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Pakistan’s queen of pop


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Nazia Hassan.–Photo courtesy Herald

Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi main aaye to baat ban jaaye

Nazia Hassan was the most influential and popular female singer and probably the only real female pop singer of the 80s and 90s in both India and Pakistan. (click here to see photos)

Today marks her birth anniversary. Born in Karachi on April 3, 1965, Hassan’s first ever television appearance was in a program “Kaliyon Ke Mala (1975)” aired on Pakistan Televsion 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. Hassan was the first Pakistani to win a Filmfare Award and remains the youngest winner of the award in the category of Best Female Playback Singer to date.

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

Nazia's second album “Boom Boom” was released in 1982.The soundtrack of the album was used in another Indian film “Star”. The film did not do well at the box office but the album was successful. It was probably the first time in the history of Indian films that the record was a hit and the film was a flop. This increased the popularity of the siblings in 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.

Along with her brother, she also appeared in a couple of television programs. In 1988 she appeared in “Sung Sung” with music maestro Sohail Rana. They also hosted the first-ever pop-music stage show, Music '89, produced by Shoaib Mansoor.

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

In an interview with Herald, 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”

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

Comments (23) Closed

sam Apr 03, 2013 10:54am
How gorgeous was she.......
Hyder Apr 03, 2013 10:58am
A true legend and great ambassador for Pakistan. Missed by all. rest in peace
Heavenzz Apr 03, 2013 11:04am
the true queen of hearts!!!!
Asif Kahsmiri Apr 03, 2013 11:28am
still love her.
Saima Apr 03, 2013 01:15pm
yes she is unforgettable, as a child probably one of the strongest influences in my life
Aslam Apr 03, 2013 01:18pm
beauty with raw talent... miss you loads.. rest in peace dear.
debater Apr 03, 2013 01:20pm
Turned the tides in the music industry. We are glad Taliban did not existed back than, to force the issue since both she and her brother were revived to be a strict following Muslims. It is time to debate these Mullahs in the light of many such tales.
AHA Apr 03, 2013 02:23pm
Nazia was a game-changer in our music world. I still listen to her songs regularly. May she rest in peace for ever.
Karachi Wala Apr 03, 2013 02:32pm
The due, no doubt was a trend setter. "Whenever I
Vaibhav from Mumbai Apr 03, 2013 03:37pm
Beauty with a wonderful voice. Most talented. Miss her
Anurag Priyadarshi Apr 03, 2013 05:52pm
She was a child prodigy and a brilliant pop singer. She was an international trend setter at a time when there were minimal media promotions . Her early death cut short her glorious career short.May her soul rest in peace.
Anurag Priyadarshi Apr 03, 2013 05:53pm
She was a child prodigy and a brilliant pop singer. She was an international trend setter at a time when there were minimal media promotions . Her early death cut short her glorious career .May her soul rest in peace.
Malik Apr 03, 2013 06:49pm
My first and last love: Nazia Hasan , Miss u so much .. we all love u. God bless u
AHA Apr 03, 2013 07:05pm
Nice comment. When I was 15, I used to make fun of my Dad when he would listen to the old(er) songs by Mukesh and Lata. But now I am a great fan of those songs myself.
PNP Apr 03, 2013 09:41pm
Gone at 35! What a loss! The Dawn should have posted some of her best songs on the web.
shahgul Apr 04, 2013 12:05am
She was never Pakistan's queen of nothing. She never released an album in Pakistan.. She was England based and released only a couple of albums with stolen western tunes. She could not even pronounce Urdu properly.
Jai Shri viral Apr 04, 2013 02:07am
We only hope and pray that the rich legacy of Pakistani singers like nazia,ustaad nusratji et al is not tarnished by the mullah lobby's time Pakistan collaborates with India and roots out this poison which could otherwise decimate our rich musical genius !!
HBS Apr 04, 2013 03:45am
I still remember I cried the whole night when I heard about her death. Simply one the most elegant and gracious singers in Pakistan's history. You will always be missed. Hope you find a great place in paradise. Ameen.
Silajit Apr 04, 2013 04:03am
Didn't think of it when I listened to them back then. But it's true that her biggest hits were from age 15 thru 17. Unbelievable!!!
Sarmad Apr 04, 2013 07:41am
No words for her. you are an Honour for Pakistan. We all miss you. May her soul rest in peace. AMEEN.
muhammadanasabbasjamal Apr 04, 2013 07:48am
Dil ki laggi was the song I like the most. :)
Calvin Apr 04, 2013 06:01pm
You are a typical dog
Suren Singh Sahni Apr 05, 2013 09:22am
An oak tree lasts for centuries but roses lasts for only few days and leave their fragrance and colour for ever. Nazia you shall be cherished for ever.