A singer renowned for his sweet, almost otherworldly timbre, Mukesh is one of the greats of the classic Bollywood period. Early work with the composer Naushad on the soundtracks to Mela (1948) and Andaaz (1949) and with Shankar Jaikishan on the unforgettable Barsaat helped launch his career. He quickly established himself as the voice of actor Raj Kapoor, a fruitful partnership that ran from the late-1940s until the '70s. He was known for years as the "tragedy king" because of his deeply emotive vocal work on sad songs. An ill-advised bid for acting roles in the mid-'50s led to a decline in his fortunes, but Mukesh rebounded later in the decade, returning to singing and remaining in the spotlight until his 1976 death in Detroit.