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Huma was born in 1944 in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan, the youngest of the three children of singer Noor Jehan and filmmaker Syed Shaukat Hussain Rizvi. When she was a child, her parents divorced. Her father demanded the family's studio, Shahnoor Studios in return for her custody. Growing up with her mother in Karachi, singing and music became her passion but during her childhood, her mother refuse to allow her to undergo training in music.
At an early age, she married a jeweler, Aqeel Butt, and settled down to married life. She has four sons, Mohammad Ali Butt, Ahmed Ali Butt (lead vocalist of the Pakistani rock band E.P. and actor), Mustafa Ali Butt and Hamza Ali Butt. She eventually divorced her husband and decided to pursue a musical career. In the early 1990s, after having decided to make music her profession, she commenced formal education in music under Ghulam Mohammed, her mother's Ustad. She said in an interview, "Learning at that age wasn't easy game but I had made up my mind to keep on learning as learning never ends".
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- Obituary, thefridaytimes.com; accessed 22 May 2014.
- Zil-e Huma dies, aged 70, tribune.com.pk; accessed 17 May 2014.
- "Singer Zil-e-Huma passes away". Daily Times. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2014.