World famous Singer and music composer Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is being remembered on his 71st birthday today (Sunday).
He was popularly known as “Shahenshah-e-Qawwali”, meaning “The King of Kings of Qawwali”.
The legendary Qawwal, born in Faisalabad on October 13, 1948 to a classical family of singers, embarked on singing career with Qawwali followed by an ever-increasing line of music including sufi, and hymns.
He possessed an extraordinary range of vocal abilities and could perform at a high level of intensity for several hours.
He was signed by Oriental Star Agencies, Birmingham, England in the early 1980s.
Nusrat Khan went on to release movie scores and albums in Europe, India, Japan, Pakistan and the U.S.
He engaged in collaborations and experiments with Western artists, becoming a well-known world music artist.
He toured extensively, performing in over 40 countries. In addition to popularizing Qawwali music, he also had a big impact on contemporary South Asian popular music, including Pakistani pop, Indi-pop and Bollywood music.
He began his career by learning the tabla before moving on to vocals. In 1964, Khan’s father died, leaving his musical education under the supervision of his paternal uncles, Mubarak Ali Khan and Salamat Ali Khan.
He is the uncle of singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Nusrat was known as Pervaiz until he visited Ghulam Ghaus Samdani who changed his name to Nusrat Fateh Ali.
Various reports said that Khan weighed over 300 pounds. After traveling to London from his native Pakistan for treatment for liver and kidney problems, he was rushed from the airport to Cromwell Hospital in London.
He died of a sudden cardiac arrest on 16 August 1997, aged 48.