Wed, 13 Jun 2012 13:08:26 GMT | By IANS, PTI

Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan passes away

Mehdi Hassan, the India-born Pakistani ghazal maestro, passed away at a Karachi hospital Wednesday after a prolonged illness. He was 84.


Mehdi Hassan

His son Arif told Geo News that his father died of breathing complications at a private nursing home in Karachi.

The ghazal king had been discharged from hospital only last month. He was back in hospital only a day later but was not put on a ventilator.

"My father has been ill for the last 12 years but this year, his condition has deteriorated significantly... in the last one month," said Arif. "He was released from hospital for just one day before being admitted again."

Hassan, who has a huge fan following all over the world, had been suffering from lung, chest and urinary tract ailments for the past many years.

Hassan leaves behind his nine sons and five daughters. He married twice. Both his wives are dead.

Mehdi Hassan, 84, was born into a family of traditional musicians at Luna village, Rajasthan, in 1927 before his family migrated to Pakistan after 1947.

Hassan, who 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 Hassan 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 Hassan 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). He also played the role of a cultural ambassador and visited India several times.

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