Legendary singer Nayyara Noor passes away

The celebrated crooner, whose fruitful career spanned over several decades, was 71

Popular playback singer Nayyara Noor passed away on Sunday, reported local media. The celebrated crooner, whose fruitful career spanned over several decades, was 71. Noor was conferred with multiple national honours. She was initially conferred with the title of Bulbul-e-Pakistan alongside the Pride of Performance Award by the President of Pakistan in 2006. Noor was also honoured with the Nigar Award in 1973.

The news of her passing away soon reached social media after a family member of the singer confirmed her demise.

End of an era

Soon after, many social media users took to the micro-blogging website and expressed condolences.

Born on November 3, 1950, in Guwahati, Assam, northeastern India, Noor spent her early childhood on the other side of the border. The late singer’s first brush with melody was said to have been inspired by the bhajans of Kanan Devi and Kamla as well as the ghazals and thumris of Begum Akhtar. Despite having a successful career and being touted as Queen of Melody, Noor never had any formal training.

Second to none

The singer was discovered by Professor Asrar Ahmad at the Islamia College in Lahore after hearing her sing for her friends and teachers at an annual dinner at the National College of Arts in Lahore in 1968. She was later brought in to sing for the university’s Radio Pakistan programs.

It wasn’t until 1971 that Noor made her public singing debut. She began with Pakistani television serials and then went on to sing in films like Gharana (1973) and Tansen. She has since sung ghazals penned by famous poets like Ghalib and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Not just that, Noor had performed with legends like Mehdi Hassan and Ahmed Rushdi.

Popular work

Some of her famous ghazals and songs comprise Woh Jo Hum Mein Tum Mein Qarar Tha Tumhein Yaad Ho Keh Na Yaad Ho, Rang Barsaat Nay Bharay Kuchh Tou, Phir Sawan Ruth Ki Pawan Chali Tum Yaad Aye, Aye Ishq Hamay Barbaad Na Kar, Barkha Barsay Chhat Per, Mein Teray Sapnay Deikhuun, Kabhi Hum Bhi Khoobssorat Thay, Jalay Tau Jalao Gori and her most famous, Watan Ki Mitti Gawah Rehna.

She also sang popular film songs. Her famous songs such as Ik Ajnabi Chehray, Mera Pyar Tum Hee Ho, Mausum Tau Deewana Hai, Tera Pyar Bun Kay Aaye, Zara Meri Nabz Dekh Kar, Kuchh Log Mohabbat Ka Sila and Anjanay Naga.

‘Was never tempted by material things in life’

For a better part of the last decade, Noor wasn’t seen in public, until she showed up at Napa in a rare public appearance. “To be honest with you, I was never tempted by material things in life since I was a kid,” Noor told the audience as she sat onstage. “I never felt shallow or incomplete without the embellishments and makeovers. I didn’t need anything to make myself look better and I was and am very content with myself,” the hall echoed with applause.

“You should be in sync with who you really are and that is the only way of embracing the divine energy in you,” Noor had then said. She was of the opinion that the more you force yourself in a certain direction the lesser chances of it working out. “The moment you subscribe to any kind of pretentiousness or fakeness, that’s the moment you lose it.”

Noor remained adamant that finding yourself in your expression is the most significant part of the creative process. It’s all about avoiding that moment and the idea to dress in a stranger’s cloak. “Being who you truly are, helps tremendously,” said Noor while adding, “Only you know who you really are that is all that matters. Your essence is the purity you bring to the world and if you can connect with it then you can do wonders.”

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