Pakistani singer Mehdi Hassan dies

Legendary classical singer, who captivated millions of music fans across South Asia, was 84.

    Pakistan PM Yousuf Raza Gilani called Hassan 'an icon who mesmerised music lovers' for decades [Al Jazeera]
    Pakistan PM Yousuf Raza Gilani called Hassan 'an icon who mesmerised music lovers' for decades [Al Jazeera]

    Ustad Mehdi Hassan, Pakistan's legendary classical singer who captivated millions of music fans across South Asia, has died. He was 84.

    Hassan, known as Shahenshah-e-Ghazal, or the king of classical singing among Urdu speakers across the world, died in the Aga Khan hospital in the port city of Karachi on Wednesday.

    His son Asif told reporters outside the hospital that his father had been suffering from multiple lung, chest and urinary tract conditions.

    Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed his condolences, calling Hassan "an icon who mesmerised music lovers" for decades.

    Indian singing legend Lata Mangeshkar, who once likened his songs to the "voice of God", has called Hassan's death "a great loss to the music industry".

    Mangeshkar also took to her twitter account to honour to honour the ustad, master, saying "there was only one Mehdi Hassan and his presence will always be missed in the world of music".

    Shreya Ghoshal, the playback singer for films such as Devdas and recent hit Bodyguard, called Hassan "the voice, who made many music lovers and lovers find an expression of their hearts' stories" on her twitter account, saying the void left by the maestro's death can never be filled.

    Mastery of Ghazal

    Ghazal, an ancient pan-Asian poetic form popularised in Hindi, Urdu, Persian and, Pashto, is comrpised of rhyming couplets and a refrain. Each line will share the same metre.

    A traditional love poem expression put to music, it frequently rang out across markets, buses and homes across the sub-continent and beyond.

    Ghazals also served as the soundtrack to more than 300 films from Pakistan's Lollywood film industry.

    Outside of Pakistan, Hassan also won awards in India - the Saigol Award in 1979 - and Nepal - the Gorkha Dakhshin Baho Award in 1983.

    Prior to the fame his mastery of Ghazal earned him, Hassan, who was born in India in 1927, worked at a bicycle shop and as a car mechanic.

    He migrated to Pakistan after partition and independence from British rule in 1947.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.