LAHORE-Pop singer Ali Zafar expressed his condolences for the deceased sitarist on twitter saying, “Extremely saddened. The great Ustad Raees khan sahib, legendary sitar nawaz passed away. Have wonderful memories with him. God bless his soul,” he expressed.

Lata Mangeshkar, legendary Indian singer, also extended her condolences on twitter and said, “Sitar ke Jaadugar Ustad Raees Khan sahib aj hamare bich nahi rahe yeh khabar sunke mujhe buhut dukh hua. Meri unko bhavpurna sharaddhanjali,” Lata said.

Ustad Raess Khan sahib will forever be remembered in history as a source of inspiration and for carefully transmitting his syncretic legacy to a new generation of singers.

Sitar maestro Ustad Raees khan was passed away on Saturday after a protracted illness. He left behind four sons and his wife - renowned singer Bilqees Khanum. He was 77 years old.

Ustad Raees was born in 1939 in Indore, India. He was the torchbearer of the Mewat Gharana.  He gave his first public concert at Sunderbai Hall in the presence of the then governor of Bombay Sir Maharaja Singh.

He was also a vocalist and was the first sitar player to record the super-hit geet ‘Ghungroo toot gaye’ for BBC London in 1978 as an instrumental song with the sitar.

He had been touring extensively throughout the world.

For sometime, Khan sahab had stopped playing concerts of classical music. He returned in the 1980s and was invited by Ali Akbar Khan to perform in California.

Raees Khan moved to Pakistan after marrying a Pakistani singer named Bilqees Khanum. He has four sons: Suhael Khan, Shahzane Khan, Farhan Khan and Huzoor Hasnain Khan.

He was awarded the Pride of Performance Award by the President of Pakistan in 2005.