Shahnaz Rahmatullah passes away

Cultural Correspondent | Updated at 12:08am on March 25, 2019

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Shahnaz Rahmatullah

Legendary singer Shahnaz Rahmatullah breathed her last on Saturday in the city. With her passing away, an era of memorable melodies and authenticity comes to end.
The singer, who was 67, suffered a heart attack at her Baridhara residence.
The timeless songs she lent her unique voice to would forever be there to attest to her unique talent. The most popular among them were Ek nodi rakta periye, Phuler kane bhramar eshey, Je chhila drishtir simanaye, songs that cut across generations.
Shahnaz, who had long been living away from the limelight, left behind her husband, one son and one daughter and a host of relatives, well-wishers and thousands of music lovers to mourn her death.
President Md Abdul Hamid and prime minister Sheikh Hasina expressed their deep shock and sorrow at the death of Shahnaz Rahmatullah, who during her musical career, spanning over 50 years, recorded around 500 songs for TV, radio and films.
Born to M Fazlul Haque and Asia Haque in 1953 in Dhaka, Shahnaz Rahmatullah began learning music at an early age.
She was brought up in a cultural environment where her talent could flourish alongside her two brothers. Actor Zafar Iqbal and music director Anwar Parvez were her siblings.
Her first brush with fame came quite early — she got national recognition at the age of 11 by becoming champion in the children’s music competition organised by the then Radio Pakistan in 1964.
Between 1960s and 1970s her contribution to music as singer with a unique vocal style ensured her rise to stardom.
She became tremendously popular among the younger generation for her songs.
She lent her voice to playback songs in Urdu films as well as ghazals during the Pakistan era and sang many hit playback songs for Bangla films.
Ek nodi rakta periye, which she recorded for Khan Ataur Rahman’s film Abar Tora Manush Ho (1973), is one of the timeless patriotic songs that still inspires nationalist passion in Bangladeshi audience.
For her contribution to the country’s music scene Shahnaz Rahmatullah received Ekushey Padak in 1992, National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the film Chhutir Phande in 1990, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award and more.
Her namaz-e-janaza was held at the Park Mosque at Baridhara road No. 9 after Zuhr prayer on Sunday. She was laid to eternal rest at Banani Military Graveyard.