Arguably the first face of pop in Pakistan, Nazia Hassan was born in Karachi today on April 3, 1965.
She first appeared in a children’s program on PTV Kaliyon ki Mala in 1975 where she sang the famous ‘Dosti Aisa Naata’.
It was her single ‘Aap Jaisa Koi’ that catapulted her to fame when she was just 15 after it was taken for the Bollywood flick Qurbaani. Little did anyone know that Nazia would go on to become the first Pakistani to win the prestigious Filmfare award.
Following the success of ‘Aap Jaisa Koi,’ Nazia Hassan, along with her brother Zohaib, went on to release the evergreen album Disco Deewana (1981). This was followed by Boom Boom, Young Tarang (1984), Hotline (1987) and finally Camera, Camera (1992).
Her songs ‘Dosti’, ‘Disco Deewane’, ‘Aankhen Milane Wale’, ‘Boom Boom’ and 'Dil ki Lagi'are still timeless.
Known for her soulful voice, Nazia was not only a singer, but also a notable humanitarian. She worked as a political analyst for the United Nations in New York and became a cultural ambassador for Pakistan in 1991.
The singer believed in welcoming new musical trends and spoke to Herald Magazine in July 1980, saying:
“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 and still — no coughing, no talking lest people think you are being impolite.”
Even today Nazia’s songs continue to mesmerise millions of her fans:
The singer who lost her battle against cancer passed away on August 13, 2000 leaving behind her legacy of pop culture.