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Aap Jaisa Koi: Remembering Nazia Hasan

Updated August 13, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: The 14th death anniversary of legendary Pakistani pop singer Nazia Hassan was observed on Wednesday.

Her song Aap Jaisa Koi (1980) shot her to the heights of fame in South Asia's music scene and later on her debut album Disco Deewane (1981) also charted in 14 countries became the best-selling Asian pop record at the time.

Nazia, along with her brother Zohaib Hassan, went on to sell over 60 million records worldwide.

The first Pakistani to win a Filmfare Award, Nazia, who won it at the age of 15, remains the youngest winner of the award in the category of Best Female Playback Singer to date.

Along with the Filmfare Award, she also received many national awards. She is a recipient for the Pride of Performance Award, the Double Platinum Award as well as the Golden Disc Awards.

Hassan died of lung cancer in London on August 13, 2000 at the young age of 35.


Remembering the legend


With the music industry still getting back on its feet, the magical voice of Nazia Hassan continues to echo in the hearts of millions of her fans.

Born in Karachi on April 3, 1965, Hassan’s first ever television appearance was in a program Kaliyon Ke Mala (1975) aired on Pakistan Television Network (PTV), where she appeared as a child artist and sang Dosti Aisa Naata.

Her song Aap Jaisa Koi which she sang at the age of 15 for the Indian film Qurbani (1980) became one of the biggest hits in Bollywood film music.

After the success of Aap Jaisa Koi, in 1981 Hassan become the first female playback singer to release Disco Deewana, an album in which her brother Zohaib also collaborated on vocals with her.

She was the first Pakistani singer to make it to the British charts, and the English version of Disco Deewane – called Dreamer Deewane – was much appreciated in the west. The song was also recently used in Karan Johar’s film, Student of the Year in the song, The Disco Song.

Nazia's second album Boom Boom was released in 1982.The soundtrack of the album was used in another Bollywood film, Star. While that film did not do well at the box office, the album was a success. It was probably the first time in the history of Indian cinema that the record was a hit and the film was a flop. This increased the popularity of the siblings in both Pakistan and India.

Another album Young Tarang (1984) followed soon after. This was the first album to feature music videos in Pakistan. Then came Hotline in 1987. Nazia's last solo album, Camera Camera, came out in London in 1992.

Although singers such as Alamgir and Mohammad Ali Shahki were already in the popular music scene, it was Nazia who really promoted the genre in Pakistan.

In an interview with Herald in the magazine's July 1980 edition, she said:

“Yes some people don’t even consider it music; well it’s the kind of the music we dig, take it or leave it. They say classical music is the only real music. Whenever I’m attending a classical music recital, I feel like I’m attending a funeral. You have to sit grim’n still – no coughing, no talking lest people think you are being impolite.”

Many seem to think of Nazia solely as an acclaimed pop singer, but she was much more than that.

A notable humanitarian, she also worked as a political analyst for the United Nations in New York and in 1991 became the cultural ambassador for Pakistan.

She was the initiator of the movement, Battle Against Narcotics (BAN), which aimed at helping people who fall prey to drug addiction, and her album Camera Camera was dedicated to that cause as well.

It has been 14 years since Pakistan lost its music legend, but even today, Nazia continues to mesmerise her fans through her beautiful voice, catchy music and evergreen videos.

Many took to twitter to remember the legendary pop artist.