Kolkata: Ustad Rashid Khan, one of the most celebrated classical singers of India, breathed his last at a private hospital in Kolkata on Tuesday. He was suffering from prostate cancer and had a cerebral attack last month. He was 55 years old.
Khan belonged to the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana and was the great-grandson of its founder, Inayat Hussain Khan. He was known for his mastery over various genres of classical music, such as khayal, thumri, tarana, and dhrupad. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2006 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2009.
His death was mourned by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who visited the hospital and consoled his family members. She said that Khan’s demise was a huge loss for the country and the music fraternity. She announced that Khan would be given a gun salute and state honours before his cremation on Wednesday.
“His body will be kept at a mortuary today. It will be taken to Rabindra Sadan on Wednesday where his admirers can pay him last respects,” she said.
Khan is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. He will be remembered as a legend who enriched the Indian classical music with his soulful voice and sublime artistry.