KARACHI: Legendary Pakistani ghazal singer Mehdi Hassan passed away after a protracted illness in a private hospital in Karachi on Wednesday, Geo News reported.
Only last month, king of ghazal Mehdi Hassan, was discharged from hospital. However, just a day later, he was admitted back due to health problems. This time round though, he hasn't been put on ventilator.
Mehdi Hassan's son Arif confirmed the news and added, "My father has been ill for the last 12 years but this year, his condition has deteriorated significantly and in the last one month, he was released from hospital for just one day before being admitted again."
Arif Mehdi said that the funeral would take place on Friday, June 15.
Mehdi Hassan, who has a huge fan following all over the world, was suffering from lung, chest and urinary tract ailments for the past many years.
He was born on July 18, 1927 in a village called Luna in Rajasthan, India into a family of traditional musicians.
He was honoured with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance and Hilal-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan, and Gorkha Dakshina Bahu by the Government of Nepal.
Mehdi Hassan had his musical grooming from his father Ustad Azeem Khan and uncle Ustad Ismail Khan who were both traditional Dhrupad singers. Hassan started to perform at a young age of eight and sang in more than 325 films.
To make both the ends meet Mehdi started working in Chichawatni, in a bicycle shop. He later became a car and diesel tractor mechanic. Despite the hardships, his passion for music didn’t wither and he kept up the routine of practice on a daily basis.
The struggle ended when Mehdi Hassan was given the opportunity to sing on Radio Pakistan in 1957, primarily as a thumri singer, which earned him recognition within the musical fraternity.