Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan not only rose to unmatched fame in Pakistan and India but also mesmerised music enthusiasts in the West.

Born in Pakistan’s city of Faisalabad on October 13, 1948, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan died at the age of 48 on August 16, 1997.
Born in Pakistan’s city of Faisalabad on October 13, 1948, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan died at the age of 48 on August 16, 1997. (Screenshot: Youtube/Sriniwas Sharma)

The 20th death anniversary of Pakistan’s qawwali maestro Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is being observed on Wednesday.         

Qawwali is Sufi devotional music that dates back more than 700 years.      

Born in Pakistan’s city of Faisalabad on October 13, 1948, Khan died of cardiac arrest at the age of 48 on August 16, 1997.

Coming from a classical music family, the maestro embarked on singing career as a qawwal, and later adopted a wide genre of music in his repertoire including Sufi and hymns.

Khan reached out to Western audiences through his work with English musician Peter Gabriel in 1985 on the soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ.

He lent his unmatched vocals to a number of massive Bollywood movie hits and became a household name across India.

Later he mesmerised music enthusiasts with his brilliant contribution to the haunting soundtrack of the 1995 release Dead Man Walking.

Apart from winning local accolades, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was also honoured with the prestigious UNESCO Music Prize in 1995.

The music maestro rolled out as many as 25 qawwali albums.

 Khan’s massive hit Dam Mast Qalandar still rules hearts of the millions of his fans in all parts of the world.

After Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's death, his nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan took it upon himself to promote the musical legacy of his family.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies