Gangubai Hangal (Kannada: ಗಂಗೂಬಾಯಿ ಹಾನಗಲ್) (5 March 1913 – 21 July 2009) was an Indian singer of the khyal genre of Hindustani classical music, who was known for her deep and powerful voice. Hangal belonged to the Kirana gharana. angubai Hangal was born in Dharwad to Chikkurao Nadiger, an agriculturist and Ambabai, a vocalist of Carnatic music. Hangal received only elementary education and her family shifted to Hubli in 1928. She began to train formally aged 13 at the music school of Krishna Acharya, studying Hindustani classical music instead of Carnatic music. She also learned from Dattopant Desai before studying under Sawai Gandharva, a respected guru. Hangal could only study sporadically under Gandharva when he returned to his home, but she received an intensive training of three years after he relocated permanently to Hubli.
Hangal’s family was considered as of low social status and for women of her generation singing was not considered appropriate employment; Hangal struggled against this prejudice and made a career. She performed all over India and for All India Radio stations until 1945. Hangal had initially performed light classical genres, including bhajan and thumri, but concentrated on khyal. Later, however, she refused to sing light classical, saying she sang only ragas. Hangal served as honorary music professor of the Karnatak University. Hangal gave her last concert in March 2006 to mark her 75th career year. She had overcome bone marrow cancer in 2003, and died of cardiac arrest at the age of 96, on 21 July 2009, in Hubli, where she resided. She had her eyes donated to increase awareness for organ donation.
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