“God Almighty had showered Nazia with all the

bounties, except length of age”

–Adeel Toppa, 2000

Nazia Hassan and her brother Zoheb Hassan (pictured here at EMI studios signing their contracts), took the Pakistani music industry by storm in the early 1980s, and left a permanent mark on it. The duo combined sold over 60 million records worldwide, and topped charts in places such as Russia and Latin America. Together they became the first South Asian singers to sign international record label deals. Nazia’s ethereal voice and charming persona made her a household name; know as the “Nightingale of the East” and “Pakistan’s sweetheart” Nazia achieved superstardom across the sub continent by the late 1980s. Her songs such as “Disco Diwane”, “Boom Boom”, “App Jaisa Koi’, Ankhen Milane Wale” and “Dum Dum Dede” are considered classic pop songs and continue to live in memory.

Her music career started slowing down by the time Zia-Ul-Haq came in power, his conservative politics hit the blooming film and music industry hard, and many progressive musicians could not find a market anymore. Her last album ‘Camera Camera’ came out in 1992 and performed relatively poorly on the charts. She passed away in 2000 to the anguish of the nation after fighting a long battle with cancer. Her music career was stunted by politics and eventually her health, but her success as a young, progressive, female pop star set the stage for a generation of musicians in the 1990s that defined the golden age of Pakistani pop music.