Zubaida Khanum Dies: Famed Pakistani Singer Performed in 'Golden Era'

Image: Zubaida Khanum Dies: Famed Pakistani Singer Performed in 'Golden Era'

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 01:21 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Zubaida Khanum, the famous Pakistani singer who recorded nearly 250 songs for more than 145 movies, died Saturday after suffering a heart attack in her home in the Pakistani city of Lahore. She was 78.

Khanum was known for her famed performances during Lollywood's "golden era" of the 50s and 60s, the BBC said. Lollywood is the Pakistani film industry based in the city of Lahore, the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab.

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Upon learning of her death, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described her as a "national asset," while Pakistan's President Mamnoon Hussain called her contribution to the nation's performing arts and cultural scene as "unforgettable," the BBC said.

In addition to using her voice in various Lollywood films such as "Sarfarosh," "Hameeda," "Sath Lakh," and "Baghi," Khanum also acted in several movies including "Patay Khan," Pakistan's Express Tribune noted.

In an interview with the Indian Express, Khanum's son Faisal Bokhari said his mother "had been dealing with old age-related problems, but Saturday night's heart attack proved fatal."

The eldest of four children, Khanum was born in the Indian city of Amritsar in 1935, however she relocated with her family to Pakistan following the 1947 partition from the British Empire, which up until then had ruled over both nations as part of its once global empire.

In one of her last interviews before she died, Khanum told the BBC that she "always had a passion for singing," adding, "I was so happy being in the studio," despite her family's initial objections.

"They loved my voice," Khanum remembered, recalling that one of her favorite songs was "Aaye Mausam Rangeele" from the film "Saat Lakh," she said. "I loved its music and its lyrics."

Khanum left the music industry when she wed renowned cameraman Riyaz Bokhari, which reportedly happened at the pinnacle of her career. She went on to have two sons and two daughters, whom she lived with toward the end of her life.

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