Veteran Bollywood playback singer Mohammed Aziz, the voice behind evergreen tracks such as Dil Diya Hai Jaan Bhi Denge Ae Watan Tere Liye, Patjhad Sawan Basant Bahar and My Name Is Lakhan, among many others, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 64.
Aziz, 64, collapsed at the Mumbai Airport after deboarding from a Kolkata flight on Tuesday afternoon. He was rushed to the Nanavati Hospital in Vile Parle where he breathed his last a short while later.
Aziz, who has over 20,000 songs to his credit, has sung in Bollywood, Bengali and Odia film industries. He has recorded several devotional bhajans and Sufi songs as well.
Born in West Bengal's Ashok Nagar as Syed Mohammed Aziz-un-Nabi in July 1954, he started his career as a restaurant singer in Kolkata till he got a singing break in a Bengali film, Jyoti, before he shifted to Mumbai and sang for the Hindi film Ambar (1984).
Later, he was spotted by the music director Anu Malik and got his first major breakthrough in Bollywood with the song Mard Taangewala (Mard, 1984).
Subsequently, he sang for top music directors like Naushad, O.P. Nayyar, Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Bappi Lahiri, R.D. Burman, Rajesh Roshan, Ravindra Jain, Raam-Laxman, Usha Khanna, Nadeem-Shravan, Jatin-Lalit, Aadesh Shrivastava and others.
Songs sung by him were picturised on Amitabh Bachchan, Mithun Chakravorty, Rishi Kapoor, Govinda, Anil Kapoor and other leading actors.
Deeply inspired by the legendary singer Mohammed Rafi, at one point of time Aziz was considered the musical heir to his idol for his versatility and range of singing.
Besides Hindi, he also sang in Bengali, Odiya and other languages during his career spanning nearly three-and-a-half decades.
Some of his memorable Bollywood numbers solo and duets include
My Name Is Lakhan, Aap Ke Aa Jaane Se, Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka, Dil Le Gayi Teri Bindiya, Tu Kal Chala Jayege, To Main Kya Karunga, Patjhad Sawan Basant Bahar, Tu Mujhe Kubool Main Tujhe Kubool, Dil Diya Hai Jaan Bhi Denge Ae Watan Tere Liye and Behna O Behna.
(with inputs from PTI and IANS)