Talat Mahmood (24 February 1924 – 9 May 1998) was an Indian playback singer who is considered as one of the greatest male Indian non-classical and semi-classical singers. Although he tried his luck as a film actor, he did not succeed a great deal in acting.
Talat received Padma Bhushan in 1992, in recognition of his artistic contributions in the spheres of cinematic and ghazal music. he had a unique, elegant and profoundly artistic style of singing. Talat was a very gifted singer in every sense. He was particularly famous for singing soft and sombre semi-classical and non-classical ghazals, but the film songs sung by him are also considered critically flawless and outstanding. Although Talat's typical genre was Ghazal, he was an astoundingly brilliant film singer who sung innumerable fantastic film songs.
Romantic and tragic were the moods he liked most and it was he who helped a great deal in shaping the style and method of modern ghazal singing. He can be described as the real founder of modern semi-classical and non-classical ghazal. During the 1950s and 60s, Talat was the first choice of the high-brow literary and artistic community of Indian sub-continent, especially Urdu-speaking community. Even his cancelled songs were immensely popular among them. No other singer had such intellectually high-class and learned audience at the time with an exception of Manna Dey. Talat's voice has often been described as the softest male voice of the Indian sub-continent; not only this, but his voice is also considered among the most soulful male voices ever heard in the Indian sub-continent.