The Journey of Music That Never Ends.
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There are some voices which are dependent on words in order to get heard and appreciated, and then there are those, self-sufficing ones, upon which words cease to exist – the unsurpassed ones. Words perish and what remains is the triad of voice, revelation and a standstill universe. Such is the case with Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.
"I am a peddler, wandering and roaming from one village to another, in the lanes of cities, in the countries of the world, offering the message of peace, wishing to continue to do so all my life. And after a lifelong wandering when I reach my destination, may the slavery of Allah (SWT), His Prophet (PBUH) and Ali (RA) be the tiara of my head, shining like a star." – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Such was the saintly humbleness of the man who touched millions and was called 'Shahanshah-e-Qawwali' (King of Kings of Qawwali). The man who was pooh-poohed, at first, on account of his shrill voice, made people around the world scream in joy and ecstasy when he would weave ragas in the air as effortlessly as they breathed. People shot the verbal barb of obesity at him, ridiculing him in whatever way possible; today, qawwali owes its international recognition solely to him.
Lahore, Pakistan: Death anniversary of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan being celebrated today (August 16). Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan died on August 1997 due to kidney failure and an era of Qawwali and mystic music was buried with him. He born on October 13, 1948 in Lyallpur (now known as Faisalabad Pakistan.)
His original name was Parvez Fateh Ali Khan and he was fifth child and first son of Fateh Ali Khan, a musicologist, vocalist, instrumentalist, and Qawwal.
In 1971, after the death of his uncle Mubarak Ali Khan, Fateh Ali Khan became the official leader of the family Qawwali party and the party became known as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mujahid Mubarak Ali Khan & Party. Thereafter Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan never used his real name Parvez Fateh Ali Khan.
His first public performance as the leader of the Qawwali party was at a Radio Pakistan. His first major hit in Pakistan was the song Haq Ali Ali, which was performed in a traditional style and with traditional instrumentation.
He is popularly known as "Shahenshah-e-Qawwali", meaning "The King of Kings of Qawwali".
He was signed by Oriental Star Agencies, Birmingham, England, in the early 1980s. He engaged in experiments with Western artists, becoming a well-known world music artist. He toured extensively, performing in over 40 countries.