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Int’l Women’s Day 2020: Versatile singing Legend – Abida Parveen


Arhama AltafWeb Editor

07th Mar, 2020. 04:37 pm
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Abida Parveen

Abida Parveen (Artist)

Abida Parveen (born 1954) is a famous Pakistani singer known for her beautiful renditions of Sufi poetry.

Apart from Punjabi and Sindhi sufi poetry, she also sometimes sings Urdu ghazals. Her rendition of Heer Waris Shah and Kabir are also held high among the music enthusiasts.

The versatile singer is primarily a singer of ghazals and sings in several languages including Urdu, Sindhi, Saraiki, and Punjabi.

Born into a family that boasts of a rich musical legacy, she introduced to the world of Sufism and music at a young age.

She started singing and displayed such a deep love for music that her father decided to defy tradition.

She chose her as his musical heir over his two sons.

Abida went on to receive her higher musical training from the music school which her father had founded.

She received training by the great Ustad Salamat Ali Khan of the Sham Chorasia gharana.

Initially she performed at Dargahs and Urs before embarking on a professional career with Radio Pakistan.

She brought Sufi music to a new level and proceeded to become one of the best known mystic singers not just in her native Pakistan, but throughout the world because of which she has been dubbed as the Uncrowned Empress of Sufi Music and Undisputed Sufi Queen.

abida parveen

Early Days of Music Career:

Abida Parveen – a name shines brightly in the music galaxy of the sub-continent.

Though she is a versatile singer, Sufi music is her forte – a tradition of hundreds of years that seems to have seeped into her very being and soul.

Hyderabad Radio first introduced her in 1977. She is today the most popular and well-known folk and ghazal singer of Pakistan who breathed a new life into ghazal and semi-classical music.

She holds an audience of thousands spellbound. Her appearance is a complete reverse of many other stage performers.

She is a woman of very few words and asks to be judged only by her music.

This folk phenomenon, called Abida Parveen, is deeply religious and profoundly humble.

abida parveen

Personal Life Legacy:

Abida Parveen married Ghulam Hussain Sheikh, senior producer at Radio Pakistan, in 1975.

Her husband was very supportive of her career and retired from his job in the 1980s to manage her career.

The couple had three children. Her husband died of a heart attack in the early 2000s.

Abida Parveen a heart patient and suffered a heart attack in 2010. Her health improved following treatment.

She is known for her unique dressing style. She wears a long buttoned-up collar kameez with shalwar, and drapes an ajrak, a Sindhi duppatta, over her shoulders.

Perveen Ji always lets her dark curly hair untied.

abida parveen

Abida Parveen – The Finest Singer:

Abida Parveen is the finest singer of ghazal, geet and sindhi, seraiki and punjabi kafees.

“While khayal and thumri became a part of her childhood training, her effective rendering of folk and traditional music with great sophistication and without losing the basic characteristics of the regional music of sindh has made her a versatile singer.”

Her fame traveled through Pakistan and across the seas, and she toured USA, UK, and France in 1985 and 1988.

Her 1988 performance in Chicago was recorded by the Hazrat Amir Khusro Society of Art and Culture, which issued a long-play record of her renderings, and her 1989 performance in London’s Wembly Conference Hall was recorded by the British Broadcasting Corporation and aired for an hour.

She has represented Pakistan in India and has performed for huge audiences in Pakistan and the Middle East.

Abida Parveen sings semi-classical and classical music, ghazals and geets, and kafis in Sindhi, Punjabi, and Seraiki with equal ease.

As a ghazal singer, Abida prefers the poetry of Nasir Kazmi, Mustafa Zaidi, Ibne Insha, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz.

abida parveen

Major Works:

Abida Parveen, regarded as one of the world’s greatest mystic singers and one of the foremost exponents of Sufi music.

She is credited to have revitalized and popularized Sufi music on the international stage during her career which has spanned over four decades.

Her most famous songs are ‘Yaar ko Humne’ from the album ‘Raqs-e-Bismil’ and ‘Tere Ishq Nachaya’ which is a rendition of Bulleh Shah’s poetry.

Abida Parveen – List of Film Songs:

  1. Sajjan de Haath
  2. Ishq Khuda title song
  3. Hijrat
  4. Raabta
  5. Maula Maula

Awards Achievements:

  1. Abida Parveen was honored with the President of Pakistan’s Award for Pride of Performance in 1984. She was also awarded the Gold Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Medal the same year.
  2. In 2005, she received Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the third highest honor and civilian award in the State of Pakistan.

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