KARACHI: The 94th birth anniversary of Noor Jehan, also known as Malika-e-Tarannum (Queen of Melody), is being observed today.
Born as Allah Wasai in Kasur on September 21, 1926, she was given the honorific title of ‘Malika-e-Tarannum’. Her artistic career spanned six decades as a playback singer, songstress, and actress with a vast command on classical music and other genres.
Noor Jehan had started her musical career from Calcutta at the age of nine as a singer child star. After partition, she moved from Bombay and started her film career in Pakistan.
She holds the record for having given voice to the largest number of film songs in the history of Pakistani cinema. She is estimated to have made more than 40 films and sung around 20,000 numbers during her career.
She one of the most prolific singers of all time and also considered to be the first female Pakistani film director with film ‘Chann Wey’ in 1951. She sang more than 10,000 ghazals and songs in various languages including Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and Sindhi.
She sang a large number of duets with Ahmed Rushdi, Mehdi Hassan, Masood Rana, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mujeeb Aalam. She received many awards including the Pride of Performance in 1965.
Her national patriotic songs, during the 1965 Pakistan-India War, are an important part of the national history which boosted her popularity. Noor Jehan died on December 23, 2000, in Karachi due to heart failure.