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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Runa Laila

Runa Laila

Born Sylhet, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
Genres Ghazal, fusion music
Occupations Playback singer
Instruments vocals
Years active 1969–1991

Runa Laila (Bengali: রুনা লায়লা; Urdu: رُونا ليليٰ‎) is a Bangladeshi singer who started her career from Pakistan film industry and sings in Ghazals also. She made a pair with singer Ahmed Rushdi after replacing Mala[who?]. She also has done playbacks for movies in Bangladesh, India and Pakistani film industries during late 60s, 70s, and the early 80's. Her best known number is Dama Dam Mast Qalandar.

Early life

Laila was born in Sylhet, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). Her father was from Rajshahi. She enrolled in a dance school where she learnt Kathak, Bharatanatyam, and Kathakali. 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.


Laila started appearing on the 'Zia Mohyuddin Show', a Karachi TV stage show (1972–74) and later did songs for Pakistani films in the 70s such as Umrao Jan Ada (1972). In 2012, Laila served judged on the show Sur Kshetra.

Acting life

Laila acted in the Bengali film "Shilpi" opposite Alamgir. The film was a remake of the Hollywood movie "The Bodyguard".


Laila 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.

Personal life

Laila 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 Khawaza 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 become a singer as well but had to give up singing when she married. Dina later died of cancer. 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.


  • Runa Laila-Kala Sha Kala 23 March 2010
  • Runa Laila – Moods & Emotions 1 December 2008
  • Bazm-E-Laila
  • The Loves of Runa Laila
  • Ganga Amar Ma Padma Amar Ma-Runa Laila
  • Superuna 1 December 1982
  • Runa Goes Disco 1 September 1982
  • Runa Sings Shahbaz Qalandar 1 September 1982
  • Geet / Ghazals 1 September 1976
  • Runa in Pakistan (Geet) 1 December 1980
  • Runa in Pakistan (Ghazals) 1 December 1980
  • Sincerely Yours Runa Laila
  • I Love to Sing for You

Film songsPakistan

  • Commander (1968)
  • Hum Dono (1966)
  • Anjuman (1970)
  • Umrao Jaan Ada (1972)
  • Man Ki Jeet (1972)
  • Ehsaas (1972)
  • Dilruba (1975)


  • Phir Subah Hogi
  • Gharaonda (1977)
  • Ek Se Badhkar Ek
  • Yaadgaar
  • Agneepath
  • Sapnon Ka Mandir(1991)
  • Jaaney Bahar
  • Ghar Dwaar (1985)


  • Shwaralipi
  • Dui Jibon
  • Antore Antore
  • The Rain
  • Beder Meye Josna
  • Kayamat Theke Kayamat Porjonto
  • Sopner Nayok
  • Sottyer Mrittyu Nei
  • Meghla Akash
  • Megher Koley Rod
  • Hridoyer Badhon


  • Independence Day Award, Bangladesh
  • National Film Award (4 times)
  • Shelteck Award, Bangladesh
  • Lux Channel I Lifetime Performance Award, Bangladesh
  • Saigal Award, India
  • Nigar Award, Pakistan (twice)1968 and 1970
  • Critics Award, Pakistan
  • Graduate Award, Pakistan (twice)
  • National Council of Music Gold Medal, Pakistan
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