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Pankaj Udhas, Renowned Ghazal Singer, Passes Away at 72

Pankaj Udhas, the immensely talented singer who breathed new life into ghazals, has died. He was 72. Udhas captivated listeners for decades with his inimitable style.

The Udhas family confirmed his death due to a prolonged illness

Udhas family’s statement

Taking to Instagram, Pankaj Udhas’ daughter Nayaab shared a statement on Monday which read, “With a heavy heart, we are saddened to inform you of the sad demise of Padmashri Pankaj Udhas on 26th February 2024 due to a prolonged illness.”

Soon after Nayaab shared the news of the singer’s demise, his fans swamped the comment section and posted their condolences. A fan wrote, “May his soul rest in peace.” “I’m so sorry to hear of your loss, stay strong and please accept my condolences,” another user wrote. “Deepest Condolences and Prayers,” another user posted.

According to a family source, he died about 11 a.m. at Breach Candy Hospital. His final rites will be performed on Tuesday. Pankaj is survived by his wife, Farida Udhas, daughters Nayaab and Reva Udhas, and brothers Nirmal and Manhar Udhas, both singers.

Pankaj Udhas’ career

Pankaj Udhas is best known for his voice in memorable tracks such as Chitthi Aayi Hai from Mahesh Bhatt’s 1986 crime thriller Naam, Chandi Jaisa Rang Hai from Pravin Bhatt’s 1998 film Ek Hi Maqsad, Aaj Phir Tumpe from Feroz Khan’s 1988 action thriller Dayavan, Jeeye To Jeeye Kaise from Lawrence D’Souza’s 1991 romantic film Saajan, and Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata from Abbas-Mustan’s 1993 revenge thriller Baazigar, among others.

His ghazal career includes reputed albums like Aahat (1980) and tracks like Na Kajre Ki Dhaar, Aur Ahista Kijiye Baatein, Ek Taraf Uska Ghar, and Thodi Thodi Piya Karo.

In an interview with Hindustan Times, Pankaj opened up on getting back on stage after a hiatus. “Before the pandemic, there used to be a lot of confidence in me before any concert. But the pandemic phase was tough, even psychologically. Though I did my riyaaz regularly and tried to keep up and not get rusted, there was a lack of exposure to the stage and audience. So, when I got back on stage after two years with a concert in Rampur (Uttar Pradesh), I was really nervous. But when I went up on stage and saw 6,000 people cheering for me, I had tears in my eyes. It was a very emotional moment, as I was deprived of the stage for so long,” he said.

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