FAISALABAD (9 News) – Legendary qawwali maestro Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is being remembered on his 71th birthday on Sunday.
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was born in Faisalabad on 13th October 1948. The great singer and musician died at the age of 48 on 16th August 1997 leaving a legacy of over 125 albums.
The government of Pakistan bestowed Pride of Performance on the legendary singer in 1987 for his contribution to Pakistani music. He was also honored with the prestigious UNESCO Music Prize.
His massive hit ‘Dam Mast Qalandar Mast Mast’ became household anthems.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan known as ‘Shahenshah e Qawwali’ that means ‘The King of Kings of Qawwali’, Khan having to his name a total of 125 albums, holds the world record for the largest recorded output by a Qawwali artist.
Some of the maestro’s works of Khan are Wohi Khuda Hai, Haq Ali Maula, Kisay Da Yaar Naa Vichray, Tumhein Dillagi Bhooljani Parraygi, Ali Maula Ali Dum Dum, Mere Rashk e Qamar, Dulhay Ka Sehra Suhana Lagta Hai.
Khan was born in a Punjabi Muslim family in Faisalabad, Punjab, Pakistan, in 1948, shortly after the partition of India in 1947 during which his family had migrated to Pakistan from their native city of Jalandhar in Punjab, in the village of Pholiwala, British India (now in Punjab, India).
His ancestors learned music and singing there and adopted it as a profession. He was the fifth child and first son of Fateh Ali Khan, a musicologist, vocalist, instrumentalist, and qawwal.
The tradition of qawwali in the family had passed down through successive generations for almost 600 years.
Initially, his father did not want Khan to follow the family’s vocation. He had his heart set on Nusrat choosing a much more respectable career path and becoming a doctor or engineer because he felt Qawwali artists had low social status.
However, Khan showed such an aptitude for and interest in Qawwali, that his father finally relented.
In the summer of 1985, Khan performed at the World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) festival in London. He performed in Paris in 1985 and 1988. He first visited Japan in 1987, at the invitation of the Japan Foundation. He performed at the 5th Asian Traditional Performing Art Festival in Japan. He also performed at Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York in 1989, earning him admiration from the American audience.