Famous Pakistani singer Nayyara Noor dies at 71 after a brief illness

Famous Pakistani singer Nayyara Noor, adored by millions on both sides of the border for her soulful melodies, has died after a brief illness, her family announced on Sunday, ending the life of one of the last musical icons to represent the common culture of India and Pakistan.

Noor was 71 and had been undergoing treatment for some time in Karachi, according to media reports.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my beloved Aunt (tayi) Nayyara Noor. May her soul RIP,” her nephew Raza Zaidi tweeted.

She leaves behind an enviable heritage and a treasure trove of melodious interpretations.

Noor was born in Guwahati in 1950.

His father was an active member of the All-India Muslim League and hosted Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah when he traveled to pre-partition Pakistan in 1947.

Sometime in 1958, his family migrated to Lahore in the Pakistani province of Punjab.

Education was the be-all and end-all of our existence, but music was the main source of entertainment, the Dawn newspaper quoted her as saying.

She admitted that Kanan Bala and Begum Akhtar were their all-time favourites, with Lata Mangeshkar “a passion for everyone”.

Interestingly, Noor had no formal training in music, but she was captivated by the ghazals of Akhtar and the bhajans of Bala since childhood.

While regaling his friends and teachers at a musical function at his alma mater—National College of Arts in Lahore, Professor Asrar Ahmad of Islamia College spotted his budding talent.

Soon, Noor found herself singing for the university’s Radio Pakistan programs.

In 1971, she debuted as a singer in Pakistani TV serials, then seamlessly transitioned into films like Gharana and Tansen.

She won the Nigar Award for Best Playback Singer for Gharana.

Noor will be best known for its ghazals.

She performed in mehfils, enjoying a cult following among ghazal enthusiasts in Pakistan and India.

His famous interpretation of ghazal was Ae Jazba-e-Dil Ghar Main Chahoon, written by Behzad Lucknavi, a famous Urdu poet.

Noor has also sung ghazals written by poets like Ghalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz and also performed with Mehdi Hassan.

Barkha barse chat per, a rare Hindi poem by Faiz, which she rendered with her husband Sheharyar Zaidi in 1976 on her birthday, was perhaps her most famous work.

At the height of her career, Noor decided to marry Zaidi and over time became temperamental to do live performances.

Music has been a passion for me but has never been my top priority. I was a student and a girl first and a singer later. After my marriage, my main roles were those of a wife and a mother, she had entrusted to the newspaper Dawn.

Noor was awarded the title Bulbul-e-Pakistan (Nightingale of Pakistan) in 2006.

In 2006, she received the Pride of Performance Award, and in 2012 she said goodbye to her professional singing career.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, while expressing his grief over Noor’s passing, said his death was “irreparable damage” to the music world.

“Whether it’s a ghazal or a song, whatever Nayyara Noor sings, she sings it perfectly. The void created by Nayyara Noor’s death will never be filled,” he tweeted.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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