13 October 1937|
Lahore, Punjab Province, British India
|Genres||Pop –Punjabi folk music|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, film director, film actress|
|Years active||1955 – Present|
Her parents were middle-class, of Punjabi Kashmiri origin from Lahore. Her father Nazir Ahmed, worked as a registered contractor in Lahore Municipal corporation. Early in her life, her parents wanted her to be a doctor, and provided her with the best possible education they could afford. Musarrat passed the matriculation examination (10th grade) with distinction and passed the intermediate examination (12th grade) from Kinnaird College in Lahore.
She had keen interest in music and began singing for Radio Pakistan in the early 1950s. However, insufficient money from the radio took her to the film director, Anwar Kamal Pasha in 1955. She explained to Pasha about her strong desire to sing for the movies. Instead, Pasha suggested to her to become an actress. Musarrat needed her parents' approval. Pasha himself met Musarrat's father and convinced him to allow his daughter to work in the movie industry as a singer and actress.
Pasha changed Musarrat's name to Chandani and signed her for a side role in his movie. Hence, Chandani made her debut with Sabiha Khanum and Nayyar Sultana in Pasha's film Qatil in 1955. Her role was secondary but effective.
Sheikh Lateef of capital films Lahore planned to make a Punjabi film 'Pattan (1955)'. Lateef's friend, poet and script writer, Baba Aalam Siah Posh, advised him to cast Chandani (Musarrat Nazir) in the film. Sheikh Lateef agreed. This was the debut of Musarrat in Punjabi films, with a nickname Chandani, and then Chandani appeared in the hit Punjabi film, Pattan (1955), with her real name, Musarrat Nazir.
She played the lead role opposite Santosh Kumar in Pattan (1955). The producer was Sheikh Lateef and the film was directed by Luqman.
The film Pattan opened the doors for Musarrat in the Punjabi film industry, which led her to the all-time hit film Patay Khan (1955). She was the supporting actress. The film was produced by film actress Shammi and Musarrat Nazir acted along with Noor Jehan and Aslam Pervez.
Musarrat also gave performances in Pakistan cinema's greatest melodramas like the films Mahi Munda (1956) and Yakke Wali (1957). It is said that, the films Yaar Beli (1959), Kartar Singh (1959 film) and Zeher-E-Ishq (1958) were so interesting and emotional that they left the audience with tears in their eyes.
Following is the list of Musarrat's films:
Qatil (1955), Pattan (1955), Paatay Khan (1955), Mahi Munda (1956), Aankh Ka Nasha (1957), Baap Ka Gunah (1957), Qismet (1956), Mirza Sahiban (1956), Guddi Gudda (1956), Baghi (1956), Naya Zamana (1957), Sehti (1957), Jatti (1958), Watan, Raza, Sola Aanay (1959), Street number 77, Lukkan Miti (1959), Seestaan (1957), Sahara (1959), Rukhsana (1958), Thandi Sarak (1957), Palkaan (1957), Jaan-E-Bahar (1958), Jaidad (1959), Jhoomer (1959), Gul Badan (1960), Naukari (1960), Sunehre Sapne (1961), Ishq Par Zor Nahin (1963), Chotay Sarkaar, Mangol (1961), Muftbar (1961), Gulfam (1961), Bahadur.
The film song Us bay wafa ka sheher hai in the mega-hit film Shaheed (1962), is considered to be one of the most popular songs even in 2015. Even after she retired from her film career in 1963, she had continued to sing for Pakistan Television until recently.
One of Musarrat's greatest achievements is her popular songs listed below:
- Gulshan ki baharon mein
- Mera laung gawacha, song lyrics by Khawaja Pervez was a runaway hit song 
- Chalay to kat hi jaaye ga safar aahistah, aahistah (This song was lifted and copied for the popular song "Tumhe Apna Banane ki Kasam" for Indian movie Sadak and again for the film song "Tumhe Apna.." for film 'Hate Story 3' with credit given to Musarrat Nazir, the original singer)
- Apnay haatoan ki lakiroan mein.
- Lathe di chader uttay saleti rung mahiya, a traditional folk song of Punjab
- Chitta kukkar banairey tay
- Mehndi ni mehndi
Best Actress Awards and other recognition
- Nigar Award for best actress in 1958, for the film Zehr-E-Ishq.
- Nigar Award for best actress in 1959, for the film Jhoomer.
- Nigar Award for best actress in 1962, for the film Shaheed.
- Pride of Performance Award from the President of Pakistan in 1989.
- http://apnaorg.com/articles/khalid-hassan/khalid-hassan-12/, Profile of Musarrat Nazir on Academy of the Punjab in North America (APNA) website, Published 18 March 2005, Retrieved 22 June 2016
- https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0623424/?ref_=fn_nm_nm_1, Musarrat Nazir Filmography at Internet Movie Database website, Retrieved 22 June 2016
- http://folkpunjab.org/musarrat-nazir/, Musarrat Nazir's popular songs list on folkpunjab.org website, Retrieved 22 June 2016
- http://www.janubaba.com/c/forum/topic/20869/Lollywood/Nigar_Awards__Complete_History, Musarrat Nazir's Nigar Awards on janubaba.com website, Retrieved 22 June 2016