Runa Laila, a music diva of the Indian subcontinent has carved a special place for herself in the hearts of the music lovers of the region with her mesmerizing performances over five decades. The music connoisseur has lent her melodious voice to over ten thousand songs in more than 15 languages.
Runa Laila is a legend who has enthralled the music lovers of all ages and backgrounds with her enchanting performances. Her fashion statements, her gestures, her style have been trendsetters with everyone following her lead. Runa Laila is an icon because of her unique personality and the style that she has brought to the music industry; no one till date has been able to recreate this magic.
Over the years, we have seen many artists making their mark in the music industry, but no one has ever been able to reach her stature; many strove but none succeeded. Runa Laila is not only loved by all in Bangladesh, but also by the music lovers of the Indian subcontinent. In the 1980s, during the Farakka Barrage dispute, there was a saying in India that they would remove the dam if we gave them Runa Laila. This is a testament of the popularity of the songstress.
Runa Laila has also graced many prestigious music talent hunt shows in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan as a judge, along with music legends like Asha Bhosle. Runa Laila shares a unique bond with Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Lata Ji is so fond of her that the two exchange gifts on occasions.
Here Gechi Aj Ami composed by Alam Khan is one of the many hit songs sung by Runa Laila in her career. She has worked with many prominent musicians like Alauddin Ali, Alam Khan, Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul, Shawkat Ali Emon, Emon Saha and many others. Anjuman Ara Begum, another veteran singer of our country is a paternal cousin of Runa Laila and has always encouraged and appreciated the performances of the young Runa Laila at the beginning of her music career.
In spite of her incredible achievements and overarching stardom, Runa Laila has always embraced humility. Words fall short when we try to describe Runa Laila's overwhelming achievements and her larger-than-life personality. As a nation we are proud to have her and we are lucky that our future artistes have someone like her to look up to. She is an example of devotion, dedication and passion and whenever we see her perform, whether on television or during live shows, we are left captivated. Runa Laila is an inspiration, an idol and a role model for our stars. We are truly honoured to present her with the Standard Chartered-The Daily Star Celebrating Life 2018 'Lifetime Achievement Award' in the Music category. Runa Laila is our pride and we wish her all the very best.