The king of ghazal also known as the ‘Shahenshah-e-Ghazal’ passed away at a local hospital in Karachi on 13th June,2012 only days before he was to be shifted to India for treatment. Mehdi Hassan was being treated for his chest infection and breathing complications. The sheer passion for music made him the ‘Emperor of Ghazals’ in the subcontinent.
The maestro was born in a small village named Luna in Rajasthan on 18th July in the year 1927. But due to partition in 1947, Hassan’s family migrated to Pakistan. The fate has other things store in for him as financial crisis had it his family; he started working as motor mechanic. The passion for music had become silent in those years but not dead.
The initial training was given by his father Ustad Azeem Khan and uncle Ustad Ismail Khan who were traditional Dhrupad singers. Brought up in the sixteenth generation of a musical family, younger Hassan had determined to make a career out of music.
Singer’s unique talent struck a chord with the two producers of Radio Pakistan. On strong insistence by them, Hassan sang and soon became a hit amongst the masses. Hassan not only sang beautiful ghazals but also had rendered his voice to several film numbers in Pakistan. This stint got him more singing offers, instant recognition in the musical fraternity and people used to feel that the 60s and 70s were dominated by Hassan and his style of ghazals.
Mehdi Hassan’s songs reflected the ‘voice of God’, once said by Lata Mangeshkar. Both veterans had collaborated for a spellbinding number called ‘Tera Milana’ in 2010. The song was earlier sung and composed by Hassan in 2009 and later Mangeshkar added her bit and released in an album. His disciples included stalwarts like Jagjit Singh and Talat Aziz were his disciples.
Hassan had been awarded the Tamhga –e- pride of performance and Hilai- r – Pasan by the Pakistani government. His last prayers will be held in Karachi on 14th June, Thursday 2012.
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