Mehdi Hassan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ustad Mehdi Hassan Khan
For other people with similar names, see Mehdi Hasan (disambiguation).
Mehdi Hassan Khan
Birth name Mehdi Hassan Khan
Also known as Khan Sahab
King of Ghazal
Born 18 July 1927
Luna, Rajasthan, British India
Died 13, June 2012 (aged 84)
Karachi, Sindh Pakistan
Genres Classical music,Ghazal, Playback singing
Occupations Singer, composer
Instruments Harmonium, vocals
Years active 1957–1999 (Retired)

Mehdi Hassan Khan (Urdu: مہدی حسن خان ‎‎; 18 July 1927 – 13 June 2012) was a Pakistani ghazal singer and a former playback singer for Lollywood. He is famously known as the "King of Ghazal". He remained a leading singer of film industry along with Ahmed Rushdi.

Early life[edit]

Mehdi Hassan was born on 18 July 1927 in a village called Luna, Rajasthan in jhunjhunu district in India into a family of traditional musicians. He claims to be the 16th generation of hereditary musicians hailing from the Kalawant clan of musicians. 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 and the first concert of dhrupad and kheyal with his elder brother is reported to have been held in Fazilka Bungla,[1] near present DC House (1935) of Undivided Punjab. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, 20-year-old Hassan and his family migrated to Pakistan and suffered severe financial hardships.

Mehdi initially started working in Chichawatni, in a bicycle shop. He later became a car and diesel tractor mechanic. Despite the financial hardships, he kept up the routine of practice on a daily basis.

Singing career[edit]

In 1957, Mehdi Hassan was given the opportunity to sing on Radio Pakistan, primarily as a thumri singer, which earned him recognition within the musical fraternity. He had a passion for Urdu poetry, and therefore, he began to experiment by singing ghazals on a part-time basis. He cites radio officers Z.A. Bukhari and Rafiq Anwar as additional influences in his progression as a ghazal singer. His first song was "Jis ne mere dil ko dard diya" film Susral in 1962. In 1964 his ghazal for a film Farangi, "Golon mein rand bharay" gave him a major break and he never looked back after that[2]

Following a severe illness in the late 1980s, Mehdi Hassan stepped down from playback singing. Later due to severity of his illness he completely departed from music.

Lata Mangeshkar once said compliments for him that "Bhagwan talks in his throat".[3] In October 2010, HMV released "Sarhadein" in which probably the first and last duet song Tera Milana featuring Mehdi Hassan and Lata Mangeshkar was released. This song was composed by Hassan himself written by Farhat Shahzad. Hassan recorded it in Pakistan in 2009, and Lata Mangeshkar later heard the track and recorded her part in India in 2010, and later mixed together for a duet. "Tera Milna" was also sung by Madam Madam Noor Jehan with Khan Sahib.

Singing style[edit]

He was well versed in every genre from Thumri to Khiyal from Dhurped to Dadra and from Raag Vidhya to even Lullaby. "Nindiya Aa/Aa Kar Munney Ki Ankhoon Mein/ Meethey Meethey Geet Saja" is a lullaby in which only by dint of his "Regi", he was able to inculcate all motherhood in his voice. Mehdi had made his Regi a fantastic art in his throat. By the superb control of his vocal chords, he was able to metamorphose his voice according to the demands of the song. While in one of his encomiums a (Hamd), his voice is that of an entreating slave prostrating before his lord: “Aey Do Jahan Ke Wali, Dey Dey Hamain Sahara”, his voice changes with a thundering tint in it to produce patriotic passions in his milli song: “Yeh Watan Thumhara Hay”. His voice donates to the frustration and disillusionment in his song: “Ham Chaley Is Jahan Say” and sorrow and sadness in his songs – “Dile Wiran Hey Teri Yad Hey Tanhai Hey” – “Dil Diya Dard Liya/ Ankh Mein Sanso Aey and in a Punjabi song: “Dukh Laban Te Na Aaway” – Mehdi then at once transcends his voice to be naughty, coquettish and titillating in his songs: “Dulhan Mein Ley Kar Jaon Ga” – “Dunya Kisi Ke Peyar Main Jannat Say Kam Naheen” and “Rafta Rafta Who Meri Hasti Ke Saman Hogaey”.

By transformation of his voice with strained vocal chords, Mehdi was able to produce atmospheric effects wherever he needs. In his Ghazal, “Dekh to Dil Keh Jan Sey Uthta Hey/ Yeh Dhuwan Sa Kahan Se Uthta Hey,” he seems to be all soaked in smoke and in “Khudwanda Yeh Kaisi Aag Si Jalti Hey Seeney Main”, smouldering fire can be felt in his utterance. Similarly in his songs: “Aaj Mausam Bara Hey Suhana”, “Khamosh Hein Nazarey”, “Ik Bar Muskurado” – “Hey Raat Raat Bhar Ki” – all are full of atmospheric effects. Even coolness of a midsummer night can be felt in Mehdi’s throat here. In his duet song, “Sath Hamara Chootey Na, Yad Rahey Yeh Bat,” Mehdi’s voice suggests lurking catastrophic for the lover. At the advanced state of his life, he restricted himself only to the Ghazals and here too he proved himself a Shahensha. He made full use of his Regi and produced unmatched atmospheric effects. In: “Ranjish Hi Sahi Dil Hi Dukhaney Ke Liyey A”, he donates to the loveliness, and in “:Turke Ulfat Ke Sila Pa Bhi Liya Hey Mein Ney”, he donates to repentance. In his “Ya Zarqa! Raqs Zanjeer Pahan Ke Bhi Kiya Jata Hey”, his voice suggests Arabic atmosphere all around. Even the tomb of Zaryab in the Arab world might have echoed with his Alap (prelude modulation) of “Ya Zarqa” here.

It was the prime of his career when he sang, “Pyar Bharey Do Sharmeely Nain”. In the song “Pyar Bharey Do Sharmeely Nain,” Mehdi Hassan, even while singing Antra (the following couplet) starts from bass, then remains in tenor, then goes to baritone and without touching upper soprano, comes back to bass, droning gradually so tune fully that great singers of all ages would always marvel at its perfection. Mehdi Hassan is equally well-versed in Panchum (Treble) that seems to be the sole speciality of the western maestros. He proves his unmatched and unparalleled genius even in this field too. Mehdi touches the heights of treble in “Yeh Kaghzi Phool Jesey Chehrey/ Mazaq Urate Hain Aadmi Ka”. After the Asthai (first verse) when he enters the Antra (the following verse), he is able to retain the megical softeness of his voice with all the cadence. At the height of alto where all the singers have to be sharp and shrill, he croons so beautifully and skilfully that the western sopranos would fain emulate his mellowing intonation. He songs: “Samney Aa Ke Tujh Ko Pukara Naheen” – Teri Mehfil Se Ye Deewana Chala Jai Ga” – “Ik Sitam Aur Meri Jan Abhi Jan Baqi Hey” – “Jo Dard Mila Apnoon Sey Mila”, bear out Mehdi’s command of Panchum (treble).

In spite of all command and dexterity in his treble, Mehdi is basically a bass singer and he should always be judged in his special field of bass – and in this field still he seems to be unmatched in the whole sub-continent. The only close competitor, if someone has to be created for the sake of matching, is no other than K.L. Saigal. No doubt Saigal is the real bass singer but he has his limitations. He neither has the quality to produce atmospheric effects nor has as long a breath as Mehdi does. During the climax of his career when Saigal sang his renowned song in Shah Jahan “Gham Diyey Mustaqil/ Kitna Nazuke He Dil,” Saigal had to breathe in between Na-Zuk and again in Za-lim. In as short-metred a ghazal of Ghalib as “Phir Mujhey Didae Tar Yad Aaya,” he even breathed in between Didae – Tar and again in Yad – Aya. Had he been alive in Mehdi’s time, he certainly must have been enthralled at the multifarious depth and duration of Mehdi’s breath. Thus it can be safely said that Mehdi is the greatest bass-singer of the sub-continent.[4]


He had been suffering from a serious lung condition for the few years before his death. Mehdi Hasan died at around noon on 13 June 2012 at Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi after suffering a 12-year long tenure of lung, chest and urinary tract diseases.[5][6]

Populus Global in association with Musicolor organised the first tribute to shahensha-e-ghazal Mehdi Hassan on 14 July 2012. Ustad Mohan Khan, ganda bandh shishya of the ghazal king paid tribute to his guru.

Musicians, students and personal life[edit]

Some of the musicians who are associated with him

Some of his students are:

He had 14 children.[7] Some of his notable sons in the music are:


Pride of Performance Award Recipient
Country Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Presented by Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Hilal-i-Imtiaz Award Recipient
Country Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Presented by Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Civilian honours[edit]

The following civilian honours have been conferred on him.[9][10]


Government of Nepal[edit]

Government of India[edit]

K. L. Saigal Sangeet Shehenshah Award

Nigar Awards[edit]

He had been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions: the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz granted to him by Gen Ayub Khan; the Pride of Performance bestowed on him by Gen Ziaul Haq; and the Hilal-i-Imtiaz conferred by Gen Pervez Musharraf. Besides the Nigar Film and Graduate Awards from Pakistan, he was presented the Saigal Award in Jalandhar, India, in 1979, whereas the Gorkha Dakshina Bahu Award was given to him in Nepal in 1983. Recently, he travelled to Dubai to receive yet another award


Some of his albums are:

  • Kehna Usey
  • Nazarana
  • Live at Royal Albert Hall
  • Andaz-e-Mastana
  • Classical Ghazals vol. 1, 2, 3
  • Dil Jo Rota Hai
  • Ghalib Ghazals
  • Ghazals For Ever Vol 1
  • Golden Collection Of Mehdi Hasan Vol 1, 2
  • Golden Greats
  • In Concert
  • Khuli Jo Aankh
  • Life Story
  • Live at Khambays
  • Live Concert in India
  • Mehdi Hassan
  • Mehdi Hassan Ghazals Vol 1
  • Sada E Ishq
  • Sarhadein
  • Sur Ki Koi Seema Nahin
  • The Finest Ghazals
  • The Legend
  • Yaadgar Ghazalen Vol 1
  • Tarz(with Shobha Gurtu)
  • Naqsh-e-Faryadi
  • Mehdi Hassan (EMI-Pakistan Released)VOLUME 1
  • Mehdi Hassan Sings Punjabi Film Hits (EMI-Pakistan Released)
  • Mehdi Hassan (EMI-Pakistan Released) VOLUME 2


  • Garmii-E-Hasarat-E-Naakaam Se Jal Jaate Hai
  • Alam e khwab ho ya
  • Aage Barhe Na Qissa -E -Ishq -E- Butaan Se Hum
  • Aaj Tak Yaad Hai Woh Pyar Ka Manzar
  • Aaj Tu Ghair
  • Aankhon Se Mili Aankhen
  • Aap Ki Aankhon Ne
  • Aaye kuchh abr kuchh sharaab aaye (Poet: Faiz Ahmed Faiz)
  • Ab Ke Hum Bichde To Shaayad Kabhi Khwaabon Mein Mile (Poet: Ahmed Faraz)
  • Ae Raushnion Ke Shahr
  • Apnon Ne Gham Diye To Yaad Aa Gaya
  • Arze Niyaze Ishq Ke
  • Baat karni mujhe mushkil
  • be qarari si beqarari hai
  • Bheegi Hui Aankhon Ka
  • Bhuuli bisri chand umeedein
  • Chalte ho to chaman ko chaliye
  • Charaag-e-toor Jalao Bada Andhera Hai
  • Dekh to dil keh jaan se uthta hai
  • Dekhna Unka Kankhiyo
  • Dil-E-Nadan Tujhe Hua Kya Hai (Poet: Mirza Ghalib)
  • Dil-E-Veeran Hai Teri Yaad Hai Tanhai Hai
  • Dil Ki Baat Labon Par Laakar.
  • Deewar Dar Pe
  • Dil Men Toofan Chupae Betha Hon
  • Duniya Kisi Ke Pyaar Mein Jaanat Se Kam Nahin
  • Duniya Se Tujhko
  • Dayam Pada Hua Tere Dar Pe Nahi Hoon Main (poet: Mirza Ghalib)
  • Ek Bar Chale Aao
  • Ek Bus Tu Hi Nahin Mujhse Khafa ho Baitha (poet: Farhat Shezhad)
  • Ek Jhalak Dikhla De
  • Ek Khilta Hua Gulab
  • Ek Sitam Aur Meri Jaan, Abhi Jaan Baqi Hai (poet: Masroor Anwar)
  • Fikr hii thaharii to dil ko fikr-e-Khubaan kyon Na Ho (poet: Josh Malihabadi)
  • faisla tumko bhool jane ka
  • Ga Mere Dewane Dil
  • Garmii-E-Hasarat-E-Naakaam Se Jal Jaate Hai
  • Garche Sau Bar Gham E hizr se jaan
  • Ghazab Kiya Tere
  • Ghair Banke Na Miley Hum
  • Gulon Main Rang Bhare, Baad-e-Naubahaar Chale (Lyrics: Faiz Ahmed Faiz)
  • Gulshan gulshan shola e gul ki
  • Guncha-e-Shauq Laga hei Khilne
  • Hamari Sanson Men Aaj Tak
  • Har Dard Ko
  • Hum mei koi ghum nahi tha ghum-e-aashiqi sai pahlay
  • Ik Husn Ki Dewi Se Mujhe Pyaar Hua Thaa
  • Ik khalish ko haasil-e-umr-e-ravaan rehne diya (poet: Adeeb Saharanpuri)
  • Jab Bhi Aati Hei Teri Yaad Kabhi Shaam ke Baad
  • Jab Bhi Chahen Ek Nai Sorat
  • Jab Bhi Pee Kar
  • Jab Koi Piar Se Bulaae Ga
  • Jab Tere Nain Muskurate Hain
  • Jab Us zulf Ki Baat Chali
  • Jahan Jake Chain
  • Kahan Gai Woh Wafa
  • Khuli Jo Aankh Woh Tha (poet: Farhat Shezhad)
  • Kiya Hei Pyaar Jisse Humne Zindagi ki Tarah
  • Kya Bhala Mujhko Parakhne Ka Nateeja Nikla
  • Kyoon Humse Khafa Ho Gaye Ae Jaan-E-Tamanna
  • Main Hosh Mein Tha
  • Main khayal houn kisi aur ka (poet: Saleem Kausar)
  • Main nazar se pee rha hoon
  • Mohabat Karne Wale
  • Mohabat Zindagi Hai Aur Tum Meri Mohabat Ho
  • Mujhe Tum Nazar Se Gira To Rahe Ho
  • Naavak andaz jidhar diida-e-jaana honge
  • Nishan Bhi Koi Na Chhora keh
  • Patta Patta Boota Boota
  • Phuul hi phuul khil utthe
  • Pyaar Bhare Do Sharmile Nain
  • Qissa-E-Gham Mein Tera Naam
  • Rafta Rafta Wo Meri Hasti Ka Saamaan Ho Gaye
  • Ranjish Hi Sahi Dil Hi Dukhaane Ke Liye Aa
  • Rim Jhim Ki Barsaat Hai Aur Jaage Huye Jazbaat Hain
  • Roshan Jamal-e-yaar Se Hain
  • Saamne Aa Ke Tujhko Pukara Nahin
  • Sahar Ho Rahi Hai
  • Shikwa Na Kar Gila Na Kar Ye Duniya Hai Pyaare
  • Shola Tha Jal Bujha Hoon (penned by: Ahmed Faraz)
  • Tanha Thi Aur Hamesha Se Tanha Hai Zindagi
  • Tark-e-Ulfat Ka Sila
  • Tere Bheege Badan Ki Khooshboo Se
  • Tere Mere Piar Ka Aisa Nata Hai
  • Toote Hue Khwabon Ke Liye
  • Thah ar Thorri Der To
  • Tu Meri Zindagi Hei (Copied by Nadeem Sharavan in "Ashiqi" Hindi Movie India)
  • Usne Jab Meri Taraf
  • Uzr Aane Mein Bhi Hei Aur Bulaate bhi nahin
  • Wo Dil Nawaaj Hei Lekin Nazar Shinaas Nahin
  • Yaaro Kisii Qaatil Se Kabhii Pyaar Na Maa.Ngo
  • Yun na mil mujhse khafa ho jaise
  • Ye Dhooan Kahan Se Uthta Hei
  • Ye Kaghzi Phool Jaise Chahre
  • Ye Mojazaa Bhii Muhabbat Kabhii Dikhaaye Mujhe
  • Ye Tera Naazuk Badan Hai Ya Koi Mehka Gulaab
  • Yoon Zindagi Ki Raah Mein Takra Gaya Koi
  • Zindagi Mein To Sabhi Pyaar Kiya Karte Hain
  • Zulf Ko Teri Ghataon Ka Payam Aaya Hai
  • Mehadi Hassan also sung Persian/dari Ghazals In Kabul Afghanistan in the 1970s.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ .
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ King of ghazal Mehdi Hasan passes away ,, 13 June 2012
  6. ^ Kindgom of Ghazals loses its King,
  7. ^ "Life of Mehdi Hassan". Mehi Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "Life of Mehdi Hassan". Mehi Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  9. ^ "Mehdi Hassan- A legend passes away". Dawn. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Mehdi Hassan passes away". Geo TV. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 

External links[edit]