Indian classical music lost a gem with Rashid Khan's passing away

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa • 1 Months ago
Late Ustaad Rashid Khan
Late Ustaad Rashid Khan


Jayanarayan Prasad/Kolkata

With the passing away of Ustad Rashid Khan, who kept alive the cultural get-togethers, it appears as if the classical music has taken a break. It is hard to believe that this great musician is no more.

On his death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, saddened by the demise of the great personality of Indian classical music, Ustad Rashid Khan ji. His unique talent and dedication to music have enriched our cultural world and inspired generations.

His demise has left a void that will be difficult to fill. My heartfelt condolences to his family, disciples, and countless fans. Prostate cancer had broken Rashid Khan from within.

Ustad Rashid Khan was too young to leave this world. He was 55 when the prostate cancer got the better of him. He was being treated at the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital in Mumbai for a long period for cancer and breathed his last in a private nursing home in Kolkata on January 9, 2024.

He was born on July 1, 1968, in Badayun, a town in Uttar Pradesh.

Ustad Rashid Khan was the grandson of Ustad Inayat Hussain Khan, one of the pillars of Hindustani singing. He made the 'Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana' a name to reckon with in Hindustani classical music.

Inayat Hussain Khan died in 1919 at the age of 70 years.

Ustad Rashid Khan learned the nuances of Hindustani singing from Ustad Nisar Hussain Khan, who was considered an expert in 'Tarana singing'. Nisar Hussain Khan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. He was the maternal grandfather of Ustad Rashid Khan. He was also the court singer of Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad (III) of Baroda.

Rashid Khan performed the first concert of his life at the age of seven years. It was in the year 1978, the ATC organized a classical music concert in Delhi. When a young Rashid Khan sang, the audience was mesmerized.

After getting trained under Ustad Nisar Hussain Khan, Rashid Khan came to Bombay to live with his maternal uncle, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. 

Ghulam Mustafa Khan, A Sangeet Natak Academy awardee, belonged to the Gwalior Gharana.

After his death on January 17, 2021, at the age of 89 in Bombay it was left to Ustad Rashid Khan to carry on the legacy of the 'Rampur-Sahaswan' gharana. 

In the year 1980, on the advice of his gurus, at the age of 14, Rashid Khan came to Calcutta and joined the ITC Music Research Academy located in Tollygunge, Calcutta. At that time, Ustad Nisar Hussain Khan was the head of this music academy. 

Ustad Rashid Khan’s first Bollywood number Aaoge Jab Tum Sajna for Imtiaz Ali's film Jab We Met (2007) made him quite popular and he started getting offers for singing.

Rashid Khan also sang for the Movie Goldfish (2023), Kisna (2004), Mausam (2011), Raaz 3 (2012), Ishq (2015), Kadambari, Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana (2017), the film 'Ishqiya' in 2018 and the film Manto in 2019 further expanded Rashid Khan's skills.

He also sang in two Bengali films in which the music was composed by the famous tabla player Vikram Ghosh.

Rashid Khan's textured voice was honoured at the national level with the government conferring on him first the Padma Shri (2006), followed by Padma Bhushan (2022) and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2022).

Ustad Rashid Khan leaves behind his Soma Khan, two daughters Suha Khan, and Shaona Khan and son Armaan Khan. 

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Soma Khan took great care of Ustad Rashid Khan. Among his countless fans across the country is the famous Rabindrasangeet exponent Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta, who was crying bitterly on the day of Ustad Rashid Khan's death.