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Legendary Bollywood singer and restaurateur Asha Bhosle awarded doctorate by University of Salford

Bollywood singing legend Asha Bhosle and founder of Asha’s, the £2m eaterie in Manchester city centre, has been made an honorary doctorate by the The University of Salford.

Bhosle was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree in recognition of her contribution to the field of music and her role in inspiring future generations to participate in arts and media.

The 86-year-old is the most recorded artist ever according to Guinness Book of World Records, having began her singing career in the 1940s and has recorded more then 22,000 songs in 20 languages.

She has also served as an inspiration for individuals pursuing popular Indian music through the popularity of the Bollywood films that she has featured in, providing an opportunity for British South Asians, in particular, to trace their cultural roots and celebrate their heritage.

The impact of this was so profound that in 1997, British indie rock band Cornershop released the song ‘Brimful of Asha’ to celebrate Asha’s musical achievements and her role as an inspiration to British-Asians.

As well as music, Bhosle enjoys cooking and opened her first restaurant in Dubai in 2002 and the brand has since spread across the Middle East.

The Manchester branch is only the second in the UK, after Birmingham.

Jo Purves, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Salford presented the Honorary Doctorate to Asha Bhosle at a formal ceremony in the Saint Regis Hotel in Mumbai.

She said: “Asha’s achievements as a musician cannot be understated.

"Throughout her career, Asha has left a lasting impression in the industry by transforming traditional Hindustani music to inspire future generations across all nations to get involved in arts and the media. We’re truly delighted to be honoring Asha for her accomplishments whilst celebrating her influence on modern British culture.”

The University of Salford has a long history of supporting Indian culture and has sponsored the Asian Media Awards for many years to ensure the media fully represents the diversity, talent and creativity of the UK population.

The School of Arts and Media aims to inspire the next generation of stars across the sector, from journalists to film-makers, actors and performers and recognising Asha’s illustrious career is testament to that.

The degree was awarded as part of a series of announcements made by a 30-strong delegation from Greater Manchester.

The delegation was led by the Manchester India Partnership, which was set up in 2018 to celebrate and strengthen the ties between the UK and India in the fields of education, culture, trade, investment and tourism.

Applications from India represent approximately 25 per cent of the total number of international applications received by the University.

To support students from India the University has an Indian Student Society, which organises cultural and social events for students and staff with an interest in India.

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