Ahmed Rushdi was one of the greatest singers of South Asia. The titles “Prince of Melody” and “The Wizard of Vocals” (awaz ka jadugar) are a testament of his versatile singing abilities and immense talent.
Ahmed Rushdi was born in a religious family in Hyderabad; Deccan in pre partition India on 24th April 1934. Rushdi lost his father in infancy. Rushdi was blessed with an exceptional voice, natural talent and a strong liking for music.
No one in his family was even remotely associated with music. His father’s friend noticing his fondness for music and his good voice, enrolled him in a local music academy where he was taught by M.A Rauf and Iqbal Quraishi; two renowned composers of that time.
Rushdi sang his first song for an Indian movie Ibrat in 1952. In 1954, Rushdi migrated to Karachi Pakistan with his family and started participating in musical shows, variety programs and Radio Pakistan the most powerful medium of that time.
Rushdi’s song “Bunder Road sey Kemari” for a children’s program was a hit and soon he became a household name. Offers started pouring from the film industry and Rushdi was now a busy playback singer as well.
Rushdi literally ruled over the music industry in the 60s and 70s. At that time there were other great singers as well but Rushdi had carved a special place for himself. Rushdi also was the first singer to introduce pop music to South Asia.
His song “ko ko korena” composed by Sohail Rana and filmed on Waheed Murad set a new trend in the music industry of South Asia. Rushdi lent his voice to all the leading heroes of Pakistan film industry. His voice even suited the supporting actors and the comedians. He sang duets with all the leading female singers of Pakistan.
Rushdi never received any formal training in classical music but he had full command over notes especially high notes. He could capture all moods effectively; was comfortable with every genre of music; film songs, ghazals, qawwali.
On 11th April, 1983, the great singer suffered from a massive heart attack and passed away. The government of Pakistan posthumously awarded him the Pride of Performance award in 2003.
He won several awards including; Best Singer of the Millennium Award in 2000, Legend Award in 2001, Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2004, Indus TV Indus Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and Lux Style Award Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 etc.