A tribute to Ustad Rashid Khan

Fellow artists and others share their heartfelt HOMAGE

Ustad Rashid Khan, a prominent figure in the classical music realm, was known for his affiliation with the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana, characterized by medium-slow tempos, a resonant voice, and intricate rhythmic nuances. His melodious contributions to the art form touched the hearts of many, earning him accolades such as the Padma Shri in 2006, the Padma Bhushan in 2022, and West Bengal’s highest civilian honour, Banga Bibhushan.

The maestro’s health took a critical turn after being admitted to a Kolkata hospital in November for an intracerebral haemorrhage. Despite efforts by a team of neurosurgeons, a hospital-acquired infection proved fatal.

Tributes poured in for the departed soul, underscoring the profound impact Ustad Rashid Khan had on the world of classical music.

Musical Prodigy Remembered

Truly one of the living legends, a prodigy whose recordings you know, from the time when he was 12, people have been listening to. Dil ko chhoone wala — a voice of gold, versatile and comfortable with the kind of playback singing he did, including some beautiful songs from movies. He’s going to be deeply missed, and I feel so privileged to have co-sung a film song, Bol Ke Lab Azaad Hain, with him for the film Manto.

My condolences to his family and his young children. It’s really unfortunate that we lose a legend at such a young age, creating a huge void in the world of music. — Vidya Shah, musician

Music fraternity Lost a gem

Rashid Khan is someone to reckon with when it comes to Indian classical music. He has made a deep impact with his music and teachings as a guru as well. While I have not directly learned from him, as a musician myself, any music that I listen to, any artist that I encounter, feels like learning from a teacher. There is so much to learn and imbibe from every artist, and Ustad Rashid Khan is no different. The most invaluable things about the art form that I have learned are, just by observing and listening to him, the elements of expression, bhava, and, of course, sur. In his music, the way he presents any raag or any thumri, you can see an entire imagery being formed as he performs.That is possible only for artists who have devoted their entire lives to the art form, and the music fraternity has lost a gem today with Rashid Khanji’s passing. But he has left behind a legacy of students and his own music that we’ll keep going back to. So, he lives on in all of his music and students. — Harini Rao, Hindustani classical singer

‘Where words fail, music speaks’

This quote resonates with me today as the soulful musician Ustad Rashid Khanji departs this world. His melodies have offered hope in times of trouble, sparked joy in moments of grief, and inspired contemplation during turmoil. His saadhana/riyaaz serves as a great inspiration for many artists. He lives on, bringing us to life through his music. His concerts were a melting pot, drawing a diverse crowd from various sections of society, a testament to how music can dissolve man-made divides. My deepest condolences go to his family and friends. — Ranjani Sivakumar, musician

Inspiration in Notes

Ustad Rashid Khan was an incredible testament to the power of music in conveying the human experience. As a young music aspirant growing up in the US, Ustadji’s voice was the most frequent sound in my household. I express my gratitude for his unflinching intensity and romance in music, a source of inspiration for me and generations to come. — Anantha R Krishnnan, Mridangam and Tabla artist

Melodic Maestro Mourned

It is very unfortunate that Rashid Khanji, the renowned musician and proponent of Indian classical vocal, has passed away at the young age of 55. This vocalist, acknowledged as an assurance for the future of Indian vocal music by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, served as an inspiration for many students aspiring to delve into the vocal art form. It is a sheer coincidence that our careers ran parallel to each other, with his first stage performance and my arangetram both taking place in the same year, 1977. In later years, although we were invited to perform at a few prestigious cultural events, I missed the opportunity to meet him personally due to our performances being on different dates. The cultural world is now poorer with the loss of this highly accomplished artist. I pray to God to give strength to his family to cope with this irreparable loss. — Dr. Alekhya Punjala, dancer

Loss of a Musical Era

The passing of Ustad Rashid Khan is a profound loss to the world of Indian classical music. His unwavering dedication to the art form and a voice that captured the essence of classical tradition leave an irreplaceable void. As a true guardian of the Rampur gharana, his artistic sense and aesthetic mastery resonate deeply with audiences. His legacy will continue to inspire and influence generations of musicians and music lovers. It is not just the loss of a great musician but the loss of a musical era he so beautifully embodied. — Ananda UVL, Bharatanatyam dancer

Celebs pay RESPECT

What a loss! This is terrible news! — Vishal Dadlani, singer-composer

Unbridled, peerless talent gone too damn soon. Such an indispensable loss to the world of music. Grateful to have witnessed his magic live. Rest in glory maestro. #RIPRashidKhan. — Nimrat Kaur, actor

My respected elder brother and the pride of Classical Music of our country Padmabhushan Ustad Rashid Khan sahab. Aise koi jaata hai kya bhai? Akele akele? Saddened beyond words. You’ll be missed always. — Sonu Nigam, singer

Extremely sad news… Ustad Rashid Khan ji passes away… this is a huge loss to the world of music. He will always be remembered for his excellence in music and his voice will reverberate in our hearts forever — Harshdeep Kaur, Playback singer

Heartbreaking loss. Perhaps the greatest Hindustani classical vocalist of our generation is gone. — Hansal Mehta, filmmaker

Rest in peace Ustadji

Saddened to know about the passing of the eminent Hindustani classical music vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan. A Padma Bhushan awardee, Ustad Rashid Khan showcased immense versatility by exploring fusion and performing jugalbandis. He leaves behind a rich legacy in the field of classical music. I extend my deep condolences to his loved ones and admirers. — Droupadi Murmu, President of India


Deeply saddened by the tragic demise of Ustad Rashid Khan, one of the greatest exponents of Indian classical music of our times. A hugely respected vocalist with unparalleled genius in creating music, he made us proud by settling here and making Bengal his home. He and Soma, his wife, and son Armaan, and the whole family, were close to us and allowed us to be on their side in the maestro’s last journey in life. Ustad Rashid Khan got our highest civilian award Banga Bibhushan and our Sangeet Mahasamman too. He was attached to several of our State cultural bodies in advisory capacity. My profound condolences to Soma, Armaan Khan, and Ustad’s whole family as well as to the countless students and admirers that he leaves behind. — Mamata Banerjee, CM West Bengal

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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