Updated February 26th, 2024 at 20:44 IST

Who Was Pankaj Udhas, Ghazal and Playback Singer Who Died Aged 72?

On February 26, Pankaj Udhas's family in an official note confirmed his death. They said he died due to prolonged illness.

Pankaj Udhas | Image:Pankaj Udhas
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The Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas' death left a void in the music industry as he has given numerous evergreen ghazals to the industry. He died on Monday, February 26, in a private hospital due to prolonged illness, confirmed his daughter Nayaab.

Who was Pankaj Udhas?

Born in Gujarat's Jetpur (Rajkot) in May 1951 in a landed family as the youngest of three brothers, Pankaj Udhas was no stranger to music. Not only had his eldest brother Manhar Udhas become a moderately successful Hindi film playback singer but the second, Nirmal Udhas, was also a well-known ghazal singer, and in fact, was the first of them to start singing in the family. Their father Keshubhai Udhas, a government servant, had once met renowned veena player Abdul Karim Khan, who taught him to play the dilruba.

(A file photo of Udhas | Image: Instagram)
(A file photo of Udhas | Image: Instagram)

Seeing his father play the dilruba/esraj kindled the interest of Pankaj Udhas in music and it grew so ingrained in all the siblings that the father enrolled them at the Sangeet Academy in Rajkot.

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(A file photo of Udhas | Image: Instagram)
(A file photo of Udhas | Image: Instagram)

Like many others, he had his sights set on Bollywood but confessed later to having a love-hate relationship with the industry. He sang the first song for the film Kamna (1971), composed by Usha Khanna and written by Naqsh Lyallpur. While the film flopped, the song became very popular.

Pankaj Udhas' illustrious careergraph

He started his career with the release of a ghazal album titled Aahat in 1980 and subsequently recorded many hits like Mukarar in 1981, Tarrannum in 1982, Mehfil in 1983 and Aafreen in 1986. After his success as a ghazal singer, he was invited to appear and sing for a film by Mahesh Bhatt, Naam. Since then there was no looking back for the singer and he went on to croon numerous Bollywood films.

(A file photo of Udhas | Image: Instagram)
(A file photo of Udhas | Image: Instagram)

His popular songs include Chitthi Aayee Hai, Jeeye To Jeeye Kaise, Aaj Phir Tumpe Pyar Aaya Hai, Na Kajre Ki Dhar, Main Tumse Pyar Karta, Chandi Jaisa Rang, Main Dil Ki Dil Mein and many more. He last sang for the movie Dil Toh Deewana Hai (2016).

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Apart from tracks, he had over 60 albums - including the first-ever released on a CD in India - and hundreds of compilation albums to his credit and was still active in concerts until the last moment.
 

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Published February 26th, 2024 at 16:33 IST