Alamgir (pop singer)
|Born||11 August 1955|
|Origin||Tangail, Dhaka Division, East Pakistan, Pakistan|
|Genres||Pop music, Playback singing|
Alamgir Haq (born 11 August 1955) is a Pakistani singer of Bangladeshi origin. He is considered as one of the pioneers of the Urdu pop music and is often referred to as the "King of Pop" in Pakistan. His versatile style of singing is inspired by playback singer Ahmed Rushdi and Elvis Presley.
Life and career
Alamgir was born on 11 August 1955 in East Pakistan (present-day Bangladesh). His father Farmuzal Haq was a politician and a member of the All India Muslim League and later a member of Pakistan's National Assembly during the presidency of Ayub Khan. He studied in Mirzapur Cadet College, Tangail, in the province of East Bengal. He briefly studied at Shaheen School in Dhaka. At the age of around 15, he moved to Karachi, West Pakistan to continue his studies at the University of Karachi to finally immigrate to USA.
As a little fellow he started to play the bass guitar for the Windy Side of Care, the first music band ever to be created in East Pakistan . Later in 1967, he became the lead vocal of the band.
He settled in the PECHS area of Karachi and started singing in the evenings, around 1970, at a small café called 'Globe Hotel' on Tariq Road, Karachi. He was promised Rupees 350 per month plus free dinner. The café was famous for its intellectual gatherings and that is where his potential talent was spotted. Someone from the audience in the hotel liked his style of singing and playing the guitar. So that person told him about a programme on the Pakistan Television Corporation station called Ferozan where the program host Khushbakht Aliya was conducting a show for the youth. He gave his audition, Khushbakht liked his singing and the guitar playing but she had already selected someone else. It just so happened that renowned Pakistani music composer Sohail Rana, was also sitting in the same room who later asked someone to call Alamgir to his car outside the TV station. Sohail Rana said, he liked his (Alamgir's) guitar playing and asked if he would like to perform as a guitarist for his children's programme (hum hi hum). This is how Alamgir entered in the formal world of music.
- He started singing on the Pakistan Television Corporation TV channel at the beginning of the 1970s, when the people in Pakistan were not yet familiar with the modern Urdu pop music and when western music was generally considered as modern music in Pakistan. Shair Siddiqui hired him for the first pop musical program Sunday Ke Sunday, a TV series of Karachi Television in 1971/72 and introduced Alamgir with the song Albela Rahi. It proved to be a hit in 1972 among the youth of the 1970s. There was a time during the 1970s when the music loving boys and girls gathered regularly on the streets near the Karachi Jheel Park to get a glimpse of this new pop singer as he used to travel along in his red sedan in the evening. Alamgir's second pop song Pyar hai zindagi ka gehna was also an Urdu translation of a foreign song. He soon became popular among the younger generation in the country. Alamgir is also known for his many renditions of Bengali music. The most notable Bengali song he is known to sing is Aamay Bhashaili Rey.
Alamgir quickly made his mark on the Pakistani music scene. He sang for the Pakistani television in the very beginning of his career, but later as the time passed, he started singing for the Pakistani music industry. He also performs abroad. Alamgir has inherited polycystic kidney disease (PKD) from his mother, undergoes kidney dialysis three times per week and requires a kidney transplant. He currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. He is respected by the music lovers everywhere and still performs in live concerts in America.
In 2012, Alamgir visited Pakistan and performed in various shows. He returned to Pakistan to make a comeback on the TV screen specially for his fans who grew up with him. In April 2013, Alamgir joined Meesha Shafi, Strings, Ali Azmat and Shahzad Hasan as a judge on the immensely popular singing talent show Music Icons which aired on ARY Digital TV channel.  He gave a live interview at a morning show on PTV channel named "Subh-e-Nau" on 6 January 2014.
Awards and recognition
- Pride of Performance Award in 2013 by the President of Pakistan
- Nigar Award- Special Nigar Award for Aaina (1977 film) for Best Playback Singer
- Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019 by Pakistan Air Force
The songs and albums of Alamgir which have been released are as follows:
- Mujahideen-e-Aflak: Tum Hi Say Aye Mujahido Jahan Ka Sabbat Hai (Produced by Pakistan Air Force)
- Aina (1977 film)
- Aamay Bhashaili Re
- Dekha Na Tha Kabhi Humne Ye Sama
- Dekh Tera Kia Rang Kar Dia Hai
- Gori Panghat Pe Tero
- Heart Beat (1992)
- Hum Sab Ka Pakistan
- Keh Dena
- Khayal Rakhna
- Maaon Ki Dua Puri Hui
- Shaam Se Pehlay Aana
Upcoming biographical film
- Fawad Khan will play the role of Alamgir in the biographical film titled Albela Rahi. The film will be directed by Sultan Ghani and will be based on a script written by Ghani and Faisal Hashmi. Fog Catcher Films will produce the film, scheduled to begin production in May for 2017 release. Rana Kamran will be the Director of Autobiography.
- "I need your prayers: Alamgir - The Express Tribune". 15 October 2011.
- "A glimpse at the 'Windy Side of Care". thedailystar.net.
- "Alamgir: Of music and legends - The Express Tribune". 7 May 2012.
- "Civilian awards: Presidency issues list of 192 recipients". Scribd.
- "Defending Pakistan through Immortal Songs – Samaa Digital". www.samaa.tv. Retrieved 14 September 2019.
- Ansari, Hasan (25 January 2016). "Alamgir to be immortalised in upcoming biopic starring Fawad Khan - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
- "Fawad Khan will play Alamgir in 'Albela Rahi' - Times of India". The Times of India. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.