Sad news this morning: Pakistani singer Mehdi Hassan has died after a protracted illness at age 85. Asif Meehdi (Hassan’s son) says that his father died Wednesday. He was ill and unable to sing for 10 years.
Born in 1927 in what is now India, Hassan migrated to Pakistan with this family after the Muslim state was created in 1947.
In his early days, he worked at a bicycle shop and as a car mechanic before he gained fame for his mastery of the Ghazal, a traditional love poem expression put to music. He became known as the “King of Ghazal.”
His songs rang out frequently across markets and buses, in homes across Pakistan and beyond, and were the soundtrack to more than 300 Pakistani films.