A tribute to Nazia Hassan



Nazia Hassan was undoubtedly the most influential and popular female singer and probably the only real female pop singer of the 80s and 90s in both India and Pakistan. Today marks her birth anniversary. Following is an excellent tribute published in Dawn newspaper Pakistan that looks at her life and achievements.


Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi main aaye to baat ban jaaye

Nazia Hassan was the most influential and popular female singer and probably the only real female pop singer of the 80s and 90s in both India and Pakistan. (click here to see photos)

Today marks her birth anniversary. Born in Karachi on April 3, 1965, Hassan’s first ever television appearance was in a program “Kaliyon Ke Mala (1975)” aired on Pakistan Televsion Network (PTV), where she appeared as a child artist and sang “Dosti Aisa Naata.”

Her song “Aap Jaisa Koi” which she sang at the age of 15 for the Indian film Qurbani (1980) became one of the biggest hits in Bollywood film music. Hassan was the first Pakistani to win a Filmfare Award and remains the youngest winner of the award in the category of Best Female Playback Singer to date.

After the success of “Aap Jaisa Koi”, in 1981 Hassan become the first female playback singer to release an album “Disco Deewana”, in which her brother, Zohaib Hassan also collaborated on vocals with her.

Nazia’s second album “Boom Boom” was released in 1982.The soundtrack of the album was used in another Indian film “Star”. The film did not do well at the box office but the album was successful. It was probably the first time in the history of Indian films that the record was a hit and the film was a flop. This increased the popularity of the siblings in Pakistan and India.

Another album Young Tarang (1984) followed soon after. This was the first album to feature music videos in Pakistan.  Then came Hotline in 1987. Nazia’s last solo album, Camera Camera, came out in London in 1992.

Along with her brother, she also appeared in a couple of television programs. In 1988 she appeared in “Sung Sung” with music maestro Sohail Rana. They also hosted the first-ever pop-music stage show, Music ’89, produced by Shoaib Mansoor.

Although singers such as Alamgir and Mohammad Ali Shahki were already in the popular music scene, it was Hassan who really promoted the genre in Pakistan.

In an interview with Herald, July 1980, edition, she said “Yes some people don’t even consider it music; well it’s the kind of the music we dig, take it or leave it. They say classical music is the only real music. Whenever I’m attending a classical music recital, I feel like I’m attending a funeral. You have to sit grim’n still – no coughing, no talking lest people think you are being impolite”

Hassan died of lung cancer in London on August 13, 2000 at the young age of 35.


Author: Mukhtar Ahmed