composed by Satya Saha.

Her Bollywood journey started with the music composer duo Kalyanji-Anandji, for the title song of a film called “Ek Se Badhkar Ek” (1976). She gained popularity in India for her hits such as “O Mera Babu Chail Chabila” and “Dama Dam Mast Qalandar.”

In addition to her mothertongue Bangla, Runa Laila has performed in 18 languages, including English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Gujarati, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, and more. She has done playbacks for Indian and Pakistani films, alongside her Dhallywood projects such as Keyamat Theke Keyamat, Beder Meye Jotsna, Dui Jibon and more.

Runa Laila won seven Bangladesh National Film Awards for Best Female Playback Singer for her playbacks in the movies: The Rain (1976), Jadur Banshi (1977), Accident (1989), Ontore Ontore (1994), Devdas (2013), and Priya Tumi Shukhi Hou (2014). For the movie Ekti Cinemar Golpo, she received the Best Music Composer Award (2018).

She also acted in the fictionalized biographical movie Shilpi (1995) alongside her husband and eminent Dhallywood actor Alamgir.

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