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Features |  18 Jul 2017 10:00 |  By RnMTeam

Mehdi Hassan: A voice hard to forget

MUMBAI: Mehdi Hassan had an unmatchable voice, one that created a niche for him in the music industry of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, and that space remains uninterrupted till date.

Known as ‘King of Ghazal’, Hassan was born on 18 July 1927, in a village called Luna in Rajasthan in British India. He was the sixteenth generation of Kalawant clan of musicians.

Hassan gave his first performance with his brother in Fazilka Bungla near the DC House of Undivided Punjab. Music came to him naturally as he belonged to a traditional musical family, his father and uncle Ustad Azeem Khan and uncle Ustad Ismail Khan were both Dhrupad singers.

India and Pakistan partition in 1947, led to Hassan moving to Pakistan with his family. His initially days in Pakistan were tough. His family had to go through financial hardships. During this time Hassan worked at a Bicycle shop, he also worked at few more places after that. But he continued to practice singing even in his tough times.

It was the year 1957, which got Hassan a chance to sing at a radio station in Pakistan, which was widely recognised and acclaimed by the listeners. This got him a chance to sing in the movie industry. His debut song was Jisne Mere Dil Ko Dard Diya from the movie Sasural, released in 1962. The turning point of his life came, when he sang Gulon Mein Rang Bharay, Baad-E-Naubahar Chale for the movie Farangi, the song was a hit with the audience, after which there was no turning back for him.

Ghazals For EverGolden GreatsSur Ki Koi Seema Nahin are some of his finest albums. His songs Ab Ke Hum Bichchde Toh, Mujhe Tum Nazar Se Gira Toh Rahe Ho, Phool Hi Phool Khil Uthe, Gulon Mein Rang Bhare, Ranjish Hi Sahi are some songs which are still fondly remembered by the music fans.

He has been awarded a lot of prestigious honours for his contribution to the music industry. He has received Pride of Performance, Tamgha-e-Imtiaz from Pakistan, Gorkha Dakshina Bahu from Nepal, K. L. Saigal Sangeet Shahenshah Award from India and many more such honours. He has also won many Nigar Awards for various film songs.

Hassan breathed his last on 13 June 2012, after suffering from a serious lung, chest and tract diseases, from which he had been suffering from 12 long years.

Legendary singers like Lata Mangeshkar, Jagjit Singh and many others have played tribute to him.