Ghazal icon Pankaj Udhas passes away at 72, due to illness

Pankaj Udhas

Rama Krishna Sangem

India’s ghazal icon and leading playback singer, Pankaj Udhas, on February 26 Monday passed away in Mumbai after a prolonged illness at the age of 72. His daughter Nayyab confirmed the sad news on social media, “With a very heavy heart, we are saddened to inform you of the sad demise of Padma Shri Pankaj Udhas on 26th February 2024 due to a prolonged illness. Udhas family.” His last rites will take place on Tuesday.

On news of Pankaj Udhas’ demise, Bollywood singer Sonu Nigam wrote, “One of the most important part of my childhood, is lost today. Shri Pankaj Udhas ji, I will miss you forever. My heart cries knowing that you are no more. Thank you for being there. Om Shanti.” Pankaj is survived by wife Farida Udhas, daughters Nayaab and Reva Udhas, and brothers Nirmal and Manhar Udhas, who are also singers.

Pankaj Udhas’ career

Born on May 17, 1951, in Jetpur, Gujarat, Pankaj Udhas began his career with the release of the ghazal album “Aahat” in 1980. Swiftly, he became synonymous with ghazal music in India. In Bollywood, the ghazal maestro lent his voice to the iconic track “Chitthi Aayee Hai” for the film “Naam,” starring Sanjay Dutt. He is also best known for his memorable tracks like “Chandi Jaisa Rang Hai” from Pravin Bhatt’s 1998 film Ek Hi Maqsad, “Aaj Phir Tumpe” from Feroz Khan’s 1988 action thriller Dayavan, “Jeeye To Jeeye Kaise” from Lawrence D’Souza’s 1991 romantic film Saajan, and “Chhupana Bhi Nahi Aata” from Abbas-Mustan’s 1993 revenge thriller Baazigar among others.

His ghazal career includes reputed albums like Aahat (1980) and tracks like Na Kajre Ki Dhaar, Aur Ahista Kijiye Baatein, Ek Taraf Uska Ghar, and Thodi Thodi Piya Karo.

The legendary singer also received several accolades for his contributions to music, including the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards in India, which was conferred upon him in 2006.

Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at