Mehdi Hassan passes away..


India-born Ghazal legend Mehdi Hassan, the melodious voice behind evergreen hits like Patta patta, boota boota and Kab ke Bichhare, died on Wednesday 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. “My father passed away at 12:22 pm after a long battle against different ailments,” his son Arif Hassan said.

Hundreds of fans gathered at the hospital on learning of his death. 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.

Prime Minister Gilani expressed grief and sorrow at the death of Hussan.

In a message, he said Hassan was “an icon who mesmerised music lovers not only in Pakistan but also in the subcontinent for many decades.”

Hassan, who last performed in India in 2000, wanted to visit the country again, a dream which remained unfulfilled.

Arif had even received the visa in April for Hassan’s treatment in an Indian hospital but they could not travel as singer’s condition deteriorated.

Considered one of the most successful ghazal singers of Pakistan, 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.

He started to perform at a young age and his first concert was on Dhrupad and Kheyal with his elder brother.

Hassan was bestowed with the title of Shahenshah-e-Ghazal (The King of Ghazal singing) by his fans for infusing a new breath of life in the art form.

The legend also played an important role of the cultural ambassador between India and Pakistan and visited his birth country several times.

Hassan started primarily as a thumri singer and earned recognition within the musical fraternity in Pakistan at the time when Ustad Barkat Ali Khan, Begum Akhtar and Mukhtar Begum were considered the stalwarts of ghazal singing.

There was a time in Pakistan’s film industry when a film was considered incomplete without Hassan’s voice.

In 2010, Sarhadein was released which has the first and last duet song Tera Milna by Mehdi Hassan and Lata Mangeshkar, who once called Hassan the ‘voice of God’.

Hassan recorded it in Pakistan in 2009, and Lata later heard the track and recorded her part in India in 2010 and it was later mixed together for a duet.


20 Responses to “Mehdi Hassan passes away..”

    • the second video is an interesting one with Jagjit and Ghulam Ali in attendance and a very young Sonu Nigam as well.

      I can’t claim to be any kind of expert on ghazals and I certainly don’t have the competence to judge Mehdi Hassan but I vastly prefer Ghulam Ali’s voice and style.


  1. Shah Rukh Khan remembers Mehdi Hassan
    PTI / Wednesday, June 13, 2012 20:15 IST

    As the music fraternity mourned the death of Ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan, superstar Shah Rukh Khan went down memory lane to recall the times he listened to the legendary singer.

    SRK took to twitter to share his memory of Hassan, who died today following multiple organ failure at the age of 84.

    “Memories of my mom cooking in a grimy kitchen as it rained outside, while Mehdi Hassan floated out of a Beltek 2 in 1,” Shah Rukh tweeted.

    He also shared a few lines from a Hassan song: “Zindagi mein toh sabhi pyaar kiya karte hain… main toh meri jaan, markrr bhi tumhein chahoonga… (Everybody loves during their lives, I will love you even when I am dead).”

    Pakistani singer-actor Ali Zafar tweeted, “Mehdi Hassan moves on and lives forever. Leaving us with a legacy of music, magic, memories and so much more than words can describe.”

    “In my opinion, govt should build an institution on his name to continue his legacy through young/aspiring and established singers/musicians,” he added.


  2. Amitabh Bachchan ‏@SrBachchan

    T 773 – Deeply pained to learn of the passing away of Mehndi Hasan, in Pakistan .. a vocalist of immense fame and unique sonorous voice

    Amitabh Bachchan ‏@SrBachchan

    T 773 – Mehndi Hasan, an entire era of soulful ghazal singing, gone .. now left with beautiful memories and personal meetings with him ..

    Amitabh Bachchan ‏@SrBachchan

    T 773 – Mehndi Hasan once told me, he came from humble beginnings, and used to train and sing to the tone of the tractor sound in the fields

    Amitabh Bachchan ‏@SrBachchan

    T 773 – Mehndi Hasan : ‘ ranjish hi sahi, dil hi dukhaane ke liye aa .. ‘ immortal rendition ..


  3. the video in the post has Lata’s comments. I’ve read an interview where she once said she wished she had Mehdi’s control as a singer.


  4. tonymontana Says:

    Death of a legend. A great loss to the world of music



  5. RIP.
    A true legend.


  6. Mehdi Hasan and Ghulam Ali in music, Imran and Miandad in cricket and Jahangir Khan & Jansher Khan in squash, i believe, r the only Pakistanis who have been amongt the very best in their respective creative arenas


  7. Dr shaurya Says:

    शोला था जलबुझा हूं, हवायें मुझे ना दो
    मैं कब का जा चुका हूं, सदायें मुझे ना दो

    My favourite Ghazal of Mehendi Hasan…
    You were God’s melody for me..



  8. So sad to hear this – am a huge fan of Mehdi Hassan, and consider him to be the greatest Ghazal singer. His silky voice is unmatchable.
    So many favourites, hard to list but a few would be:
    Ranjish Hi Sahi
    Saamne Aake Tujhko
    Duniya Kisi Ke Pyar Mein
    Rafta Rafta
    Baat Karni Mujhe
    Yeh Dhuaan Sa Kahaan Se Uthta Hai
    Zindagi Mein Toh Sabhi
    Hamaari Saanson Mein
    Awesome poetry and magical renditions.
    He’s been ill for so long so may he now rest in peace.


  9. oldgold Says:

    Gentle melodious voice.

    Among many many excellently sung Ghazals this one is exquisitely sung by him.


  10. Satyam ji,
    Sad to hear the news
    May his soul rest in Peace, Prayers…



  11. Lata Mangeshkar bids Mehdi Hassan goodbye :

    “Jo baat unki awaaz mein thi woh kisiki awaaz mein nahin thi. He was blessed by God. And it pained me to see him suffer so much in the last ten years. Only God knows what he was suffering for. He had a very unique vocal identity. Many tried to sing Ghazals like him. But Mehdi saab was Mehdi saab… I recorded a song with him under very peculiar circumstances. We were supposed to sing a duet Tera milna bahut achcha lagta hai with him. Due to his ill health, he couldn’t come to India and I couldn’t go to Pakistan. So we recorded the duet about milna bahu achcha lagta hai (how much we like meeting) without meeting. Such is the irony of life. It was his composition and we should’ve sung it together,” Lata recalls.

    “He later said that he had only one regret as a musician, that he couldn’t sing with me. I remember by the time we sent the tape of our duet to him, he was unable to understand fully what was going on around him… His final years were not happy. You see, when you are younger you often fail to plan for your later years. Mehdi saab spent so much money on his family. He had 13 children and I’ve heard the entire family, including his married daughters with their husbands and children lived together in that house he had built,” she says.

    “I met him for the first time in Canada some 40 years ago. I had gone to Kingston and we drove all the way to Ottawa for his concert. To my utter surprise, as soon as I entered the auditorium, he stopped his performance and got up with all his musicians to welcome me! He later came to meet me in Kingston. When he performed in Mumbai for the first time, I was there at the concert. I spoke at the concert. The last time I met him was some years ago. He came home to meet me. He had already suffered a paralytic stroke and he was on a wheelchair. When he was wheeled into my home, my sister-in-law Bharti (Hridaynath Mangeshkar’s wife) broke down. We were all his fans. When he saw me, he broke down and cried. I think he was saddened by the fact that he met me in such a condition. He loved my Marathi song Mehndi cha panaware composed by my brother Hridaynath…. He was ill for 9-10 years. He was in a lot of pain. He didn’t deserve to suffer so much,” sighs Lata.


    • ” To my utter surprise, as soon as I entered the auditorium, he stopped his performance and got up with all his musicians to welcome me! ”

      Such genuine respect and admiration no longer exists now .. Sigh!!!


    • I recall an interview where she once said she wished she had his control as a singer.


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