Renowned Indian ‘ghazal’ singer Jagjit Singh has died in Mumbai at the age of 70.
Singh had been hospitalized since suffering a stroke last month and was in a coma. He reportedly died from a brain hemorrhage.
Widely admired as ‘King of the Ghazals,’ Singh is survived by his wife Chitra, herself a prominent ghazal singer. As a pair, the two scored huge commercial successes during the 1970s and 1980s.
Singh was hailed for making ghazal music more accessible to the Indian public -- most ghazal practitioners were from Pakistan.
He sang in various languages and also provided vocals for film soundtracks. On the whole, he recorded about fifty albums.
Fellow ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas told reporters that Singh’s style allowed his audiences to sing along with him.”
Actor and director Anupam Kher said in a statement: [Singh] was the first real ghazal singer from India. Before him there were clones. The poetry in his music was beautiful. His music was gentle, soothing and went to your heart.
Singh’s funeral will take place at the Chandanwadi crematorium in Mumbai.
Ghazal is an ancient musical form that is believed to have originated in Arabia in the 6th century. This type of plaintive singing spread to Persia and then to South Asia by the 12th century through the expansion of the Islamic Sultanate.