Begum Akhtar birth anniversary: The queen of ghazal who enthralled millions with her silken voice, see playlist
The legendary Begum Akhtar was a doyen of Hindustani classical music, particularly in the ghazal genre. Her musical tradition was so unique that she came to be associated with her own distinct style of singing. She was rightly called the ‘Mallika-e-Ghazal’.
Born in 1914, she came to be associated with Hindustani classical music, excelling in ghazal, dadra, and thumri. As a child, Begum Akhtar or Akhtari Bai Faizabadi, began her classical music training rather early as she reportedly showed sparks even as a kid, captivated by the music of Chandra Bai, a touring theatre artist of the day.
Her first public performance, aged only 15, was in front of freedom fighter Sarojini Naidu. In no time, her good looks and silken and sensitive voice would take her places. Soon she was the most fancied voice for ghazal gayaki.
At the launch of a book called Begum Akhtar-The Story of my Ammi on the legendary singer, Gursharan Kaur, wife of then Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, had said: “She is rightly known as Mallika-e-Ghazal. Her inimitable style of singing, the haunting sweet notes with which she mesmerised the audience, her uncanny ability to choose the right kind of ghazal has left an indelible print on the minds of those who got a chance to listen to this great exponent.”
Speaking at the occasion, former chief minister of Delhi, late Sheila Dikshit had said, “The exponent’s music still sets the standard for connoisseurs of this genre to this day. Begum Akhtar’s rendition were so endearing that her every note gripped the hearts of the audience. She possessed all the qualities that are so vital for a good ghazal singer.”
On Begum Akhtar’s 105th birth anniversary, here’s a look at some of best songs:
Wo Jo Humme Tumme Qaraar Tha
Hamri Atariya Pe
Mere Humsafar Mere Humnawa
Kuch To Duniya Ki
Aye Mohabbat Tere Anjaam Pe
Begum Akhtar performed on All India Radio and Doordarshan, and was honoured with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.
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