Runa Laila: Introduction
Runa Laila (Bengali: রুনা লায়লা; Urdu: رُونا ليليٰ; born 17 November 1952) is a singer who started her career from Pakistan film industry and sings inGhazals also. She made a pair with singer Ahmed Rushdi after replacing Mala. She also has done playbacks for movies in Bangladesh, India andPakistani film industries during late 60s,70s and early 80’s. Her best known number is Dama Dam Mast Qalandar.
Runa Laila was born on November 17, 1952, in Sylhet, East Bengal (now Bangladesh). Her father was from Rajshahi. She enrolled in a dance school where she learnt Kathak, Bharatanatyam, andKathakali. Her early music training was done under Piya Rang and Ustad Habibiddin Khan when her family lived in Karachi’s Federal B area in 1960. According to Laila, Manzur Hussain also influenced her career on her career by teaching her flaws in her voice work on. She made her public debut as a singer at the age of six. She recorded her first disc for a Pakistani film called “Jugnu. She was influenced by playback singer Ahmed Rushdi as she followed his way of singing and also made a pair with him later on.
She sang playback for movies in Bangladesh and India and Pakistan. She is known for her songs like Dama dum mast qalandar which has been sung by other artists and Mera babu chhail chhabeela main to nachoon gi.
She entered into the Hindi film playback with Ek se badhkar ek in 1974. She also sang in Gharonda. After that she withdrew from Mumbai. Some of the music directors she has worked with are Jaidev, Kalyanji Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Bappi Lahiri.She has also sung Bangladeshi songs like Sadher lau banailo morey, Shilpi ami, tomaderi gan shonabo and Bondhu tin din tor barite gelam.
Runa had an elder sister named Dina Laila and a younger brother named Syed Ali Murad. She has been married three times and has a daughter named Tani Laila. Runa first married Khawaja Javed Kaiser, secondly a Swiss citizen named Ron Daniel and lastly the actor Alamgir.
Sister Dina (once married to Pakistani politician from Sindh, Makhdoom Amin Fahim) would have bcome a singer as well but had to give up singing when she married. Dina later died ofcancer. In memory of her sister, Runa held six concerts in Bangladesh and donated the entire proceeds to a children’s hospital in Dhaka to build a cancer ward which has been named after her sister.