The 14th death anniversary of legendary Pakistani pop singer Nazia Hassan was observed yesterday.
Her song Aap Jaisa Koi (1980) shot her to the heights of fame in South Asia’s music scene and later on her debut album Disco Deewane (1981) also charted in 14 countries became the best-selling Asian pop record at the time.
Nazia, along with her brother Zohaib Hassan, went on to sell over 60 million records worldwide.
The first Pakistani to win a Filmfare Award, Nazia, who won it at the age of 15, remains the youngest winner of the award in the category of Best Female Playback Singer to date.
Along with the Filmfare Award, she also received many national awards. She is a recipient for the Pride of Performance Award, the Double Platinum Award as well as the Golden Disc Awards.
Hassan died of lung cancer in London on August 13, 2000 at the young age of 35.
14 years after her death her magical voice continues to enthrall millions of her fans.
Born in Karachi on April 3, 1965, Hassan’s first ever television appearance was in a program Kaliyon Ke Mala (1975) aired on Pakistan Television Network (PTV), where she appeared as a child artist and sang Dosti Aisa Naata.
Her song Aap Jaisa Koi which she sang at the age of 15 for the Indian film Qurbani (1980) became one of the biggest hits in Bollywood film music history.
She was the first Pakistani singer to make it to the British charts, and the English version of Disco Deewane – called Dreamer Deewane – was much appreciated in the west.
Nazia’s last solo album, Camera Camera, came out in London in 1992.
Although singers such as Alamgir and Mohammad Ali Shahki were already in the popular music scene, it was Nazia who really promoted the genre in Pakistan.
In an interview with Herald in the magazine’s July 1980 edition, she said:
“Yes some people don’t even consider it music; well it’s the kind of the music we dig, take it or leave it. They say classical music is the only real music. Whenever I’m attending a classical music recital, I feel like I’m attending a funeral. You have to sit grim’n still – no coughing, no talking lest people think you are being impolite.”