Singing legend and Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan passes away
13 June, 2012
KARACHI: A legend from classical music of the world, Shahenshah-e-Ghazal Mehdi Hassan passed away at the age of 84 after a long illness at a hospital on Wednesday.
Arif Hassan, Hassan's son, told reporters that his father was suffering from various complications for the last 12 years. He also said his father was shifted to the hospital a few weeks ago where he was put on ventilator because he was facing problem in breathing.
Arif also said, "Funeral prayers will be held on Friday (June 15), as his two sons are arriving in Karachi shortly."
Separately, the Agha Khan University Hospital (AKUH) press release read that the renowned singer was admitted to the hospital with multiple problems, including massive bleeding from the stomach, lung and chest infection. His condition continued to show a downward trend and took an acute turn for the worse on Wednesday morning.
In 2001, after suffering a massive stroke along with hypertension, diabetes, and chronic obstructive lung disease, Hassan had been brought to the AKUH for the first time. Initially his condition improved with medication and rehabilitation measures, but he could not recover fully.
He was born on 1927 to a family of traditional musicians in a village called Luna in Rajasthan, India. He got his musical grooming from his father Ustad Azeem Khan and uncle Ustad Ismail Khan. They were traditional Dhrupad singers. At the time of Partition, Hassan was 20 years old when his family migrated to Pakistan. Hassan started his music career from the Radio Pakistan in 1957, which was helpful in recognising him as a skillful singer. Hassan ruled Pakistani film industry as a playback singer until 1980s. He sang for more than 325 films.
He was honoured with various awards, including Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance and Hilal-e-Imtiaz. The Nepalese government awarded him with Gorkha Dakshina Bahu.
A large number of people from all walks of life gathered at his residence and showed their grief and sorrow.
Arts Council President Ahmed Shah said Mehdi Hassan was the legendary ghazal singer of Asia and promoted ghazal singing. Shah said people come to know about legendary poets, including Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib through Hassan's singing.
Shah said, "Mehdi Hassan's death created a huge gap in classical singing, and no one is of his caliber to fill this gap."