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Remembering Pankaj Udhas, Legendary Playback Singer & India's Ghazal Icon

Pankaj Udhas passed away due to prolonged illness on 26 February.

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Legendary Indian ghazal and playback singer Pankaj Udhas passed away due to prolonged illness on Monday, 26 February. He was in his early 70s. The news of the singer's demise was shared by his family on social media.

Born in Jetpur, Gujarat, Pankaj was the youngest of the three brothers in his family. His father, Jituben Udhas, and brothers, Manhar and Nirmal, were also musicians. Seeing his brothers' interest in music, Pankaj's father enrolled him at the Sangeet Academy in Rajkot.

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Pankaj, who initially enrolled to learn Tabla, began learning Hindustani vocal classical music from Ghulam Qadir Khan Sahab at the academy. Soon, he moved to Mumbai with his family to train under the tutelage of Navrang Nagpurkar, a singer from Gwalior.

Pankaj finished his higher education at Mumbai's Wilson College and St Xavier's College. In 1980, he began his career with his first ghazal album titled 'Aahat'. Subsequently, he went on to record many hits like 'Mukarar' (1981), 'Tarrannum' (1982), 'Mehfil' (1983), 'Nayaab' (1985), and 'Aafreen' (1986), among others.

After his success as a ghazal singer, Pankaj made his Bollywood debut with the song 'Chitthi Aayee Hai' for Mahesh Bhatt's 1986 film Naam, starring Sanjay Dutt and Amrita Singh.

Thereafter, Pankaj did playback singing for many Hindi films like Ghayal, Mohra, Saajan, and Yeh Dillagi, among others. As of 2011, he had released more than fifty albums and hundreds of compilation albums. In 2006, the singer was honoured with India's fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri.

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Topics:  Pankaj Udhas 

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