Bappi Lahiri, the composer-singer who popularised disco music in India, died on Tuesday night at a Juhu hospital. He was 69. Lahiri is survived by wife Chitrani, daughter Reema and son Bappa.
“Lahiri had been admitted to the hospital for a month and was discharged on Monday. But his health deteriorated on Tuesday and his family called for a doctor to visit their home. He was then brought to the hospital. He had multiple health issues. He died due to OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) shortly before midnight,” Dr Deepak Namjoshi, director of CritiCare hospital, said.
In the 70s and 80s, Lahiri produced several hit numbers, among them I am a disco dancer, Jawani Janeman and Jimmy Jimmy. His last Bollywood song was Bhankas for the 2020 film Baaghi 3.
In an interview to PTI in 2019, he said: “I feel so proud to have had this journey and to have worked with all the extremely talented people in the industry. Simply put, my life is Dilip Kumar to Ranveer Singh. From Dharm Adhikari to Gunday I’ve done it all.”
Lahiri stood out also for his appearance, with the many gold chains he wore for luck and his large sunglasses always a talking point.
In 2014, he ventured into politics, joining the BJP and contesting the Lok Sabha election from Serampore. He lost to Kalyan Banerjee of the Trinamul Congress.
Born Alokesh Lahiri in Jalpaiguri, he started learning to play the tabla at the age of three. His parents Aparesh and Bansari Lahiri were both musicians and singers. PTIKishore Kumar, who sang Pag Ghunghroo and Chalte Chalte for him among many hit songs, was his maternal uncle.