ISLAMABAD-The versatile playback singer Ahmed Rushdi was remembered on his 86th birth anniversary, news channels paid tribute to the late singer, on Friday.

Rushdi was born on April 24, 1934 in Hyderabad Deccan in a religious family. After partition, he migrated to Pakistan and became a leading singer in the Pakistan film industry. Rushdi is best known for his distinctive, melodious, powerful voice, complex and dark emotional expressions, which led many critics to declare his voice as most distinctive they had ever heard.

He is also considered to be the first regular pop singer of South Asia and credited as having sung the “first-ever South Asian” pop song, “Ko-Ko-Korina in the film Armaan, private news channel reported.

In 1954, he recorded the official National anthem of Pakistan with several other singers.

Rushdi recorded the highest number of film songs in the history of Pakistani cinema in urdu, English, Punjabi, Bengali, Sindhi and Gujarati languages and found unprecedented success as a playback artist from the mid-1950s to early 1980s.

He was also famous for his stage performance which had a mesmerizing effect on the audience. He suffered from poor health during the latter part of his life and died of a heart attack at the age of 48 on April 11, 1983 after recording approximately 5,000 film songs for 583 released films. He was awarded five Nigar Awards, the “Best Singer of The Millennium” title, “Life Time Achievement Award”, “Legend Award” and Lux Style Award. In 2003, 20 years after his death, he was awarded the Sitara- e-Imtiaz.