Ghazal Maestro Pankaj Udhas Passes Away at 73

The legendary singer and Padmashri winner Pankaj Udhas took his last breath yesterday. As per the reports, the veteran singer passed away at 11 AM at Breach Candy Hospital. He was known for his ghazals like Chitthi Aayi Hai and Chandi Jai Rang.

His daughter Nayaab Udhas took to Instagram to share the news, she wrote, “With a very heavy heart, we are saddened to inform of the sad demise of Padmashri Pankaj Udhas on 26th February 2024 due to prolonged illness.”

Pankaj Udhas, renowned for his contributions to Hindi cinema and Indian pop music. He gained fame with the 1980 ghazal album “Aahat.” His musical journey continued with chart-toppers like “Mukarar,” “Tarrannum,” and “Mehfil.” The soulful “Chitthi Aayi Hai” from the film “Naam” stood out as a widely cherished creation. Udhas, honoured with the Padma Shri in 2006, took his last breath at the age of 73.

In 1990, Pankaj Udhas collaborated with Lata Mangeshkar for the duet “Mahiya Teri Kasam” in the film Ghayal, achieving immense success. Another notable contribution came in 1994 with the song “Na Kajre Ki Dhar,” a duet with Sadhana Sargam for the film Mohra. Udhas left his mark as a playback singer in movies such as Saajan, Yeh Dillagi, Naam, and Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee. In a past interview, he disclosed that he wanted to become a doctor, but life had different plans for him.

PM Modi in his heartfelt note expressed, “We mourn the loss of Pankaj Udhas Ji, whose singing conveyed a range of emotions and whose Ghazals spoke directly to the soul. He was a beacon of Indian music, whose melodies transcended generations. I recall my various interactions with him over the years. His departure leaves a void in the music world that can never be filled. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”

On the other hand, in an exclusive conversation with ETimes, Anu Malik shared his thoughts on Udhas, stating, “If you ask any composer or actor, they will tell you that Pankaj ji was a very jovial, lovable, and talented musician. When I first met him, I played the song ‘Kitaben bahut se padi hogi tune’ from ‘Baazigar’ for him, and he remarked, ‘Anu, tumne itne ghazal numa gaane ko itna commercial kaise bana diya?’ (How did you turn such a ghazal-like song into such a commercial hit?) He hugged me and appreciated my work. He was one of those singers who embraced Bollywood without hesitation, despite being known for ghazals. Today, the industry has lost a shining star.”

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