Mehdi Hassan - King of Ghazals
Mehdi Hassan was born in the village of Luna in Rajasthan in 1927. He claims to
be the 16th generation of hereditary musicians hailing from the Kalawant clan of
He received his musical training under his father, Ustad Azeem Khan and his uncle
Ustad Ismail Khan who were classical musicians, well-versed in the dhrupad style
of singing. They instructed him in classical music and voice production within the
framework of classical forms of thumri, dhrupad, khayal and dadra, from the young
age of eight.
Undisputed Emperor of Ghazals
His unsurpassed vocal range and his mastery over even the most difficult of raags
makes him the undisputed emperor of ghazals. His popularity, appreciation and continued
success among masses over five decades makes him on par with Noor Jehan in the league
of the greatest Pakistani singers of all time.
The ultimate tribute to his greatness came from Lata Mangeshkar, 'The Music Queen
of Indian Cinema' who compared his songs to "Voice of God " .
Mehdi Hassans gayaki incorporates the subtle elements of both Dhrupad and Khayal.
He carefully embellishes ghazals by using behlawas, murkhis, taans and zamzamas.
Further grace is given by touches of Rajasthani folk singing.
Another important feature of his style is the importance of correct pronunciation,
delivery of words are of utmost importance and he never compromises the true expression
of a word regardless of the constraints put forward by the musical composition.
Mehdi Hassan also had a passion for Urdu poetry and began to experiment by singing
ghazals in a very unique way that was never done in past history. He chose his raagas
to define the feelings through notes of each word of poetry.
Ustad Mehdi Hassan Sung Over 54000 Songs and Ghazals
He sang ghazals of all the renowned Urdu poets such as Ghalib, Faiz Ahmed Faiz,
Qateel Shifayee,Ahmed Faraz, Daagh, Parween Shakir, Farhat Shezad, Mir Taqi Mir,Saleem
Kuser, Bahador Shah Zafar. His innovative style was soon appreciated by both masses
and discerning audiences.
As per facts, Ustad Mehdi Hassan sung over 54000 Songs, Ghazals and Thumri all combined
Awards and Recognitions
He has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions: the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz
granted to him by Gen Ayub Khan; the Pride of Performance bestowed on him by Gen
Ziaul Haq; and the Hilal-i-Imtiaz conferred by Gen Pervez Musharraf.
Besides the Nigar Film and Graduate Awards from Pakistan, he was presented the Saigal
Award in Jalandhar, India, in 1979, whereas the Gorkha Dakshan Bahu Award was given
to him in Nepal in 1983.
Mehdi Hassan Songs Catalog