Legendary Seraiki and Punjabi folk singer Allah Ditta Loonaywala died from a heart attack in his native town in Chiniot district late on Monday. He was 64.
Allah Ditta was born in 1957 in village Loonaywala that he used with his name when he started singing.
According to Dr Amjad Parvez, he got early music lessons from Mian Issa Khan, a classical music teacher in Okara, and his son Mian Talib Hussain.
He started singing early in his life when he was in school. In one of his interviews, Loonaywala said he was first recorded by Jhang Gramophone, followed by Rehmat Gramophone of Faisalabad.
He is survived by three sons and two daughters. Of them, Zaheer Abbas is a programme producer at Radio Pakistan, Lahore, and the youngest son, Nadeem Abbas, is a successful folk singer like his father.
Loonaywala’s famous songs are ‘Shaaman Pei Gaeyaan’, ‘Ticketaan Do Lei Lei’ and ‘Main Cham Cham Nachdi Phiraan’.
He has sung Punjabi Dastaans too, including Sassi. He also made a name in narration and singing of the story of Karbala.
He was conferred upon with the President of Pakistan’s award ‘Pride of Performance’.
Originally published in Dawn, June 29th, 2021