ISLAMABAD - The 7th death anniversary of renowned Legend singer known as Shahenshah-e-Ghazal and playback singer Mehdi Hassan was observed on Thursday.

He was awarded some of the most prestigious awards including the Nigar Award for Best Performer on several occasions. The government of Pakistan also awarded him with the Pride of Performance Awards, Tamgha-e-Imtiaz and Hilal-i-Imtiaz.

Mehdi Hassan Khan was one of the most influential figures in the history of ghazal singing, he was famously known as the “King of Ghazal” or the “Shahanshah-e-Ghazal”.

Director General PNCA Syed Jamal Shah said that he was aware of his responsibility in keeping the raga based ghazal genre alive in modern times.

Paying tribute to legend singer, he said that he earned numerous awards and accolades in his career and remained a leading singer of Pakistan film industry along with another contemporary playback singer Ahmed Rushdi.

Mehdi Hassan was born on 18 July 1927 in a village called Luna in Jodhpur district in British into a family of traditional musicians.

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He claims to be the 16th generation of hereditary musicians hailing from the Kalawant clan of musicians.

Mehdi Hassan had his musical grooming from his father Ustad Azeem Khan and uncle Ustad Ismail Khan who were both traditional Dhrupad singers.

In 1964, his ghazal for a film Farangi, “Gulon mein rang bharay, baad-e-naubahar chale” written by renowned poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz and composed by Rasheed Attre, gave him a major breakthrough into the Pakistan Film Industry and he never looked back after that.

Even the original ghazal poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz stopped reciting it in his ‘mushairas’ (poetry reciting events) and, instead, recommended that the audience ask Mehdi Hassan to sing it for them because the poet jokingly used to say that the ghazal belonged to Mehdi Hassan after its popularity.

Following a severe illness in the late 1980s, Mehdi Hassan stepped down from playback singing. Later due to severity of his illness he completely departed from music.