Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was a Pakistani musician, more known for his Qawwali singing. Born in a family well known in Qawwali for almost six centuries, the Khan family reached its pinnacle of popularity and acknowledgements from all over the world. Born in Faisalabad, he went against his father’s will who wanted Nusrat to become a doctor or an engineer. He showed such class in his sense of music and tabla that his father relented and allowed him to continue his family trend which expanded for over six centuries.
After the death of his father, Nusrat came under the guidance of his uncle Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan. He had not moved on to vocals and only practiced tabla yet. After death of his uncle he took over the qawwal party and showed his abilities on stage as a vocal. His first public performance as the leader of the qawwal party was with the Radio Pakistan which contributed to his fame all across the country. After that he never looked back. His performance of the infamous qawwali Haq Ali Ali which included his far famed Sargam.
He then moved on to the international scenario and recorded with western musicians such as Peter Gabriel,Eddie Vadder,Jonathan Alias and Alanis Monissette. His album Intoxicated Spirit was nominated far a grammy award in 1997 for best traditional folk album.
Khan Contribution in Movies
Khan also contributed songs to several Pakistani movies. Shortly before his death he composed music for three Bollywood movies Kartoos, Aur Pyaar ho gaya and Zindagi jhoom kar. After travelling from Pakistan to Britain in 1997 , he was rushed to Cromwell Hospital from the airport for his liver and kidney treatment where he died on 16 August 1997 aged 48. The doctors at the hospital attributed Khans death to the infectious dialysis equipment used by the doctors in Pakistan. His was then brought to his hometown Faisalabad and was buried at the Kabootraan wala graveyard.
He received many awards including Pride of performance award by President of Pakistan, UNESCO music prize, Legends award at UK Asian music awards and many others.in 2008,Khan was listed in 14th position in UGOs list of the best singers of all time.Many titles were bestowed upon him such as Ustad , Shehenshah e Qawwali, etc.
Alexandra A. Seno of Asiaweek wrote
‘‘Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s voice was otherworldly. For 25 years, his mystical songs transfixed millions. It was not long enough … He performed qawwali, which means wise or philosophical utterance, as nobody else of his generation did. His vocal range, talent for improvisation and sheer intensity were unsurpassed.’’
Waqar Younas Peerzada