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Remembering a legend: Ahmed Rushdi

Published Apr 11, 2012 08:16am


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For many people in Pakistan, Ahmed Rushdi sparked the beginnings of a 'Pop' scene in Pakistan. His death on April 11, 1983 at the age of 48 was a great loss in the annals of Pakistani music — today marks his 29th death anniversary.

It all started in 1966 , when he teamed up with Waheed Murad and sang “Ko Ko Korina” for the film “Armaan." It became the definitive and defining Pakistani Pop song.

Rushdi was part of the Golden Age of Pakistani film and came to be known as one of the most versatile voices in South Asia.

Born in Hyderabad in 1934, he never received any formal training in classical music he nevertheless possessed a natural baritone, but was also capable of reaching tenor notes.

He sang his first song in the Indian film "Ibrat" in 1951 and got recognition. His family eventually moved to Pakistan and settled in Karachi in 1954, where he began participating in variety shows, music programs, and children's programs on radio.

In 1954, he recorded his first non-film song, "Bunder Road se Keemari", written by Mehdi Zaheer for the popular Radio Pakistan show Bachchon Ki Duniya — the song was a hit and became the steppingstone for Rushdi's future.

The success of "Bunder Road se Keemari", opened new doors for Rushdi as he got offers for playback singing for films and quickly gained popularity. He lent his voice to many hit films like "Bara Aadmi" (1956), "Wah Rey Zamaney" (1957), "Raat Ke Rahi" (1957), "Yeh Dunya" (1958) and many more.

In 1960 he sang the song "Kisi Chaman Mei Raho Tum" for the film "Anchal" which turned out to be a great boon for his career, as he impressed composer Khalil Ahmed to the extent that Ahmed sought Rushdi for every movie thereafter.

The '60s were a challenging but productive period for Rushi as he along with the legendary Mehdi Hassan and Masood Rana were the leading playback singers of the time and competition was fierce.

Unfortuantely he suffered from health issues during the latter part of his life and died of a heart attack having recorded about 5,000 film songs for 583 released films.

In 2003, 20 years after his death, Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf awarded him the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, the "star of excellence."


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Comments (9) Closed

rahim bhamani Apr 11, 2012 05:17pm
great singer with great personality, though he is not alive but his evergreen songs re still in our hearts, i wish he would have receive some national award in his live.
Riaz Uddin Apr 11, 2012 09:18pm
Rushdi died too early. Even after years of his death, he still commands great respects and lives in heart of music lover. His melodious voice will remain echoed in the minds of his fans and keep him alive for ever. He had a unique voice used to sing songs in a novel way. May God bless him and keep him in the eternal peace. Amen!
Abdur R. Talukder Apr 11, 2012 02:03pm
A great singer in the 60's all over Pakistan. His melodious voice attracted every body both in and the then Pakistan. His another hit song was Nazrul Islam's "Piyasa" where he sings "Acha kiya dil na diya" and also sings in several Urdu and Bengali songs like "Natun namey dako amai". May Allah place him in Zannat. Amin!
Dr. Salaria, Aamir A Apr 11, 2012 07:23pm
Indeed, Ahmed Rushdi was a legend. His voice was both en-thrilling and moving. He sang many songs in different designs and classifications in order to prove his God given talents and traits as one of the top singers in South Asia. Whether it was melody, pop music or sad lyrics, he was indeed a champion in studding them with his enchanting voice and moved the hearts and minds of his listeners in such a way that it left ever-lasting impressions on their souls. Equally good voice was that of Masood Rana and both of them along with the great Mehdi Hassan, formed the trio consisting of the great golden era of Lollywood of the 1960's, 70's and 80's, which will never come back. May God bless the souls of both Ahmed Rushdi and Masood Rana and grant long life to Mehdi Hassan. Aameen, Tsum Aameen.
Tahir Siddique Apr 12, 2012 07:09am
Happy to read comments from a brother from Bangladesh (I believe). I did not know that Rushdi sang in Bangali as well. But at that time singers were singing in all regional languages like Runa Laila (my favourite singer) sang in Punjabi, Sindhi and many other languages. It was a great time when we lived together.
Z Apr 12, 2012 08:05am
I love his songs even now and remember most by heart. By the time I grew up in school he was gone but the first cassette I ever bought was collection of his songs. To me he was the best singer of all time and his songs strike a chord with inner you. Truly a legend.. May Allah bless him more in Jannah.
Perwaiz Ahmad Apr 13, 2012 01:09pm
From Goul Gappe wala to evrey song he played, it was better than the previous one. I cannot believe that nobody has made an effort to compile all his songs in on CD, MP3 or Flashdrive. We will never have one in our life time that can fill the vacuum Rushdideath left. Anyone has bothered to make a fan club to save the memories.Please come forward and do something for a legendry figure.
asad qureshi Apr 14, 2012 03:26pm
well done rushdi u r realy best in the world
Bangla movie online Aug 09, 2012 05:40pm
He is a great singer and his songs touched our mind.I am a great fan of him. We think he is died but he will still stay in our heart with due respect.