Renowned singer Runa Laila has been awarded a lifetime achievement award for her contributions to Bangla music.
The award was handed over at a programme organised by Citibank NA Bangladesh at Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel in the capital on Saturday.
Former Bangladesh Bank governor Salehuddin Ahmed handed over the award consisting a crest, a portrait and a cheque.
Ttitled Gaane Gaane Gunijan Sangbardhana, the programme also featured performances of some of the most popular Runa Laila songs by promising singer Konal.
‘Runa Laila lived her life to the fullest. She set new benchmarks for others and her accomplishments are rivaled by very few. Her fame crossed boundaries years before’, said eminent singer Ferdausi Rahman, who was present as a special guest.
‘I am happy to have come this far. And the love and affection that I got on the way is really something,’ said Runa Laila, who thanked people of the sub-continent for their unwavering support and love.
Later, a vibrant performance by Konal entertained audience with popular Runa Laila numbers.
Runa Laila joined Konal to sing a few lines here and there and quenched the thirst of audience who was more than eager to listen to her mesmerising voice.
Runa was born on November 17, 1952 and entered the world of music even before she was in a position to decide for herself. ‘In hindsight, it seems as though music had chosen me, not the other way round.’
At six, Runa performed on stage in Karachi where she was living with her family, although she had no training in music.
Her elder sister, Dina Laila, was interested in music while she was in dance, but eventually she found interest in music and trained under music teachers Abdul Kader and Habib Uddin Ahmed.
Later, Ustad Golam Kadir, elder brother of famous singer Mehedi Hasan, trained her in the intricacies of Ghazal.
In 1965, at only 12, Runa got an offer to sing for an Urdu film, which she did, despite her family’s initial reluctance. It was her first playback song – Gudiya Se Munni Meri for Jugnu – like a prelude to the illustrious career that she would have in the coming years.
Runa is a six-time recipient of the National Film Award of Bangladesh for music. She received a number of awards from Pakistan including Nigar award, Graduate Award, and National Council of Music Award, as well as the Saigol Award from India.
For her service to music, she has also received Independence Award from the government of Bangladesh.
Source; New Age