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Ghazal king Jagjit Singh passes away


Mumbai : Renowned singer Jagjit Singh, known as much for his ghazals and bhajans as for his work in Hindi cinema, died here Monday after a brain haemorrhage. He was 70.

Singh, who breathed his last at 8 a.m., was admitted to Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital on Sep 23 after he suffered brain haemorrhage. He is survived by his wife Chitra Singh.

A Padma Bhushan award recipient, Singh has sung from many popular Hindi films. He had also sung in several languages, including Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati and Nepali.

Singh’s career boasted a repertoire comprising 50 albums.

He gave voice to classic numbers like “Kal chaudhavin ki raat”, “Honthon se chhoo lo tum”, “Koi ye kaise bataaye”, “Woh kaagaz ki kashti”, “Chitthi Na Koi Sandesh”, “Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho”, “Yeh daulat bhi le lo, yeh shohrat bhi le lo”, “Tumko dekha toh ye khayal aaya”, “Jhuki jhuki si nazar”, “Shaam se aankh mein namin si hai”, “Badi nazuk hai”, “Hoshwaalon ko khabar kya” and “Kiska chehra”.

He mixed the words of legendary Urdu poets like Ghalib, Qateel Shifai, Firaq Gorakhpuri and Nida Fazli with melodious indigenous tunes. His songs played a crucial role in making ghazals popular among the common masses in post-Independent India.

Born on Feb 8, 1941 in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan, Singh had four sisters and two brothers and was known as Jeet by his family.

He was the first Indian composer and, together with wife Chitra, the first recording artist in the history of Indian music to use digital multi-track recording — for the album “Beyond Time” (1987).

Singh also voiced his concern over the politicisation of arts and culture in India and the lack of support for practitioners of India’s traditional art forms, particularly folk artists and musicians.