KARACHI: After being unwell for a long period of time, Pakistan’s legendary classical singer Mehdi Hassan passed away at a local hospital in Karachi on Wednesday. He was 84.

His son Asif told reporters outside the ghazal maestro had been suffering from multiple lung, chest and urinary tract conditions. His health suddenly deteriorated for the worse early Wednesday, leading to his death around 12:15 PM.

Mehdi Hasan’s body was taken to Karachi’s Gulberg area where family members as well as a large number of relatives, friends and fans had gathered.

So far, no announcement has been made for the legendary singer’s funeral.

The undisputed ghazal king, or the ‘Shahenshah-e-Ghazal’, had not only captivated millions of music fans across South Asia, but had a major following throughout the world.

Hassan was born to a family of musicians on July 18, 1927 in Indian Rajasthan, and later migrated to Pakistan after partition.

Although he was involved in music since his childhood, he formally started his musical journey from Radio Pakistan in 1952 — a career that would span over 25,000 recordings including songs featured in movies as well as ghazals.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani expressed his condolences, calling Hassan “an icon who mesmerised music lovers” in Pakistan and the sub-continent for decades.

Indian singing legend Lata Mangeshkar told a Pakistani private TV channel that his death was a “big loss”.

Hassan also won awards and accolades in India and Nepal, as well as Pakistan.

He was born in India and migrated to Pakistan after partition and independence from British rule in 1947.

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