The 85th birth anniversary of Pakistan’s first pop star and the most versatile singer ever, Ahmed Rushdi is being observed today (April 24).
Born in Hyderabad Deccan, he migrated to Pakistan and became a leading singer in the Pakistan film industry. He is also considered to be the first regular pop singer of South Asia and credited as having sung the “first-ever South asian” pop song, “Ko-Ko-Korina in the film Armaan.” Rushdi has recorded the highest number of film songs in the history of Pakistani cinema in Urdu, English, Punjabi, Bengali, Sindhi and Gujarati languages and found unprecedented success as a playback artist from the mid-1950s to early 1980s.
In 2003, 20 years after his death, Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf awarded him the Sitara-e-Imtiaz, the “star of excellence,” an honour given for distinguished merit in the fields of literature, arts, sports, medicine, or science. A street in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi, also named Ahmed Rushdi Road. On the night of 11 April 1983 he had a heart attack. He was immediately taken to the hospital but pronounced dead by the doctors. He was 48.
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