Ghazal king Mehdi Hassan passes away
India-born Ghazal legend Mehdi Hassan, the melodious voice behind evergreen hits like 'Patta patta, boota boota' and 'Kab ke Bichhare', died today following multiple organ failure at the age of 84.
"My father passed away at 12:22 PM after a long battle against different ailments," his son Arif Hassan said.
Hundreds of fans gathered at the hospital on learning of his death.
Hassan was born into a family of traditional musicians at Luna village in India's Rajasthan state in 1927. His family migrated to Pakistan at the time of Partition in 1947. Hassan cut back on his performances in the late 1980s due to illness.
Prime Minister Gilani expressed grief and sorrow at the death of Hussan. In a message, he said Hassan was "an icon who mesmerised music lovers not only in Pakistan but also in the subcontinent for many decades."
Hassan, who last performed in India in 2000, wanted to visit the country again, a dream which remained unfulfilled. Arif had even received the visa in April for Hassan's treatment in an Indian hospital but they could not travel as singer's condition deteriorated.
Considered one of the most successful ghazal singers of Pakistan, Hassan was trained in classical music by his father Ustad Azeem Khan and his uncle Ustad Ismail Khan who were both well respected classical musicians. He started to perform at a young age and his first concert was on Dhrupad and Kheyal with his elder brother.
Hassan was bestowed with the title of Shahenshah-e-Ghazal (The King of Ghazal singing) by his fans for infusing a new breath of life in the art form. The legend also played an important role of the cultural ambassador between India and Pakistan and visited his birth country several times.
Hassan started primarily as a thumri singer and earned recognition within the musical fraternity in Pakistan at the time when Ustad Barkat Ali Khan, Begum Akhtar and Mukhtar Begum were considered the stalwarts of ghazal singing.
There was a time in Pakistan's film industry when a film was considered incomplete without Hassan's voice.
In 2010, "Sarhadein" was released which has the first and last duet song "Tera Milna" by Mehdi Hassan and Lata Mangeshkar, who once called Hassan the "voice of God". Hassan recorded it in Pakistan in 2009, and Lata later heard the track and recorded her part in India in 2010 and it was later mixed together for a duet.
Source: Money Control
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