Doctors say prominent Indian singer Jagjit Singh has died after several weeks in the hospital following a brain hemorrhage. He was 70.
Singh was one of the most popular singers of the ghazal, usually Urdu or Persian poetry set to music. He sang to packed audiences across South Asia and released dozens of albums during his 40 year career. He also sang ghazals for Hindi films.
Singh was admitted to Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital on September 23. A hospital spokesman said Singh suffered another hemorrhage Monday morning and died.
Jagjit Singh at Dubai concert on February 18, 2011
Who would have thought that when Jagjit Singh sang "Main Sattar kaa hoon" (I am 70) in his ethereal voice at Dubai's World Trade Centre on February 18, it would be his final concert in the emirate.
The Ghazal King, as Jagjit Singh was populary known as, was in Dubai on February 18, along with Gulzar for the concert "Koi Baat Chale". It was a groundbreaking concert that showcased the true essence of the art form - ghazal.
Singh performed for about five hours on that magical evening. It was indeed an honour to listen to him perform live for so long at a time and age when most other young artists only sing a few songs during live shows. The mastro's performance will be etched in the memory of those who were fortunate to listen to him.
Jagjit Singh has left a void that will be imopssible to fill.
Gulzar, who worked closely with Jagjit Singh on the famous Indian television series "Mirza Ghalib" posted on his Facebook wall: "Shaam se Aankh me Nami Si Hai.... Aaj Phir Aapki Kami Si Hai! Jagjit Singh... Rest in Peace!"
Jagjit Singh is survived by his wife Chitra Singh. Their only son Vivek Singh passed away in a road accident in 1990. The couple released an album titled 'Someone Somewhere' in memory of their son.
Jagjit Singh gained popularity together with his wife, another renowned Indian Ghazal singer Chitra Singh, in the 1970s and 1980s, as the first ever successful duo act (husband-wife) in the history of recorded Indian music.
The couple are considered to be the pioneers of contemporary Ghazal singing and regarded as most successful artistes outside the realm of Indian film music. Singh has sung in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, Sindhi and Nepali languages.
He was awarded India's third highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan, in 2003.
Bollywood mourns Jagjit Singh's passing
The social networking sites are overflowing with reactions and condolence messages as the news of Ghazal King Jagjit Singh's death spreads.
Here are a few select messages from celebrities who took to Twitter to express their loss.
@AzmiShabana: Kisi ki nazar lag gayi hai kala ki duniya ko..jagjit singh no more. His contribution to the ghazal in India is unparallelled.big loss
@Shreyaghoshal: Jagjit Ji passes away. One of the saddest days for all us music lovers. The golden voice will not song anymore. Rest in peace.
@MaheshNBhatt: Just heard from NDTV that Jagjit Singh has passed away!
@Sophie_Choudry: This cannot be true. His voice moved ppl to tears & so will this news. A true gift to music. Am absolutely devastated. R.I.P Jagjit Singh
@neeta_lulla: Respects to Jagjit Singh ji one of our most wonderful gazal singer he touched our hearts and lives with beautiful songs we will miss him.
@taran_adarsh: Jagjit Singh. RIP.
@SushmaSwarajBJP: Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh is no more. His songs were part of our lives. It is a terrible loss
Music world mourns Jagjit Singh’s death