Renowned ghazal singer Jagjit Singh died in Mumbai early on Monday, more than a fortnight after he suffered a brain haemorrhage. He was 70. Singh was in critical condition after an operation at the city’s Lilavati hospital on Sept 23. A hospital statement said Singh died at 8.10 am, 10th October, 2011.
Born on February 8, 1941, ‘the ghazal king’ was a singer, composer, activist and entrepreneur. He has sung in several languages including Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi and Nepali. Jagjit Singh entered the music circuit at a time which was primarily dominated by Pakistani ghazal singers, and Indian singers were considered relatively lesser authentic than their Pakistani counterparts.
Unlike other ghazal singers, Singh did not hesitate in lending his voice for films. His silky voice ruled during early 80′s in films like Prem Geet, Saath Saath and Arth. However, his major work is spread over more than 60 filmy and non filmy albums.
Jagjit Singh was also known for modern approach and infusion of technology in the traditional art of ghazal singing. Singh was the first Indian music director to use the technique of multi-track recording for his album ‘Beyond Time’.
Recipient of Padma Bhushan award, Jagjit Singh was the man behind making the ghazal genre available and understandable to all. Prior to Singh, ghazal singing was considered as an elite art, which was difficult for the common mass to understand due to high class Urdu and Persian.
The Hindi film industry mourned the loss of veteran ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, who passed away this morning, on twitter.
Amitabh Bachchan tweeted: ‘The sonorous silk voice of Jagjit Singh silent now !! A great loss to the world of music and Ghazal .. Prayers and condolences.’
Director Mahesh Bhatt thanked him for his movie Arth. ‘My film ARTH would not have touched the hearts of millions of people without the contribution of Jagjit Singh. Thank you friend. Thank you!’ he wrote.
Karan Johar tweeted: ‘I grew up listening to the brilliance of Jagjit Singh..my mother was a big fan and then made me one…RIP sir!!! Loss of a true legend.’
Singer Shreya Ghoshal tweeted: ‘Jagjit Ji passes away. One of the saddest day for all us music lovers. The golden voice will not sing anymore. Rest in peace.’
Madhur Bhandarkar was shocked to hear the news. ‘Terribly shocked to hear the sad demise of Jagjit Singhji, in u i have lost a dear friend, yr soulful songs will remain till eternity,’ he updated.
Preity Zinta wrote: ‘May god give peace to Mr. Jagjit Singh’s soul ! He was the king of poetry & soulful music; He will live in our hearts forever…. R.I.P’
Lara Dutta tweeted: ‘Very saddened to hear of the demise of Jagjit singh! May his soul rest in peace.’