Noor Jehan was a Pakistani playback singer and actress who worked first in British India and then in the cinema of Pakistan. she was born at 21 September 1926 – 23 December 2000 at Kasur. She also known by her honorific title Malika-e-Tarannum (the queen of melody), Her career spanned more than six decades (the 1930s–1990s). She was renowned as one of the greatest and most influential singers of all time especially throughout South Asia and was given the honorific title of Malika-e-Tarannum in Pakistan. She had a command of Hindustani classical music as well as other music genres.
Noor Jehan was born as Allah Rakhi Wasai into a Punjabi Muslim family in Kasur, Punjab and was one of the eleven children of Imdad Ali and Fateh Bibi.
In 1944, Noor Jehan married Shaukat Hussain Rizvi of Azamgarh, UP, India.In 1948, Shaukat Rizvi decided to migrate to Pakistan, and Noor Jehan moved too, ending her career in India.She next visited India only in 1982.Her marriage to Rizvi ended in 1953 with divorce; the couple had three children, including their singer daughter Zil-e-Huma.She married Ejaz Durrani in 1959.The second marriage also produced three children but also ended in divorce in 1970.She was also married to actor Yousuf Khan.Names of children are Zil-e-Huma, Hina Durrani, Mina Hasan, Nazia Ejaz Khan, Akbar Hussain Rizvi, and Asghar Hussain Rizvi.
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Noor Jehan began to sing at the age of 6 and showed a keen interest in a range of styles, including traditional folk and popular theatre.Realising her potential for singing, her father sent her to receive early training in classical singing under Ustad Ghulam Mohammad. He started her training at age of 11 at Calcutta and instructed her in the traditions of the Patiala Gharana of Hindustani classical music and the classical forms of thumri, dhrupad, and khyal.
At the age of 9, Noor Jehan drew the attention of Punjabi musician Ghulam Ahmed Chishti, who would later introduce her to the stage in Lahore.He composed some ghazals, naats and folk songs for her to perform, although she was keener on breaking into acting or playback singing. Once her vocational training finished, Jehan pursued a career in singing alongside her sister in Lahore, and would usually take part in the live song and dance performances prior to screenings of films in cinemas.
In 1947,NoorJehan and her husband Rizvi decided to move to Pakistan. They left Bombay and settled in Karachi with their family.
Three years after settling in Pakistan, Jehan starred in her first Pakistani film Chan Wey (1951), opposite Santosh Kumar, which was also her first Pakistani film as a heroine and playback singer. Shaukat Hussain Rizvi and Noor Jehan directed this film together, making Jehan Pakistan’s first female director. It became the highest-grossing film in Pakistan in 1951. Jehan’s second film in Pakistan was Dupatta (1952) which was Produced by Aslam Lodhi, Directed by Sibtain Fazli and assisted by A. H. Rana and as Production Manager. Dupatta turned out to be an even bigger success than Chan Wey.
After quitting acting she took up playback singing. She made her debut exclusively as a playback singer in 1960 with the film Salma. Her first initial playback singing for a Pakistani film was for the 1951 film Chann Wey, for which she was the film director herself. She received many awards, including the Pride of Performance in 1965 by the Pakistani Government. She sang a large number of duets with Ahmed Rushdi, Mehdi Hassan, Masood Rana, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Mujeeb Aalam.
She had an understanding and friendship with many singers of Asia, for example with Alam Lohar and many more.She made great efforts to attend the “Mehfils” (live concerts) of Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Roshan Ara Begum.Lata Mangeshkar commented on Jehan’s vocal range, that Jehan could sing as low and as high as she wanted, and that the quality of her voice always remained the same. Singing was, for Jehan, not effortless but an emotionally and physically draining exercise. In the 1990s, Jehan also sang for début actresses Neeli and Reema.For this very reason, Sabiha Khanum affectionately called her Sadabahar. Her popularity was further boosted with her patriotic songs during the 1965 war between Pakistan and India. In 1971 Madam Noor Jehan visited Tokyo for the World Song Festival as a representative from Pakistan.
Jehan suffered from chest pains in 1986 on a tour of North America and was diagnosed with angina pectoris(Chest pain due to insufficient blood flow in heart vessels) after which she underwent bypass surgery. According to her Daughter, Shazia Hassan, she was suffering from Chronic Kidney disease in her last years and was on dialysis. In 2000, Jehan was hospitalized in Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi and suffered a heart attack. On 23 December 2000 (night of 27 Ramadan), Jehan died as a result of heart failure. Her funeral took place at Jamia Masjid Sultan, Karachi and was attended by over 400,000 people. She was buried at the Gizri Graveyard in Karachi.