Renowned classical singer Ustad Fateh Ali Khan passed away today at the age of 82, Dawn News reported.
Ustad Fateh had been under treatment at Islamabad's PIMS Hospital for the past 10 days and was suffering from a lungs disease.
Born in 1935 in Patiala, he (at the age of 12) and his elder brother Amanat Ali Khan (at the age of 14) became the Maharaja's chosen singers, at his 'darbar' or court. Being paid the handsome amount of Rs100 per month in the year 1946, he grew up in an environment where music was valued.
He was the sixth generation in his family devoted to classical singing. He was joined by hus brothers, the late Amanat Ali Khan and Hamid Ali Khan, in keeping the family legacy alive. His sons Rustom and Sultan teach classical music in Lahore and Islamabad. He was also the paternal uncle of classical/rock singer Shafqat Amanat Ali and the late Asad Amanat Ali.
He received the President's Pride of Performance and many other awards; however, none of the awards carried any means of livelihood with them. Still, he maintained, “I would live my life exactly the same, if I had another life.”
Ustad Fateh gained fame for Pakistan in US, India, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, Norway, Afghanistan, Nepal and spent his life singing and teaching classical music. His students were spread all over the world, from the US, London, Germany, Norway, Switzerland to India and Pakistan.
According to his brother Hamid Ali Khan, Ustad Fateh's funeral prayers will be offered in Lahore tomorrow.
A previous version of this story misstated that Ustad Fateh Ali Khan was a qawwal. The error is regretted.