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Features |  31 Dec 2011 11:17 |  By Poonam

Musical gems we lost in 2011

Chithi Na Koi Sandesh, Jane Wo Konsa Desh, Jaha Tum Chale Gaye...

Good music has a long life. It dwells in the hearts of its aficionados long after it is sung. Well all of us remember the songs but sometimes forget the creators of these everlasting melodies. salutes these sheer music prodigies for their remarkable contribution to the Indian Music Industry.

The Year 2011 bid adieu to these musical mavericks who touched our lives making us romance, laugh and sometimes even sob all through their memorable voyage.

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi (4 February 1922 - January 24 2011):

Illustrious Classical musician and recipient of Bharat Ratna, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi passed away at 89 due to a combination of kidney failure and age-related illnesses like general weakness and respiratory problems. He was renowned for the khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music. Joshi epitomized vocal brilliance in the world of Hindustani Classical Music, also receiving accolades like the Sangit Kalanidhi, and founding the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival. The masses indentified strongly with him especially due to the anthem of national unity and integration on Doordarshan, Mile Sur Mera Tumhara.

Ustad Asad Ali Khan (1937 – 14 June 2011):

Ustad Asad Ali Khan died in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, at the age of 74. The Padma Bhushan was one of the most celebrated custodians of the fading Rudra Veena (or Been) tradition, representing the Jaipur Beenkar Gharana. Khan performed in the style dhrupad and was described as the best living rudra veena player in India by �The Hindu'.

Johnson (26 March 1953 – 18 August 2011):

Two-time National award winner and renowned music composer Johnson, passed away at 58 after a cardiac arrest. The maestro had scored music for more than 300 Malayalam films and had won the National award for best background score for the films 'Ponthan Mada' in 1994 and 'Sukrutham' in 1995. Johnson has also won state awards five times in his career spanning over three decades.

Jagjit Singh (8 February 1942 – 10 October 2011):

Ghazal king Jagjit Singh, the soul-stirring voice behind �Ye kaghaz ki kashti', 'Chitthi na koi sandesh and �Jhuki jhuki si nazar' passed away at the age of 70, leaving his entire musical empire hanging by a thread. Known to have simplified the genre for a layman, Jagjit Singh was experimental and sang several songs for films like Prem Geet, Saath Saath and Arth in the early 80's. His overall work was spread over more than 65 film and non-film albums. His soulful renditions and all-time great melodies 'Honthon se chhoo lo tum', 'Tumko dekha to yeh khayal', 'Baat niklegi to', 'Jab saamne tum', �Hazaron khwaishe aisi', 'Chaak jigar ke', 'Kal chadhanvi ki raat thi', 'Kiska Chehera', 'Hoshwalo ko khabar', 'jaane vo kaun sa desh', 'jahaan tum chale gaye' and 'Shaam se aankh me name si hai' enthralled millions all over the world.

Bhupen Hazarika (8 September 1926 – 5 November 2011):

The iconic figure of Assam, legendary singer and composer Dr. Bhupen Hazarika passed away at 86 due to multiple organ failure. His soulful compositions for Hindi films 'Rudali', 'Chingaari' and 'Daman: A Victim of Marital Violence' gave a new dimension to Bollywood music. A multi-talented personality, he was a poet, music composer, singer, actor, journalist, author and filmmaker. He wrote over 1000 lyrics and covered a wide range of topics that included short stories, essays, travelogues, poems and children's rhymes.  Hazarika is acknowledged widely for introducing Hindi films to the sounds and folk music of Assam and Northeast India. His songs, written and sung mainly in the Assamese language by himself, have been translated and sung in many languages, most notable in Bengali and Hindi. He was a National Film Award, Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Padma Bhushan awardee and Dada Saheb Award winner.

Ustad Sultan Khan (1940- 27  November 2011):

Sarangi maestro and vocalist Ustad Sultan Khan passed away at 71 due to kidney failure. Renowned Indian sarangi player and singer performed Hindustani classical music. Padma Bhushan awardee Sultan was one of the members of the Indian fusion group Tabla Beat Science, with Zakir Hussain and Bill Laswell. Later he collaborated with legends such as Ravi Shankar and George Harrison to make the kind of music which was classical and popular at the same time. Ustad Sultan Khan, is the voice behind hits like 'Piya Basanti Re' and 'Albela Sajan Aayo Re'. Sultan Khan was also honoured with the Sangeet Natya Academy Award twice and the American Academy of Artists Award.

Kuldeep Manak (15 November 1949 – 30 November 2011):

Punjabi folk singer Kuldeep Manak known for singing a genre of traditional Punjabi songs called kaliyan, passed away at 62 due to Pneumonia. Manak was the voice behind hits songs like �Tere Tilley Ton', �Chheti Kar Sarwan Bachcha' and �Garh Mughlane Dian Naaran'. Manak's final collaboration was with Jazzy B on his album Maharajas. He was a member of a musical family - caste of entertainers, known as Marasis. His ancestors were the hazoori raagis of Sikh religious songs for Maharaja Hira Singh of Nabha, one of the Phulkian states in the Punjab.

Other renowned international names who we lost this year include Apples co-founder Steve Jobs, Grammy award-winning soul singer Amy Winehouse, Jazz saxophonist Sam Rivers amongst a few.