Jagjit Singh: Unforgettable!

By Hindustan Times

NEW DELHI, Oct. 11 -- The King of Ghazal is no more but his legacy will live on. Jagjit Singh, 70, passed away on Monday morning at Mumbai's Lilavati hospital. The singer was admitted there on September 23 following brain haemorrhage and was on life support since.

As the news became public, condolence messages began pouring in from fans and close friends in the industry. "Today, I feel that not only has the world of ghazal music lost its voice in India, we've lost a great friend. He was a great composersinger. I've known him for over 31 years and we've been associated not just for songs but he was also an active campaigner in our fight for copyrights," says lyricist Javed Akhtar, who composed two albums with Singh Silsilay (1998) and Soz (2002). "Yeh ek bahut bada loss hua hai. Bahut afsos hua sun ke," says Pakistani ghazal singer Ghulam Ali, who sang with Jagjit Singh in a concert organised by HT in Delhi on September 3.

Friends who met Singh just days before he was hospitalised say he was always a cheerful person. "He was a very lively person. He used to crack jokes, and talk cheerfully with everyone," says Nalin Singh, co-producer of the 2011 film Gandhi To Hitler, for which Singh sang his last ghazal in a Bollywood film.

"It is the end of a whole genre of music. When he celebrated his last birthday, he asked me to sing Munni Badnaam Hui and danced with me on stage," recalls composer Lalit Pandit, who had composed Singh's famous ghazal Hosh Waalon Ko (Sarfarosh, 1999). "My film, Arth, would not have touched the hearts of millions of people without the contribution of Jagjit Singh. Thank you friend. Thank you! " tweeted filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt.

In 2011, Singh was to release four new albums and had a host of national and international performances planned. His most recent release, a Punjabi number called Leke Phulkari Soe Soe Rang Di was released on iTunes in June. Despite his legacy, Singh had recently told HT City that there were no Bollywood projects coming his way anymore.

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