Legendary classical musician Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan dies at 89

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Updated: January 17, 2021 9:38 PM

Renowned Indian classical musician Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan passed away at the age of 89 on Sunday afternoon

Ustad Ghulam Mustafa KhanUstad Ghulam Mustafa Khan passed away today. (Express archive photo)

Renowned Indian classical musician Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan passed away at the age of 89 on Sunday afternoon at his residence here, his family said. Khan’s daughter-in-law Namrata Gupta Khan told PTI that the veteran breathed his last at 12.37 pm at his Bandra home.

“He was fine in the morning… but during his massage he vomited. His eyes were shut and he was breathing slowly. I tried connecting to doctors but by the time they came, he had already died,” Namrata said. She said the family is in shock due to Khan’s sudden demise as he was keeping well. The musician was going to turn 90 on March 3.

Khan had suffered a brain stroke in 2019 that left one side of his body paralysed. Namrata also shared the news about Khan’s death on her Facebook page. “With a very heavy heart, I inform you all that my father-in law, the pillar of our family and a legend of our nation, Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan sahab has left for his heavenly abode few mins ago,” she posted.

Khan’s last rites were performed at Santacruze Kabrastan in the evening. Born on March 3, 1931 in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh, Khan was the eldest son in a family of four brothers and three sisters.

His father, Ustad Waris Hussain Khan was the son of celebrated musician Ustad Murred Baksh, while his mother, Sabri Begum, was the daughter of Ustad Inayat Husain Khan, credited as the founder of the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana of music.

Khan received his basic classical music training from his father and later studied music under his cousin, Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1991, followed by Padma Bhushan in 2006 and Padma Vibhushan in 2018. In 2003, he was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artistes.

Mourning Khan’s death Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the musician’s passing away has left “our cultural world poorer”. “The passing away of Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Sahab leaves our cultural world poorer. He was a doyen of music, a stalwart of creativity whose works endeared him to people across generations. I have fond memories of interacting with him. Condolences to his family and admirers,” Modi posted on Twitter.

Melody queen Lata Mangeshkar, Sitar maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and music composer AR Rahman also paid tributes to the musician. Mangeshkar said she was “deeply saddened” by the news of Khan’s death.

“I got to know the news of passing away of Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Saheb. I am deeply saddened. He was not only a very good singer but also a very good human being,” she said, adding, her niece had also learnt music from him. Rahman remembered Khan as the “sweetest teacher”.

“The sweetest teacher of all… May the Ghafoor-ur-Rahim give you a special place in the next world #UstadGhulamMustafa,” he wrote. Amjad Ali Khan said Khan’s passing away has left him heartbroken. “He was one of the most respected and versatile Vocalists of our country. My deepest condolences to his family. May his soul Rest In Peace,” he posted on the microblogging site.

“My teacher. Guru to a student who just wouldn’t stay on. Great teacher. Great artist. Hindustani Classical Music has been bereaved. His students have been orphaned. I have been orphaned. RIP Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Saab. Stay strong brothers Murtuza, Qadir and Rabbani,” filmmaker Hansal Mehta tweeted.

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