India-born Ghazal legend Mehdi Hassan, the melodious voice behind evergreen hits like 'Patta patta, boota boota' and 'Kab ke Bichhare', died 13 June, 2012 following multiple organ failure at the age of 84.
Hassan, who had millions of fans in India and Pakistan, had been admitted to the Agha Khan Hospital in the southern port city of Karachi some days ago. He had been in a serious condition and was on ventilator.
Hassan was born into a family of traditional musicians at Luna village in India's Rajasthan state in 1927. His family migrated to Pakistan at the time of Partition in 1947.
Hassan cut back on his performances in the late 1980s due to illness. Hassan leaves behind his nine sons and five daughters. He married twice. Both his wives are dead.
The maestro, who began his career primarily as a 'thumri' singer, earned recognition within the musical fraternity at the time when Ustad Barkat Ali Khan, Begum Akhtar and Mukhtar Begum were considered the stalwarts of ghazal rendition.
It was his passion for Urdu poetry that made him take up ghazal singing on a part-time basis but he soon became its greatest star.
There was a time in Pakistan's film industry when a film was considered incomplete without Hassan's voice. He ruled the Pakistani film world along with Ahmed Rushdi in the 1960s-70s.
He was the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions: the 'Tamgha-i-Imtiaz' granted to him by Gen Ayub Khan; the 'Pride of Performance' bestowed on him by Gen Ziaul Haq; and the 'Hilal-i-Imtiaz' conferred by Gen Pervez Musharraf.
Besides the Nigar Film and Graduate Awards from Pakistan, he was presented the Saigal Award in Jalandhar, India, in 1979, while the Gorkha Dakshina Bahu Award was given to him in Nepal in 1983.
Hassan stopped singing in the late 80s due to ill health. Despite his ailments, Hassan had a great desire to sing with Lata Mangeshkar. In 2010, "Sarhadein", an album which had the first and last duet song "Tera Milana" by Mehdi Hassan and Lata Mangeshkar, was released.
SUPER SIX GHAZALS
1. Ranjish hi sahi (Poet, Ahmed Faraz)
2. Patta patta boota boota (Mir Taqi Mir)
3. Zindagi mein to sabhi (Qateel Shifai)
4. Gulon mein rang bhare (Faiz Ahmed Faiz)
5. Dekhto dil ke jaan se uthta hai (Mir Taqi Mir)
6. Abke hum bichhde to khwabon mein mile (Ahmed Faraz)