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Mehnaz, born in 1957 in Karachi, was one of the finest singers in Pakistan. After Madam Noor Jehan, she had sung the largest number of songs for the Pakistani film industry. Mehnaz was equally at ease in rendering semi-classical, folk or pop numbers in Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pushto, and Persian. She died at the age on 55 while going to USA on 19th January 2013. According to her comtemprary singer Naheed Akhtar she was being ignored by most of music directors hence she decided to come to Karachi and stay there. This fact made her sad and grieved.
Her mother, Kajjan Begum, a respected semi-classical singer who migrated from Lucknow (India), was the first to encourage Mehnaz in music. Her career was also influenced by composer Nazar Hussain and Pundit Ghulam Hussain, the elder brother ofghazal singer Mehdi Hassan. She also considers famed singer Noor Jehan as her spiritual ustad (teacher).
Salim Gilani of Radio Pakistan, Karachi, introduced Mehnaz for the first time on radio in 1973. The same year, Ameer Imam, a Karachi television producer, signed her on for a musical programme entitled "Naghmazaar," which introduced Mehnaz to television audiences. She was quickly noticed by film composers, and she was approached by A. Hameed, who recorded her voice for his compositions in “Jehaz”. She recorded several songs composed by Robin Ghosh for "Aina" and "Bandish" which became extremely popular.
In 1981, Mehnaz toured the United States and Canada, where she sang for large audiences in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Toronto. Three years later, she visited the United Kingdom, where she also attracted a large audience.
Mehnaz has recorded more than 2,500 songs for radio, television, and films and remains as popular today as she was when her first recording was broadcast on radio in 1973.
The following song not only ignited her career, but also became the most radio-recorded romantic number of the yester years.
'Mein jis din bhula doon tera pyar dil say, wo din Aakhri ho meri zindigi ka' (the film 'Khushbu', starring: Shahid, Rani, Mumtaz, Ibrahim Nafees, Rangeela).
Below is a duet, which is her crowning achievement. She knew she was all for it:
'Pyar ka wada aisay nibha yein' (Mehnaz- Mehdi Hasan)
Better still was the song in the film 'Bazaar-e-husn', directed by Mohammad Javed Fazil: 'Lehroan ki tarhaan tujh ko bikharnay nahi dain gey'.
The film 'Sheeshay ka ghar' (director: Nazrul Dada) was brought to life by the following duet:
'Ye safar teray, meray pyar ka' (Mehnaz- Mehdi Hasan).
When it came to any situation in a movie that had emotion, composers usually turned to Mehnaz. Example:
'Wada karo saajna' (Duet: Mehnaz- Alamgir, the mega hit movie, 'Aa'ena', director: Nazrul Dada).
For the sake of record, Mehnaz also lent her voice to the following films:
'Pehchaan', 'Prince', 'Play boy', 'Aankhon, Aankhon mein', 'Chori, chori', 'Qurbani',
'Bewe ho to aisi', 'Kabhi alwida na kehna', 'Balandi', 'Ehtejaaj', 'Anmol mohabbat',
'Amber', 'Aabshaar', 'Accident', 'Badaltay mausum', 'Parastish', 'Pehli nazar',
'Daman', 'Do raastay'.
She also had a knack for doing the best in romantic numbers. Two examples:
'Mein tujhay dil mein basa loon' (the film 'Bandish')
'Do pyasay dil aik huway' (duet: Mehnaz- Mehdi Hasan, the film 'Bandish').
Mehnaz has that unparalleled quality to inflame almost any audience through her magical voice:
'Aaja, Aaja, karlay pyar' (the film 'Dulhan ik raat ki').
'Pyar ki sharab nigahoan say pila doon' (the film 'Dulhan ik raat ki').
Mehnaz's professional aspirations grew with every new song and so also her
'Chalo ik faisla kar lain (duet: Mehnaz- Ahmed Rushdi, the film 'Mohabbat aur mehangaae').
Her distinctive singing voice made her a household name. The following song is a touchstone for all Mehnaz's admirers, as its lyrics eloquently proves:
'Parda utha kay jaan-e-mun.'
She made her mark as a singer in the film 'Naag aur nagan'.
'Mun jhoomay, mun gaaye.'
She increasingly found opportunities to show her dramatic singing abilities, notably in the film 'Andaata.' Two examples:
'Teray, meray lar gaye nain.'
'Mujhay tum mil gaye.' (duet: Mehnaz- Mehdi Hasan)
At the height of her fame, she recorded the following romantic number:
'Lipat jaaon phuloan ka haar bun kar'(the film 'Jageer').
Mehnaz has every reason to feel buoyant, since she has left a flawless track record of successes.
Moreover, her fans have nothing but faith and love for her songs.
She delivers every note, every syllable in perfect order and apparently there is a huge audience for that.
By far, the most prolific singer of the Pakistani cinema and the voice behind the most influential movies of her generation. Mehnaz entertained the cine-goers with this song:
'Pyar bina Aadmi kuchh nahi' (the film 'Teesri qasam').
She sang with the intensity of an authoritative artist and rightly so. Example:
'Hum say jo tunay ki bay wafai' (the film 'Talaash')
The following song in her voice achieved eminence. It went on to become the wave of the future!
'Ye maujain kahan jaati hain, takra kay phir Aati hain,
chalti he rehti hain, rukti nahi hain ye,
chahay kinara milay na milay'.
Beloved by audiences as well as a new generation of movie-goers. The following song added fresh laurels to her name:
'Chaap tilak sub cheen lee ray mosay naina milai kay.'
Mehnaz's incomparable voice and first class presentation in the film 'Aansoo,'
made her the most sought after singer in the music industry:
'Aaee ray Aaee deikh kali ghata.'
What is more, her lilting voice is an utterly beguiling feast for pulses, hearts, minds and souls. Example:
'Khilonay teri zindigi hai kya' (the film 'Kundan', duet: Mehnaz- Akhlaq Ahmed).
Hers is a voice to be reckoned with. She recorded the following song in her passionate, engrossingly captivating voice:
'Mera pyar teray jeewan kay sung rahay ga.'
Mehnaz is musical by nature. The quality of her voice is awe-inspiring. She is extraordinary in her range and flexibility.
Above all, Mehnaz is endowed with immense intensity and control over her God-gifted voice.
She is the combination of music and control that is so rare. Examples:
'Teray meray pyar ka aisa nata.' (the film 'Sallakhain')
'O meray saanwarya, baansari bajaye ja.' (the film 'Baray mian diwanay').
One marvels at her comprehension of words, as one listens to her songs.
She always sings with complete understanding of lyrics. Her voice has intangibility, resonance, depth and strength.
The following song will exemplify this point:
'Is matlabi duniya ko koi pyar sikha day' (the film 'Naghmaat ki raat')
The fiber of her voice retains resolution in all scales. The throw of words by her remains unmatched.
Most importantly, her utterance of lyrics is remarkably fluent. Two examples:
'Shayerana see hai zindigi' (the film 'Naik Perveen')
'Yahan say wahan tak' (the film 'Yahan say wahan tak')
Mehnaz is the only Pakistani female singer to have won the most Nigar Awards. She earned ten Nigar Awards up until 1990.
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