Dawn News

Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan is no more

Mehdi Hasan at an art exhibition – Photo courtesy Dawn

KARACHI, June 13: Iconic vocalist and a legend in ghazal singing Mehdi Hassan breathed his last here on Wednesday. He was 85.

Mehdi Hassan was admitted to the Aga Khan University Hospital two weeks back. He was suffering from multiple ailments, including lung and chest infections. His condition worsened on Wednesday morning and he passed away.

The singer’s health deteriorated in 2001 when he suffered a stroke. Diabetes and urinary tract ailment compounded his problems. According to one of the doctors who were treating the great singer, he was admitted to the hospital eight times in 2011 and five times this year. Mehdi Hassan’s funeral will be held on Friday after Juma prayers, as three of his sons (he is survived by six sons and three daughters) who live abroad are expected to arrive in Karachi on Thursday.

Mehdi Hassan was born in Luna village in Rajasthan in 1927. His father Ustad Azeem Khan and uncle Ustad Ismail Khan were renowned classical musicians. Mehdi Hassan acquired early training in music from them. After his family migrated to Pakistan he tried his hand at a few professions but once he started getting acknowledged as a singer, he decided to adopt it as a career.

Prior to entering the film industry as a playback singer, Mehdi Hassan sang ghazals on Radio Pakistan. Shikar was the first film in which he lent his voice and garnered reasonable appreciation. Films Kunwari Bewa, Dosheeza and Ghoonghat followed. But it was the ghazal ‘Gulon mein rang bhare’ from the film Farangi (1964) that shot Mehdi Hassan to fame. The ghazal had originally been sung for the radio and was later included in the movie.

Mehdi Hassan lent his voice in more than 300 films and it is said that in all he sang more than 5,000 songs (film numbers, ghazals, thumri, dadra etc). Some of the famous films in which his singing was widely appreciated are Dard, Bharosa, Jab Jab Phool Khile, Insaaf Aur Qanoon, Daman Aur Chingari and Aaina. His last hit number was ‘Aaj tu ghair sahi’ from the film Dahleez.

Comments (18) Closed

Muhammad Nadeem
Jun 14, 2012 06:30pm
After Begum Akhtar he was one of the finest Ghazal Maestro and I think major chuck of the ghazal in Gyaeeki form has lost after his death. Muhammad Nadeem
Farzana Naina
Jun 15, 2012 08:47am
He? will be missed by millions..... RIP Mehdi Hassan Sahab.
Abdur Razzaque
Jun 14, 2012 10:14am
Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Elaihi Rajiun! May Allah (SWT) forgive him and place him in proper place. My condolence towards his family and to the peoples of Pakistan for their great loss. May Allah enables his family to hold their patience. Amin.
Jun 14, 2012 06:23am
We have lost another legend after moin akhter another great loss for Pakistani entertainment industry
Jun 14, 2012 06:47am
He pioneered classical music- enriched ghazal singing and brought a style that penetrated the hearts and souls of the sub-continent music lovers. May he rest in peace. His voice will echo in the hearts of music lovers for a very long time.
Jun 14, 2012 07:30am
really very sad news for great music listeners.
Jun 14, 2012 07:39am
A great Pakistani singer born in Jhunjhunu district, near Pilani the famous Univ town, India. We in Pilani loved to hear him and did not realise his old connection by birth till much later. For us he was a local who made us proud and made the world sit up and listen. Have heard Ranjish hi sahi many times over since hearing this sad news of this great singer's passing........
Jun 14, 2012 07:45am
A very humble, down to earth person and wonderful singer. We'll miss you Mehdi Hassan Sahib!
Jun 14, 2012 07:54am
ab ke hum bichhade to shayed kabhi khwabon me mile... :(
Jun 14, 2012 08:04am
Realy it is a sad news . ts a great poet of pakistan .
Jun 14, 2012 08:25am
Ina Lillahi Wa Ina Elahi Rajioon "May Allah Bless and rest his soul always in Janat", and give paitence to all his lovers and fans.
Abdul Hafeez Khan
Jun 14, 2012 08:33am
The renowed singer of Indo Pakistan Lata Mangeshker has said about Mehandi Hassan Shahab '' Jab woh gatey khain toa yoon lagta khea key unke galay main baghawan bolta khea''.Anyhow the death of Mehandi Hassan is a great loss and the news of his death is very shocking.May rest his soul in eternal peace and able his family members and lovers to bear this gerat loss with patience.( Ameen)
Prakash V
Jun 14, 2012 08:36am
Mehdi Hasan's death is not only loss to Pakistan (where he migrated after partition) or India (where he was born), but all the lovers of his music & ghazala, irrespective of where they live. He will always live in the hearts of people & his music will provide solace. May his soul rest in peace.
Jun 14, 2012 09:18am
yooN zindagi ki raah meiN takra gaya koi ik roshni andheroN mein bikhra gaya koi ab is dil-e-tabaah ki haalat na poochiye manzil ka raasta muJhe dikhla gaya koi ab ke hum bichDe to shaayad kabhi khwaaboN meiN mile jis tarah sookhe huye phool kitaaboN meiN mile
Abdul Razal
Jun 14, 2012 08:57am
He was Pakistan's answer to Mohamed Rafi. Ironically one was born in India and went to Pakistan and the other was born in Pakistan and went the opposite direction. May Allah Bless His Soul.
sanjay patel
Jun 14, 2012 09:14am
Mehadi saab 1987-88 me mere shehar indore tashreef laye the. indore aapako bata doon ki central india me hai aur vahi shehar hai jisaka vasta ustad amir khan saab aur legend cricketer mushtaq ali saab se hai.melody queen lata mangeshkar bhee mere shehar me hi paida huee hain. to baad kar raha tha ustad mehdi hasan saab ki.ve ek all time great fanqaar the. kala maine apane hindi risale naidunia ke liye indian gulookar anoop jalota aur ahmed hussain - mohd hussain se baat ki thi. sab kaa ye kehana tha ki aisaa fanqaar to baraso me ek hota hai. mujhe ustad ji ke indore me hue show ko anchor karane kaa mauqa mila tha. vo event lata mangeshkar ke naam se diya jaane wala ek bada award function hai jisame hone wale light music concert me ustad ji ne shirkat ki thi. unaka khuloos aur sada tabiyat dekhiye ki maine unse show ke pehale green room me pucha ki ustadji aaja mehfil ki ibteda kis cheez se karenge...to vo bole aap bataaeeye...maine kaha aapaki paidaaeesh rajasthan ki hai aur ye jo jagah hai indore ye hai malwa.yaha ki boli,rivaz,traditions aur pasand sab rajashani culture ka hi hissaa hai. to behtar hoga ki aaj ek rajasthani maand se shru karen....aur yaqeen keejiye...unhone turat-furat apane bete qaamran se kaha 'aaj maand se hi bismillah karate hain' to ye besaakhta saadgi ab kahaan milege.anoop jalota ka kehna tha ki ustad ji ne kabhee koee halki cheeq nahi gaaye...hamesh apana level maintain rakhaa...ve ghazal kaa school nahi university the. ye bhee bata doon maine do saala pehale lata mangeshkar ko interview kiya tha aur poocha ki aap jab tanha hoti hain to kya sunati hain aur lataji ka jawaab tha...sirf aur sirf mehdi hassan.....ahamed hussain-mohd hussain bole mehdi saab sahi maane me ghzal ko popular karane wale pehale azeem gulookaar the. khan bros india ke jaane-maane ghazal artist hain...unhone mehdi hasan saab ke liye ek sher kaha... jane waalon ki kami poori kabhi hoti nahi aane waale aayenge lekin khala reh jayega... R.I.P. Ustad Mehdi hassan.
Jun 14, 2012 09:39am
Thanks for sharing this story. Acha hua unkey adaab jaankar
Abdur Razzaque
Jun 14, 2012 09:51am
Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Elaihi Rajiun! May Allah (SWT) forgive him and place him in proper place. My condolence towards his family and to the peoples of Pakistan for their great loss. May Allah enables his family to hold their patience. Amin. Remembering the conversation I had with him in one evening in front of a mosque in Dhaka. He is not only yours. He left a fans all over the world. How can we forget his melodious voice that easily penetrated into the heart and make unmindful . After Rafi he is another great icon in music world. Mehedi Hassan is Mehedi Hassan and he is not comparable with anybody. Besides of his Ghazals and Urdu songs he entertained the Bengali speaking peoples with his some famous songs: 'Harano Diner Kotha Money Porey Jae" and two/ three more.