Nazia Hassan

Nazia Hassan (April 3, 1965 – August 13, 2000) was an iconic Pakistani pop singer. Her song "Aap Jaisa Koi" from the film Qurbani made her a legend and pop icon in Pakistan and all of South Asia in the 80s where she is admired and loved even today, several years after her death.

Nazia Hassan was born in Karachi, Pakistan and from an early age showed interest in music. Nazia's professional career started at the age of fifteen when she provided the lead vocals for the song Aap Jaisa Koi from a Bollywood film titled Qurbani (1980), by Indian producer-director Feroz Khan. Nazia was introduced to Feroz by his friend in the United Kingdom The song was a huge success in India and despite Nazia being a Pakistani, she gained overnight fame there.
She then collaborated with Biddu, a UK-based Indian music producer who was also the composer of Aap Jaisa Koi, on numerous other projects. Biddu had previously made several hit-songs for various singers like Tina Charles and Carl Douglas. In 1981, Biddu released Nazia's first mega-hit, Disco Deewane. The album broke record sales in Pakistan and India and even topped the charts in the West Indies, Latin America and Russia. Her later albums also had vocals of her brother, Zoheb Hassan. These included Star/Boom Boom (1982), Young Tarang (1984), Hotline (1987), and Camera Camera (1992). Nazia and Zoheb appeared with music maestro Sohail Rana's Pakistani television program for children, "Sung Sung". In 1988, Nazia and Zoheb also hosted the groundbreaking show Music '89 produced by Shoaib Mansoor.
After the huge success of their music, selling millions of albums worldwide, EMI Music International also Nazia and Zoheb, making them as the first South Asian artists to be signed by an international music label.
Nazia and Zoheb's television interviews were shown on TV in India, Pakistan, Dubai, UK (big names like David Soul, David Essex, Zia Mohiuddin conducted the interviews on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 etc) and many other countries

Pakistan's vibrant contemporary music scene owes itself to Nazia Hassan's redefinition of pop. In fact, the biggest nineties bands including the Vital Signs and the Jupiters got a platform on "Music '89". Nazia also had a seismic impact in India. India Today magazine voted her as one of the 50 people who helped change the face of India. She has contributed to the development of the present isomorphism of Bollywood music and pop: “She set - well ahead of its time - the personal album trend in India”, spawning the likes of Alisha Chinai, Lucky Ali and Shweta Shetty.
In fact, such was Nazia’s success that in Bollywood there is an intriguing story stating that she outdid both in terms of sales and popularity the Indian playback singer, Lata, Mangeshkar. ” Lata's biographer Raju Bharatan poses the following question: “Were there, then, no serious challenges to Lata Mangeshkar in her long singing career?” The answer surprises: “…there was a happening in Lata's life and times that made a mere teenager a near despair for her. That teenybopper was Nazia Hasan.” He continues, “Lata’s film Aasha…just could not catch up with Nazia's Aap jaisa koi for 14 weeks running, hard as it tried! The year 1980 in Hindi film music thus belonged to a UK based Pakistani singer – a slip of a girl who came to India via England to capture subcontinental hearts. There was no way even the velvet voice of Lata could scale down Nazia during that spell.”

Besides music, Nazia has the honour of starting a noble trend of working for the under privileged and poor. All their money earned from music was spent for charity. Nazia supported the “Inner Wheel Club” of India to help with funds for them. In Pakistan, an organization “BAN” for fighting against the curse of narcotics was established. She belonged to many charity organizations and worked with her mother Muniza Basir in the low income areas of Karachi to help the needy and sick. Nazia worked with Javed Jabbar, former Information Minister, to raise funds for children in Rajasthan. She went to a very large number of schools to collect toys for the poor children and gave talks on the subject of social awareness for the under privileged. Nazia never forgot the love and support of all the schools and always spoke with great affection for them. The worthy staff and the students of St Joseph’s Convent, Mama Parsi School and many others had gone out of their way to help the cause.

Surprisingly, music was only a hobby for Nazia and though her achievements in this field were any one’s dream come true, she lived away from the glitzy world and led a secluded and simple life. She completed her education in the UK, got a law degree and then worked in the United Nations in the Security Council. Nazia continued her social work even in New York and worked for children from the UN platform.

She is known to be the "Sweetheart of Pakistan" and "The Nightingale of East". Nazia Hassan is still the symbol of grace, sacred beauty and innocence and is frequently compared to Princess Diana as she was known to possess a heart of gold. Nazia spent her teenage between Karachi and London where she would go on to read law at a London University. Nazia was married on March 30, 1995 to Mirza Ishtiaq Baig. This marriage was a complete failure and Nazia Hassan got divorced just before her demise