Mehdi Hassan's death has left a void in the world of music that can never be filled, artistes said on Wednesday as they mourned the loss of the Ghazal king.
Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, who once called Hassan the 'voice of God', said, "A singer like him is born once in a millennium. It is my bad luck that I could not sing with him when he was healthy. Now I can only regret. With his demise the music fraternity has lost a great and legendary singer."
Singer Talat Aziz, who trained under Hassan, said, "I feel a tremendous personal sense of loss. I was his 'shagird', I spent a lot of time with him. For me he was a star. I don't have words to describe his loss. He was a great asset to the world of Ghazal. Though he was not singing for quite sometime, but he will be missed. There will never be another Mehdi Hassan."
"I remember him saying I can see 'sur'. We should celebrate him across India and Pakistan because he was an asset to both the countries. He was legendary. Such people come only once in a while," Pakistani Sufi singer Abida Parveen said.
Another Pak singer Adnan Sami said, "He has been an inspiration to anyone who has anything to do with music. He created an institution called Mehdi Hassan... I am still absorbing the news. It's difficult to digest that he has passed away."
Zila Khan said, "I am sad as I was when my father died. What aesthetics of music, what a great artiste he was. In his field of work he was a king because his choice of 'kalam', his music, was supreme."
"It is a great loss. Everyone learnt from his music, technique and style of singing. I had the opportunity to meet him and he was always encouraging. He has been unwell since quite sometime," said singer Chitra Singh, wife of late Jagjit Singh.
"It is a very sad news. I am shocked that he is no more with us. He was not only a great singer but also a very good human being. I remember in the '80s we did a concert at my place and it was a big hit. I was aware that he was unwell and I had always hoped that I should never get the sad news. But now that has happened, he will always remain alive in our hearts," said veteran musician Pyarelal.
"It is a great loss. An era of Ghazal singing has come to an end. His Ghazals were not complicated and could be understood even by a layman. His singing was soulful and moving, his command over Urdu made his singing more endearing. He was the uncrowned king of Ghazal," Grammy winning musician Vishwa Mohan Bhatt told PTI.
Several artistes took to Twitter to express their condolences.
Actor Anupam Kher tweeted, "Very saddened to hear about my favourite Gazal Singer Mehdi Hassan's demise. As a student had gate crashed into Pak Embassy to listen to him. RIP."
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar posted, "Emperor of Ghazals no more. RIP Mehdi Hassan. You will be missed sorely!"
Singer Shreya Ghoshal said, "Mehdi Hassan sa'ab is no more. The voice, who made many music lovers and lovers to find an expression of their heart's stories, is gone. RIP."
"RIP Mehdi Hassan saab, huge loss to the world of music... your Voice is immortal though," tweeted Shankar Mahadevan.