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Hadiqa Kiani, 2016.
|Birth name||Hadiqa Kiani|
|Born||11 August 1974|
|Origin||Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan|
|Labels||Sound Master, Lips Music, Fire Records (Pakistan), Hi-tech Music|
|Associated acts||Irfan Khan, Amir Zaki, and Atif Aslam|
Hadiqa Kiani (Urdu: حدیقہ کیانی ) is a Pakistani singer, songwriter, and philanthropist. She has received numerous local and international awards and also has performed at the most prestigious venues in the world, including Royal Albert Hall and The Kennedy Center.
In 2006, Kiani received the highest Pakistan civilian award, the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, for her contributions to the field of music. In 2010, she was appointed as a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill ambassador, making her the first woman in Pakistan to a Goodwill ambassador to the United Nations.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 Albums
- 3 Playback singing and musical contributions
- 4 Notable performances
- 5 Philanthropy and social causes
- 6 Pakistan Idol
- 7 Recognition
- 8 Personal life
- 9 Discography
- 10 Awards and nominations
- 11 References
Early life and career
Kiani was born in Rawalpindi as the youngest of 3 siblings, her older brother (Irfan Kiani) and sister (Sasha). Her father died when she was 3 years old. Her mother, poet Khawar Kiani, was the principal of a government girls' school. Seeing her musical ability, Khawar enlisted Kiani in the Pakistan National Council of the Arts. She received early education in music from her teacher, Madam Nargis Naheed.
While studying at Viqar-un-Nisa Noon Girls High School, Kiani represented Pakistan at international children festivals in Turkey, Jordan, Bulgaria, and Greece, winning various medals along the way and performing for thousands around the world. Kiani was also a part of Sohail Rana's children's program "Rang Barangi Dunya," a weekly musical on PTV.
As an eighth grader, Kiani moved from her birthplace Rawalpindi to Lahore where she continued her classical training by Ustad Faiz Ahmed Khan and Wajid Ali Nashad. Kiani went on to graduate from Pakistan's top institutions, earning her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Kinnaird College for Women University and her Masters in Psychology from the historic Government College University (Lahore).
In the early 1990s, Kiani came onto TV to host a children's music program called "Angan Angan Taray". In the three and a half year long run, she had sung over one thousand songs for children while hosting the show alongside renowned music composer Amjad Bobby and later on with music composer Khalil Ahmed. Due to the sheer amount of songs Kiani sang during this program, she was presented with the title of "A+ artist" on behalf of PTV joining the likes of Noor Jehan, Naheed Akhtar, and Mehnaz. Kiani also appeared as a VJ for a music charts program called Video Junction on NTM.
Kiani began to sing songs as a playback singer for movies in the early 90s, most notably was the hit Pakistani movie called Sargam, which was starring and being composed by Adnan Sami Khan. The same year, she received various awards for her playback singing including the prestigious Nigar Awards for Best Female Playback Singer.
In 1995, Kiani received the "NTM Viewer’s choice award" for the Best Female Singer of Pakistan. In the same Award show, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was awarded as the Best Male Singer of Pakistan.
The following year, Kiani released her debut album Raaz (Secret) in 1996. The album spawned a string of radio-friendly hits and received positive reviews. Some argue that the reason the album did well was because it was not common for female singers (from educated/non-musical backgrounds) to release albums in Pakistan. Also, she was the first female singer to release a pop album after the former pop singer, Nazia Hassan, gave up her musical career. Kiani's ability to sing in other dialects was also presented to the country through the hit Kashmiri folk song "Maane Di Mauj."
Her increasing popularity was further highlighted in January 1997, when Kiani became the first Asian singer to perform at the British National Lottery Live on BBC One (a program with an estimated viewership 16.6 million at that time). Afterwards she worked on two more shows with Bally Sagoo for BBC and ITV before going on her first U.S. tour in 1997. Her U.S. tour covered 15 states and a few cities in Canada. The same year Kiani performed many other international events in the United Kingdom, Australia, and China. By the summer of 1997, Kiani was representing Pakistan as the only Pakistani singer to perform at "Celebration Hong Kong 97" at Happy Valley Race Course, alongside other International singers like Lisa Stansfield, Wet Wet Wet, Michael Learns to Rock, All 4 One and The Brand New Heavies, an event to celebrate Hong Kong's freedom from the United Kingdom. Kiani is the first mainstream Pakistani singer to ever perform in Hong Kong.
By the end of the year she became the first Asian female singer ever to be signed by Pepsi Cola International. She was the second international female artist in the world to be signed, the first being Gloria Estefan.
In 1998, Kiani recorded the official theme song for the 1999 Cricket World Cup. The Pepsi sponsored song was titled Intehai Shauq, written by Kiani's mother, Khawar Kiani, and composed and produced by the famed Nizar Lalani. The song was filmed by Jami and Imran Baber and proved to be an instant success that captivated the country with what was noted[who?] as incredibly motivational imagery and lyrics.
Amidst the World Cup recording, Kiani released her second album, titled Roshni. The third single from the album was Dupatta. The video was inspired by the sci-fi film The Matrix. The song is listed in the Twenty Best Pop Songs Ever for Pakistan, where it is positioned at number 15. The success of the song was attributed to its quasi-bhangra rhythm with "fat, funky techno beats" and Kiani's "dreamy-meets-husky vocals" which made the results "stunning". In the wake of "Dupatta"'s, success Kiani became widely accepted as the country's leading female vocalist.
Capitalizing on "Dupatta’s" success, Kiani went on to release two other moderate hits, "Roshni", and "Woh Kaun Hai". Her sixth single off the album, "Boohey Barian" went on to become an even bigger hit for her than "Dupatta". To date, "Boohey Barian" is widely accepted as Kiani's best single ever and noted as one of the most prominent Pakistani songs of all time.
Roshni sold over a million copies in Pakistan alone, certifying it as "Platinum". The album is listed in "The 20 Best Local Pop Albums Ever" for the country, positioned at No.15. Kiani is just one of two female singers in the entire list.
Kiani’s success led to her being signed by Unilever for celebrity endorsement of Lipton in 2001. In 2002, she is signed again by Unilever for Sunsilk Shampoo after the results of Unilever's national survey to find the "Most Popular Woman of Pakistan". Throughout the early 2000s, she performed live concerts in the US, Canada, UK, Middle East, Far East, Australia, Norway, Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Kiani released her third album Rung in September 2002.
She returned to promote the album in June 2003, almost 10 months after she’d released "Yaad Sajan" with a new single "Ranjhan" and several stage performances and tours around the country. She then released other singles off the album throughout 2003 and 2004. These included "Jogi Bun Kay Aa", "Mahi" and "Dholan". In "Jogi Bun Kay Aa" Kiani plays various women’s roles, including a traditional Japanese, an Arab, and a tribal woman. She played a vampire in her video for "Mahi" which was directed by top director Asim Raza. The video showed that it is harmful to judge people of different faiths and castes, and also bad to stereotype. It was the highest budgeted video of the year 2003. During this time, Kiani was in the midst of her first divorce, however Kiani’s album sales continued to pick up through 2003 and 2004. In 2004, she received the Best Female Pop Singer Award by Indus Music, the first 24-hour music channel of Pakistan. Asim Raza won an award for best video for directing her critically acclaimed video Mahi. Shortly after the release of Rung, Kiani was mentioned in "Pakistani Pop’s 10 most Influential Acts Ever", in which she was ranked ninth. She is also one of just 2 female singers in the list, the other being Nazia Hassan. A UK-based Magazine declared Kiani the 22nd greatest music maker of South Asia out of a total of fifty artists, also mentioning how she raised the standard of music videos in the country.
Several years after the release of Rung, leading Indian Sufi singer "Harshdeep Kaur" covered Kiani's self composed "Jogi Bun Kay Aa" on a leading Indian television show. The lyrics of the song were originally written by Kiani's mother and poet Khawar Kiani.
2007: Rough Cut
In 2007, Kiani released her fourth studio album, Rough Cut, a collaboration with Aamir Zaki. With the release of Rough Cut, Kiani became the first mainstream Pakistani artist to release an album completely in English.
Prior to the release of the album, Kiani and Zaki teamed up for an Urdu song, written by Zaki, titled "Iss Baar Milo". The video was directed by Jami (director) and starred Humayun Saeed opposite of Kiani. "Iss Baar Milo"'s video production and acting performances, notably Kiani's portrayal of a "schizophrenic" patient in a Pakistani mental hospital received a great response. The video was a major milestone in the Pakistani music industry, winning Kiani and Jami the title of "Best Video" by MTV Pakistan.
In April 2007, Kiani released the first official single for the album, titled "Living This Lie". The same week, Kiani was named "Hotstepper of the week" for The News by Jang Group. The article also stated that ultimately, "as long as Hadiqa is around, there is still hope for women in the patriarchal music world of Pakistan."
In June 2009, Kiani switched record labels to Fire Records and released her fifth studio album, titled Aasmaan. In the album, she sang in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindko, Pashto, and Persian.
The first single of the album was "Sohnya". The official video of "Sohnya" premiered a day before Kiani released the album. Following the release, the song+video stayed on the Aag top 10 Charts for over a month resulting in Kiani receiving a Shield from Aag10 for being the Artist of the Month.
The album itself stayed Number One on the Vibes Charts of INSTEP Magazine for the entire year. By the end of 2009, Aasmaan was named the Best Album of 2009 according to sales volume, popularity and internet downloads.
Every single released from Aasmaan reached number one. "Sohnya" was number one AAG10 Charts for over a month and was titled the best Pop Song of 2009 according to The Nation. "Tuk Tuk" was number one on Prime TV Charts. "Az Chashme Saqi" went number one on PlayTv Charts and by the end of 2009 it was declared the third best music video of 2009.
In February 2010, Kiani released "Janan", for which she collaborated with relatively unknown Pashto singer Irfan Khan. The song has become Kiani’s biggest hit till date and some say that it has even topped the popularity of "Boohey Barian". The song became the first Pakistani pop song to be mentioned by the Los Angeles Times, where the newspaper said that "Janan" was what the whole country was listening to. Kiani's rendering in the Pashto language was critically acclaimed. Some Pakhtoons even started to call her "Hadiqa Pathani," Kiani is credited with bringing back a trend in Pakistan of embracing Pashto culture, girls started to wear Pashto style dresses imitating Kiani’s looks on the red carpet and more mainstream singers began singing in the local language. The song's widespread popularity was credited to the fact that it broke barriers in Pakistani music, Kiani being a Punjabi singing a Pashto song and appealing to not only Pakistani Pashto audiences, but to audiences worldwide. Kiani's "Janan" has been covered by many international singers, most noticeably by the Chinese singer Hou Wei at the grand South Asia Expo in 2014. The Chinese cover was done as a tribute to Pakistani culture which elevated the Pashto community in Pakistan while, what many say, cementing the song as a national treasure
Playback singing and musical contributions
In 1995, Kiani signed a string of Pakistani films as a playback singer, most notably the Adnan Sami Khan film Sargam (1995). Sargam went on to win various awards for Kiani, including that of "Best Female Playback Singer" at the prestigious Nigar Awards. Since Sargam however, Kiani has been mostly absent from playback singing in Pakistan. The exception came in 2011 when she became one of the primary playback singers for Shoaib Mansoor's film Bol (film). The film featured four of Kiani's songs, two of which were collaborations with Atif Aslam. The soundtrack of the film saw positive reviews and received four Lux Style Awards nominations for Kiani and Aslam.
In 2006, Kiani was featured on UK based producer Khiza's album "Loyal To The Game"'s lead single, "Mehr Ma". The song was an instant success in Pakistan, and was seen as a great return to pop music for Kiani after her ballads in Rung. In the video, Kiani was seen with different hairstyles and outfits. The reviews for the song were favorable, one source said that "Mehr Ma", which starts off the album, is easily the best track on it. With Kiani showcasing her top-notch vocals and the music, which remains hip-hopish yet very desi, thanks to the usage of sitar, tabla makes it an excellent number." Kiani also performed the song at the 2006 Lux Style Awards.
Over the years, Kiani has provided vocals for a select list of TV Dramas such as the critically acclaimed 2011 Drama Zindagi Gulzar Hai's title track with Ali Zafar and the 2006 "Aas Pass" with Atif Aslam.
In 2016, Kiani lent her voice to the character of Meeran, portrayed by Urwa Hocane, on the HUM TV drama "Udaari." The title track of the drama was sung by Kiani, featuring Farhan Saeed and production by Sahir Ali Bagga. The title track topped the music charts while the drama was critically acclaimed and an instant hit for viewers. The drama was a first for Pakistani television, tackling the taboo issues of sexual abuse and women's rights in the conservative country. It was faced with a notice from PEMRA, for the portrayal of "unethical" scenes.
Apart from studio recordings, in 2005 Kiani was appointed by the government of Pakistan as an official representative of the country.
On 11 August 2005, Kiani performed in Nagoya for the Prime Minister of Japan Mr. Junichirō Koizumi . Kiani then performed in Toronto on 14 Aug 2005 by request of The Pakistani Consulate. She performed in Houston on 13 August 2005. The show was at Sam Houston Race Park, and it was attended by over 15000 people. Chief guest of the show was Sheila Jackson Lee who is a member of the US House of Representatives. In the same month, she performed at the Mets Shea Stadium New York on 18 August 2005. She closed the month of August with a performance at the Pakistan Parade in New York on 28 August 2005.
On 2 October 2005, Kiani performed in Malaysia at the newly built Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur downtown. The Honorary Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr.Shaukat Aziz was the chief guest of the show. The show was part of Expo 2005 in Malaysia. Important business and political personalities from both countries attended the show. Kiani sang a song in Malay to show respect to the Malaysian people.
Kiani represented Pakistan on the 25th Anniversary of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) in Turkey. Islamic Countries such as Azerbaijan, U.A.E, Iran, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Turkey, Pakistan and Yemen took part in the celebrations. The event was organised by Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. She performed at the AKM Opera House on 23 November 2005. Among the audience were musicians from various countries. The biggest surprise for the audience was said to be when Kiani sang "Sanalama" (Turkish song of Living Legend "Sezen Aksu"). She told the audience that as Turkey stood beside Pakistan in good and bad times, she wanted to convey the love of Pakistani people for the Turks. She also told the audience that she visited Turkey as a child star in 80s and represented Pakistan in the International Children’s Festival in Turkey so she had beautiful childhood memories associated with Turkey. The audience gave her a standing ovation at the end of her performance, The Mayor of Istanbul appreciated her and presented a bouquet of flowers to her. After her performance she received invitations to participate in the upcoming Art festivals in various countries such as Iran, Syria, Qatar and Lebanon. During her stay in Istanbul she officially visited various historical sites in Turkey and conveyed the love of Pakistan for Turkey. Her performance in Istanbul made headlines in various Turkish Newspapers.
Kiani performed in China for the Chinese Premier on 21 Feb 2006. The following month, she performed for President George W. Bush on 4 March 2006. Commenting on her performance, Bush said "Ms. Hadiqa Kiani is extremely talented and should sing here (United States) more." She then performed for the Crown Prince of Brunei Al-Muhtadee Billah Bolkiah on 29 May 2006.
Kiani performed as per the request of former First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush on 21 September 2006 at The Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C. She closed the year by performing for Prince Charles of the United Kingdom and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall on 30 October 2006, and again in China for the Chinese president on 23 November 2006.
On 19 May 2007, Kiani performed at Dead Sea in Jordan for 28 Heads of States at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa. Her performance took place on the second day of the three-day event while American singer Lionel Richie performed the first day. Among Kiani's setlist for the night was the Arabic song titled "Ah W Nos" by Nancy Ajram which Kiani covered and then sang again the following year in Pakistan.
In August 2007, Kiani was one of the headliners for the London Day Parade at Trafalgar Square, London which was broadcast by Geo TV to celebrate 60 years of Independence for Pakistan. Kiani was the only singer who sang completely live that day. She was also part of closing the show with the popular patriotic song "Jeevay Pakistan" alongside Ali Zafar.
Kiani has continued performing throughout Pakistan for various companies, including Pepsi and Samsung. Most notably, in 2016 Kiani performed to positive reviews at the Inter Provincial Games in Pakistan, initiated by President Mamnoon Hussain as a sporting event to support the male and female athletes of Pakistan.
At the end of 2016, upon the Turkish President Erdoğan's arrival to Pakistan, Kiani was invited to perform at the historic Lahore fort, performing along with folk legend Arif Lohar to welcome the world leader. Kiani's performance was noted as "enthralling" and "melodious." 
In March 2007, Kiani was one of the many artists featured in a widely popular track called "Yeh Hum Naheen". In this song, various Pakistani artists joined to send out a message that the stereotype of Pakistanis is not correct and that they oppose Terrorism. The song also conveys an anti-terrorism sentiment in the music video and supported the anti-terrorism campaign, Yeh Hum Naheen, which Kiani is heavily involved with. Other artists in the song include Ali Zafar, Shafqat Amanat Ali and the Strings duo. The song was picked up by international networks such as Fox News and BBC and amassed a significant number of downloads.
In August 2010, Kiani and her siblings worked with local Pakistanis along with the Pakistan Army to provide clothing, water, food and shelter to the flood victims of Pakistan following the devastating 2010 Pakistan floods. Kiani also appeared in Geo Tv's telethon "Pukaar" along with Pop star Ali Zafar to appeal for donations. In collaboration with Pakistan Army, Kiani made visits to Multan Relief Camp, Basti Kalraywala, Muzaffarabad and other flood hit areas, personally distributing goods to the affectees.
On 8 November 2010, Kiani was appointed United Nations Development Programme Goodwill ambassador after being recognized for her individual philanthropic efforts. Following being appointed, Kiani continued to construct housing facilities in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the flood victims till she completed over 250 houses. Nowshera was one of the worst flood hit areas in the country.
SIn the beginning of 2015, Kiani was chosen on to be one of Pond's Miracle Mentors as an initiative to highlight and support strong women in the patriarchal Pakistani society alongside nine other renowned and influential women. Later that month Kiani stood up again to voice her views on women in leadership at the Women Leadership Summit 2015 with then wife of former cricketer Imran Khan, Reham Khan and various other women who had achieved success in their respective fields including Muniba Mazari and Nadia Jamil. The summit brought international and local voices together as an act towards shedding light to the issue of gender discrimination in the workplace.
Kiani works regularly with the Edhi Foundation and has been involved with many other charitable organizations, including Muslim Hands, SOS Villages and UNICEF. She has also campaigned and been the ambassador for Shaukat Khanum, OXFAM International, and since 2010 the United Nations.
After taking a stance with the award-winning project, Udaari that highlighted the social issue of sexual abuse against children in the Pakistani community in 2016, Kiani took a stance against the issue again in 2017. Kiani gained attention when criticizing actor Yasir Hussain at the 5th annual Hum TV Awards for joking about child molestation. In a statement on social media, Kiani stated that the comments made by Hussain were "disgusting," while also taking a stance against the entertainment industry for supporting the actor.
Pakistan Idol is a Pakistani reality singing competition that is part of the Idols franchise created by Simon Fuller and owned by 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia. It is the 50th adaptation of the familiar reality competition format introduced in the British series Pop Idol in 2001. It was developed for the Pakistani entertainment market by Geo TV. The show brought together Junoon front man Ali Azmat, comic Bushra Ansari, and Kiani. The first season of the show was heavily controversial but proved to be the most watched entertainment show in Pakistani history.
In March 2006, Kiani was presented with the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan, one of the highest civil awards of the country, in acknowledgement of her services in the field of music and for shining an encouraging light on the country for over a decade. The award was announced on 14 August 2005 but the ceremony was performed on 23 March of the next year. In 2015, Kiani was declared as one of "Pakistan's Most Powerful and Influential Women" of all time by The News International under the Jang Group umbrella.
On 15 August 2015, Daily Times (Pakistan) listed Kiani as the 15th part of their 30 name list of celebrated Pakistanis who have brought a great deal of pride for their country, other names on the list titled "Pride of Pakistan" included Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Malala Yousafzai, and national hero Abdul Sattar Edhi.
In April 2015, Kiani headlined the Music Mela and introduced her new Qawwali sound at the 3-day festival arranged by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. The "Pop Queen" of Pakistan debuted herself as a Qawwali artist to positive feedback Upon the end of the Mela, Kiani announced that she would be working on her sixth studio album titled "Wajd".
Kiani resides in Pakistan with her mother, who has been paralyzed since 2006. She has adopted a child as her son in 2005 from the Edhi Foundation after the 2005 earthquake. Later, she married a UK-based Afghan businessman, Syed Fareed Sarwary. In 2008, she divorced Sarwary.
Awards and nominations
|1995||Best Playback Singer||Sargam||Won|
|Waheed Murad Award|
|1995||Best New Talent||–||Won|
|Best Singer (Female) T.V.||–||Won|
|1995||Best Female Singer by Viewers' Choice||Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan awarded "Best Male Singer" at same show.||Won|
|Pakistan Music Industry Awards|
|1996||Best Female Singer||–||Won|
|Best Selling Album||"Raaz"||Won|
|2000||Best Female Singer||–||Won|
|2010||–||Honoured for contributions to PTV and to Pakistani music||Honoured|
|Indus Music Awards|
|2004||Best Female Singer||–||Won|
|2005||Best Female Singer||–||Won|
|Women's Excellence Awards|
|2005||Excellence in Pop & Light Music||–||Won|
|Government of Pakistan|
|2006||Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Distinction)||–||Awarded|
|The Musik Awards|
|2008||Best English Song||"Living This Lie" feat. Amir Zaki||Won|
|Most Wanted Female||–||Won|
|2009||Artist of the Month||–||Won|
|Pakistan Style Awards|
|2010||Stylish Singer Female||–||Won|
|MTV Pakistan Awards|
|2009||Best Video||"Iss Baar Milo" (Awarded to Director, Jami)||Won|
|2012||Best Music Act||–||Nominated|
|Best Song of the Year||"Dil Janiya" from Shoaib Mansoor's "Bol"||Nominated|
|2009||Best Female Singer||–||Won|
|Brit Asia Music Awards|
|2010||Best Female Act||–||Nominated|
|Best International Act||–||Nominated|
|Indus Style Awards|
|2010||Most Innovative Singer||–||Won|
|Most Stylish Female Pop Singer||–||Won|
|Lux Style Awards|
|2012||Song of the Year||"Hona Tha Pyar" feat. Atif Aslam||Nominated|
|Best Original Soundtrack||"Bol" Soundtrack||Won|
|2013||Best Original Soundtrack||"Zindagi Gulzar Hai" (Awarded to Ali Zafar)||Won|
|2017||Best Original Soundtrack||Udaari (Hum TV)||Nominated|
|Big Apple Music Awards|
|2014||Best Female Singer of Pakistan||–||Won|
|2015||Best Female Singer of Pakistan||–||Won|
|Most Popular Female Singer (International)||First Pakistani singer to ever be nominated in this category.||Nominated|
|2016||Best Female Singer of Pakistan||Won|
|Pakistan Media Awards|
|2010||Best Female Singer||–||Nominated|
|2014||Best Drama Original Soundtrack||"Zindagi Gulzar Hai"||Nominated|
|2013||Best Solo Artist||Nominated|
|2014||Best Original Soundtrack||"Zindagi Gulzar Hai"||Won|
|2017||Best Original Soundtrack||Sajna ve Sajna - Udaari||Nominated|
|International Dynamic Women's Day Award|
|2015||The Dynamic Award||–||Won|
|Daily Times Pakistan|
|2015||Pride of Pakistan||–||Awarded|
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