Google, on Tuesday, paid tribute to legendary Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, on his 67th birthday, by customising today’s Google doodle, in the memory of the singer. The doodle shows Khan performing with his qawwal party, his hand raised to form the ‘L’ in Google.
Born in 1948, Faisalabad, Pakistan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan carried forward his family’s centuries-old tradition of qawwali, a popular form of devotional Sufi music, in the Indian subcontinent. He is credited to have brought this form of music to the international stage.
One of the greatest singers of his generation, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan possessed an extraordinary vocal range. He was bestowed the UNESCO Music award in 1995 for his contribution to the world of music. In 2008, Khan was listed in 14th position, in UGO’s list of the best singers of all time.
During the active years of his musical career, Khan toured extensively and collaborated with several musicians, including Peter Gabriel on the soundtrack to The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Michael Brook on the albums Mustt Mustt (1990), Night Song (1996); he also collaborated with Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder for the soundtrack of Dead Man Walking (1995), as well as with the Oscar winning music director, AR Rahman. He sung the song “Gurus of Peace” for Rahman’s album Vande Mataram, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of India’s independence. Khan also recorded songs for several Bollywood movies.
Khan passed away at an early age of 48, on 16 August 1997, owing to several health complications.