UK press pays rich tribute to Jagjit Singh

By Hindustan Times

A leading UK newspaper today paid homage to Indian Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh lauding his use of Western instruments alongside the Indian tabla and sitar.

Known to his fans worldwide as "The Ghazal King", Singh, together with his wife and fellow singer Chitra, won acclaim for simplifying the complex traditional musical form, The Daily Telegraph wrote.

He put greater emphasis on melody and used Western instruments such as saxophones and guitars alongside Indian classical instruments, such as the tablaa and sitar, while sacrificing none of the emotional impact of the poetry," the report said.

Audiences have regularly been moved to tears by Singh's expressive Chithhi Na Koyi Sandesh, dedicated to Vivek, his only child who died in a car accident in 1990 at the age of 19.

Besides recording more than 50 albums, Singh sang and composed for Bollywood notably for the films Prem Geet (Love Song, 1981) Arth ('meaning', 1982) and Saath Saath ('together', 1982), as well as for Indian television.

He also composed and recorded songs written by former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who in 2003 awarded Singh the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award.

Jagjit Singh died last Monday aged 70.

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