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Pankaj Udhas, The ghazal and playback singer passed away at 72

Pankaj Udhas, the renowned ghazal and playback singer, succumbed to a long-term illness on 26th February 2024. He was 72 years old and breathed his last at the Breach Candy hospital.

The Udhas family’s announcement

Pankaj Udhas’ daughter Nayaab posted a statement on Instagram to inform the fans and followers of her father’s demise. She wrote, “We are deeply grieved to share with you the sad news of Padmashri Pankaj Udhas’ passing away on 26th February 2024 due to a long-term illness.”

The fans and admirers of the singer expressed their sorrow and sympathy in the comment section of Nayaab’s post. A fan commented, “May his soul rest in peace.” “Please accept my heartfelt condolences, stay strong in this difficult time,” another user wrote. “Praying for his soul and his family,” another user said.

According to a family source, he died around 11 am at the Breach Candy hospital. His funeral will take place on Tuesday. He is survived by his wife Farida Udhas, daughters Nayaab and Reva Udhas, and brothers Nirmal and Manhar Udhas, who are also singers.

Pankaj Udhas’ legacy

Pankaj Udhas is remembered for his melodious voice that gave life to many memorable songs, such as Chitthi Aayi Hai from Mahesh Bhatt’s 1986 crime thriller Naam, Chandi Jaisa Rang Hai from Pravin Bhatt’s 1998 film Ek Hi Maqsad, Aaj Phir Tumpe from Feroz Khan’s 1988 action thriller Dayavan, Jeeye To Jeeye Kaise from Lawrence D’Souza’s 1991 romantic film Saajan, and Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata from Abbas-Mustan’s 1993 revenge thriller Baazigar, among others.

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He also had a distinguished ghazal career with acclaimed albums like Aahat (1980) and tracks like Na Kajre Ki Dhaar, Aur Ahista Kijiye Baatein, Ek Taraf Uska Ghar, and Thodi Thodi Piya Karo.

In a recent interview, Pankaj shared his experience of returning to the stage after a long gap. “I used to be very confident before any concert before the pandemic. But the pandemic phase was hard, even mentally. I did my riyaaz regularly and tried not to lose my touch, but I missed the stage and the audience. So, when I performed on stage after two years at a concert in Rampur (Uttar Pradesh), I was very nervous. But when I saw 6,000 people cheering for me, I was overwhelmed with emotions. It was a very touching moment, as I had been away from the stage for so long,” he said.

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