Pakistan has produced astonishing singers throughout decades having unique and idiosyncratic singing styles. Many singers have made their names internationally through music and their creativity is what has made them stand alone in the league. Film industries of other countries have taken Pakistani artists and this paved the way for the Pakistani singers to get recognized globally over the years. Here are the top 5 internationally known singers of Pakistan.
Mehdi Hasan – An internationally praised singer, also known as ‘Shahenshah–e-Ghazal’ has been one of the biggest names in Pakistan’s music industry. He is a respectable and honorable personality of Pakistan who has won millions of hearts in the subcontinent. Known for his melodic patterns and ‘haunting’ baritone voice. His albums include Andaz-e-Mastana, Khuli Jo Ankh, Dil Jo Rota Hai. From his long list of ghazals, the ones that he is well known for are Ranjish Hi Sahi, Mujhay Tum Nazar Se, Rafta Rafta Woh Meri, Zindagi Mein Tou Sabhi Pyaar Kiya Karte Hain and Ab Ke Hum Bichde To Shayad Kabhi Khwaabon Mein Milein. These are his ghazals which earned him immense success. He has been awarded with many awards for his work towards music and for representing the true image of Pakistan.
Noor Jehan – most influential singer of all time who ruled over 6 decades for which she was given the title of “Malika-e-Tarannum.” She started first in British India and then in Pakistan, ruled the music industry and made Pakistan stronger in the music industry. Her contribution to the music industry which has brought revolution in the industry include Kiya Yehi Tera Pyaar Tha, Ja Ja Ja Bewafa, Pardes Balam Tum Jaoge. She is mostly known for her songs such as Mujhse Pehli Si Mohabbat, Raat Pehli Hai Tere, Chandni Raatein and many more. She has also received many awards for her singings and most important she has also received the award for the “Singer of Millennium.” Today, her songs are made into remixes for the new generation.
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Maestro of Qawwali, known for his melodies, forceful rhythms and energetic improvisations. A man who inherited longevity tradition of his forefathers and went on to become a Qawwali icon. He is known for his Sufi Islamic devotional music, with high level of intensity plus remarkable stamina. He has given us the countless hits, which comprise of Afreen Afreen, Mast Nazron se, Tumhe Dillagi Bhool Jani Padegi and Sanu Ek Pal Chain, Kali Kali Zulfon Ke Phande Na Dalo and many others. For his sheer intensity of his chords he was named as the ‘Shahenshah-e-Qawwali’. He traveled around the world and represented the qawwali culture and introduced qawwali to the international audience. He was also popular for his collaborations with Peter Gabriel and Eddie Vedder. Moreover, He is not only popular locally but have also marked his named around the globe as well. Hollywood and Bollywood also got inspired by his music and featured his qawwali in their movies. People worship him for being the messenger of qawwali.
Abida Parveen – one of the most influential Sufi music (Sufiana Kalaam) singers. She is of Sindhi descent, hailing from a long line of Sufi mystics and singers. She started ger career from Radio Pakistan and became very popular and earned tremendous respect from Sufi music lovers all around the world. She has a huge list of Sufi kalaams which project powerful messages and depicts her everlasting love for the Divine. Her famous songs are, Tere Ishq Nachaya, Main Naraye Mastana, Ho Jamalo, heading towards the most acclaimed kalaam Mun Kunto Maula. The list continues which includes Jab Se Tune Mujhe Dewana Bana Rakha Hai, Yaar Ko Humney Ja’Baja Dekha, Tu Ne Dewana Banaya and many more acclaimed Sufi kalaams, songs and ghazals. With the power to induce hysteria in her audience she is considered to be the Queen of Ghazal. However, there are many other singers of the same niche but no one has come closer to what Abida Parveen is. She is one of the finest singers of the industry right now who has garnered such immense respect around the globe.
Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi – A legendary folk singer of Pakistan! He belonged to the Niazi tribe and had left his home to pursue his passion in singing. His passion has made him what he is today! His urdu song Idhar Zindagi Ka Janaza Uthega brought him overnight success and changed the fortunes for him. Khan’s hit album songs include Pyaar Naal, Kameez Teri Kaali, Pyaar Naal Na Sahi, Acha Silah Diya Tune Mere Pyaar Ka which smashed the industry by storm. He caught the eyes of the elites and since then he started travelling around the world for his concerts. He was critically acclaimed both locally and globally for his unique way of singing. He even earned a world record for himself and entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest number of recorded albums by a singer. Khan is one of the finest artists of Pakistan.
There is no denying that Pakistan’s land is the hub of talent which has given us such legendary artist who have earned respect all over the world. Although music was in our culture, it got sidelined due to a rigid rule of banning entertainment by the government that came in power in the late seventies and early eighties. However, our artists fought against all odds and created history for Pakistan by bringing music to the ears of thousands of fans around the world.