Legendary ghazal maestro Mehdi Hassan, also known as the "Shahenshah-e-Ghazal" passed away at a local hospital in Karachi on Wednesday only days before he was to be shifted to India for treatment. Hassan passed away on Wednesday morning as doctors said he was being treated for chest infection and breating complications.
Fans and mourners gathered at Karachi's Aga Khan Hospital following the news. Hassan's career as a ghazal singer spanned several decades but in the past years he had given up singing owing to poor health. In the past five years, the respected singer had been in and out of hospitals.Family members said that they had been issued visas by the Indian High Commission for travel in the coming days. An air ambulance had been arranged for taking Mehdi Hassan to a hospital in India.
Funeral prayers for Hasan will be held in Karachi on Thursday.
Hasan was born into a family of traditional musicians at Luna village, India, in 1927. His family migrated to Pakistan after 1947.
Hassan made ends meet earlier in his life by working as a motor mechanic. His father, Ustad Azeem Khan, and uncle Ustad Ismail Khan, played an important role in his ghazal singing career.
He had been awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Pride of Performance and Hilal-e-Imtiaz by the Pakistani government.