Pride of Pakistan – Iqbal Bano: The Iconic Ghazal Singer
Iqbal Bano the noted ghazal singer was born in Punjab in 1935. She was brought up in Delhi where she received her training in pure classical and light classical music from Ustad Chaand Khan. On his reference, she started her singing career from All India Radio Delhi.
In 1952 Iqbal Bano migrated to Pakistan along with her family. The same year she was married to a landlord who promised never to be hindrance in her singing. Iqbal Bano received invitations for performances from Radio Pakistan. She also did playback singing for Pakistani movies in 19500; some of which are still remembered because of her soulful singing. In 1957 Iqbal Bano first sang for the public in Arts Council Lahore.
Iqbal Bano has sung several beautiful ghazals in her typical classical style for which she has been appreciated by people from all walks of life. But she is best known for rendering the poems of Fayez Ahmed Fayez be it the soul stirring sensitive “Dasht-e- Tanhai Mein” or the inspirational “Hum Dekhenge”, she has truly immortalized Fayez’s work. Hum Dekhenge became the hallmark of her career as she sang the song in public when the then military government had banned such songs and the poet himself was declared a persona non grata by the military dictator.
Besides singing in Urdu, she also sang in Persian and was popular in Iran and Afghanistan. Iqbal Bano was awarded the Sitara-e- Imtiaz for her contributions to Pakistan’ music industry.
This iconic ghazal singer passed away on 21st April 2009. She has left behind numerous unforgettable melodies and also a void which is impossible to fill.
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