Shahensha-e-Ghazal and great singing legend of Pakistan, Mehdi Hassan after a long period of ailment passed away here in Karachi on Wednesday.
Mehdi Hassan has multiple lung, chest and urinary tract ailments which were being treated by specialists. Earlier a couple of days ago, ailing ghazal legend Mehdi Hassan was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of a private hospital here after suffering from multiple health problems, according to his son Arif Hassan. Speaking to the media outside Aga Khan Hospital, Hassan’s son Arif Mehdi said that his father had a number of complications and had been admitted for treatment for a month. He further said that his father had grown old and he was getting weak, and a number of issues had developed, including with the lungs and chest.
As per Arif, his brothers will be arriving in Karachi shortly and funeral details will be finalized by evening.
Mehdi Hasan, 84, was born into a family of traditional musicians at Luna village, Rajasthan, in 1927 before his family migrated to Pakistan after 1947.
Mehdi Hasan has a huge following in the subcontinent, cut back on his performances in the late 80s due to illness. Considered one of the most successful ghazal singers of Pakistan, Mehdi Hasasn was trained in classical music by his father Ustad Azeem Khan and his uncle Ustad Ismail Khan who were both well respected classical musicians.
Mehdi Hasan tried different styles of music and there was a time in Pakistan’s film industry known as Lollywood when a production was considered incomplete without his voice.
Due to his remarkable commercial and artistic success, he was titled Shahenshah-e-Ghazal (The King of Ghazal singing). Mehdi Hasan also played the role of a cultural ambassador and visited India several times.
Mehdi Hassan ruled the Pakistan film industry along with Ahmed Rushdi. Mehdi Hassan had been awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance and Hilal-e-Imtiaz by the Pakistani government.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani expressed grief and sorrow over the said demise of legendary singer Mehdi Hassan. Prime Minister has said that Mehdi Hassan was an icon who mesmerized the music lovers not only in Pakistan but also in the sub-continent for almost many decades.
Indian legend Lata Mangeshkar, said that she was deeply saddened to hear the news of Mehdi Hassan’s demise. She said that it was unfortunate that such a wonderful person had to suffer so much. “He had come to India and we had met. Everyone had started crying when they saw him.” “Yeh hee manzoor thaa Allah ko,” she said. Mangeshkar praised Mehdi Hassan and said that it was because of him many people had started singing. “A voice like his may never be heard again.” She said she had all records Hassan had released and liked every single ghazal of his.
Actor Nadeem Baig said that Hassan’s demise was a big loss, adding that a voice like his might never be heard again. “I had been humming one of Hassan’s songs in the morning today and it was later that I had found out about his demise,” said the actor. He added that he was “blessed” to have had the opportunity to picturise his songs. Nadeem also recalled that the maestro had encouraged him to sing and had said that he would teach him. He also said that he had thoroughly enjoyed hearing him live.
Ghazal singer Tina Sani said that Hassan had blessed the world with his work and that he was a legend even when he was alive. “I have no words except for: Allah bless him,” said Sani. She said that Hassan had given the world the legacy of ghazals and he was a “passport” for people like her when they went out to perform in the world.
Indian poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar, while speaking to an Indian news channel, was all praise for the ghazal maestro, stating that Hassan’s voice gave one solace and peace.