LAHORE: Celebrated classical singer and the patriarch of the Patiala family Ustad Fateh Ali Khan died in Islamabad on Wednesday at the age of 82.
Born in 1935, he was amongst the foremost Khayal singers in the Asian subcontinent and one of a few practitioners of music who acquired legendary status in his own lifetime.
Fateh Ali, who had been ailing since the last week of December, was admitted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims) for 10 days. His body will be brought to Lahore today (Thursday) and he will be buried at Mominpura graveyard.
Ustad Fateh Ali was the younger brother of the late classical singer, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and the elder brother of Ustad Hamid Ali Khan. Acknowledging his contributions to field of classical music, the government of Pakistan gave him both the Pride of Performance Award and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz.
Ustad Hamid Ali Khan said Fateh was his teacher, without whom he could not have achieved anything. “He was my father who did a lot for me as I learnt everything from him. Such singers are born after centuries and no doubt it is a big loss of our family and Patiala Gharana,” he told The Express Tribune.
“Ustad Fateh Ali Khan was the name of an era and he was among those three big names – the other two being Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and Roshan Aara Begum – who spread classical music in this region,” said Tahzeeb Foundation’s CEO Sharif Awan.
He left behind a legion of fans across Pakistan and abroad. Offering condolences on his demise, Shair Ali and Mahar Ali Qawal brothers said Fateh’s voice was a source of life and energy for the hearts. “He was the guru of classical music. He was an asset of the Patiala family; an asset of our country and an asset of the music industry,” said Shair Ali.
Famous pop singer Ali Zafar also lamented the loss. “Khan Sahab, you will live with us forever through your beautiful renditions; my personal favorite being this one in Raaga Jaunpuri. As I told you once, whenever my heart aches I listen to this and feel healed. Rest in peace,” he said.
Source: The Express Tribune By ADNAN LODHI