The 20th death anniversary of world renowned Pakistani musician and Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is being observed on Wednesday August 16.
The legendary Qawwali singer was born on October 13‚ 1948 in Faisalabad town of Punjab. He was the fifth child and the first son of Fateh Ali Khan, a musician, vocalist, instrumentalist, and Qawwal.
Khan was a singer of Qawwali (devotional music of the Sufis) and considered one of the greatest singers ever recorded; he possessed a six-octave vocal range and could perform at a high level of intensity for several hours.
Extending the 600-year old Qawwali tradition of his family‚ Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is widely credited with introducing Sufi music to international audiences. He was popularly known as Shahenshah-e-Qawwali‚ meaning The Emperor of Qawwali.
He also did music projects with Indian music composer A R Rehman and film lyricist Javed Akhtar. He reached out to western audiences through his work with Peter Gabriel on the soundtrack of The Last Temptation of Christ in 1985.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records‚ Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan holds the world record for the largest recorded output by a Qawwali artist–a total of 125 albums as of 2001.
Khan was taken ill with kidney and liver failure on August 11‚ 1997 in London. He died of a sudden cardiac arrest at Cromwell Hospital‚ London‚ on Saturday‚ August 16‚ 1997 at the age of 48.