‘Chitthi Aayee Hai’ fame legendary Indian singer Pankaj Udhas dies at 72

Pankaj Udhas gave memorable hit song 'Chitthi aayi hai' that has touched the hearts of millions of Indians living abroad. 

Legendary Indian singer Pankaj Udhas has died at the age of 72 after a prolonged illness in Mumbai, his family confirmed today.

A statement from ‘The Ghazel Maestro’ Mr Udhas’ family said: 

“With a very heavy heart, we are saddened to inform you of the sad demise of Padma Shri Pankaj Udhas on 26 February due to a prolonged illness.”

Legendary Singer Pankaj Udhas, Voice Behind 'Chitthi Aayee Hai', Dies At 72

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi said Mr Udhas’ “ghazals spoke directly to the soul” – “We mourn the loss of Pankaj Udhas Ji, whose singing conveyed a range of emotions and whose Ghazals spoke directly to the soul. He was a beacon of Indian music, whose melodies transcended generations. I recall my various interactions with him over the years. His departure leaves a void in the music world that can never be filled. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”

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Mr Udhas was born in Jetpur in Gujarat on 17 May 1951 and was the youngest of three brothers. He initially started by learning the instrument tabla but later studied Hindustani vocal classical music under Ghulam Qadir Khan Sahab. 

Mr Udhas then went to Mumbai to learn from Navrang Nagpurkar, a vocalist from the Gwalior Gharana. He made a mark as a playback singer in Hindi film industry and was notably known for “Naam”, “Saajan” and “Mohra.”

He rose to fame with Mahesh Bhatt’s 1986 film ‘Naam’ and made special appearances in films such as “Yeh Dillagi,” “Saajan” and “Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad Aayee.”

Mr Udhas recorded over 60 albums during his lifetime and gave memorable hit song ‘Chitthi aayi hai’ that has touched the hearts of millions of Indians living abroad. This song was also selected as one of the 100 songs of the millennium by BBC Radio.

In 2022, Mr Udhas performed Live at the Sydney Opera House in a tour that included Australia, New Zealand and Fiji.

This tour celebrated Mr Udhas’ 40 years musical journey and he regaled the audiences with his popular ghazals including the soulful ‘Aur Aahista Keeje Baatein’, ‘Jiye To Jiye Kaise’; hits like ‘Chandi Jaisi Rang Tera’, ‘Na Kajre Ki Dhar’, ‘Aaj Phir Tum Pe Pyar Aaya’ and some intoxicating ghazals such as ‘La Pila De Saakhiya’ , ‘Maloom Mai Sharabi Nahi’ and ‘Todi Todi Piya Karo’.

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