Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas dies at 72 after prolonged illness 

Singer Pankaj Udhas dies at 72.
Singer Pankaj Udhas dies at 72. Photo Courtesy: Pankaj Udhas X page

Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas, whose mellifluous voice enchanted music lovers for generations and gave a pure expression of love, emotions, lament and longing through his soulful vocals, died in Mumbai after a prolonged illness on Monday (February 26, 2024).

He was 73.

“With a very heavy heart, we are saddened to inform you of the sad demise of Padma Shri Pankaj Udhas on 26 February due to a prolonged illness,” read a statement issued by the Udhas family as quoted by the media.

Pankaj Udhas’ representative told The Indian Express, “Pankaj sir was suffering from a prolonged illness and wasn’t keeping well the last few days. He died this morning around 11 am at Breach Candy hospital.”

A remarkable singing journey

Born in Jetpur in Gujarat in 1951, Pankaj Udhas started his career with the release of a ghazal album titled Aahat in 1980 and subsequently recorded many hits like Mukarar in 1981, Tarrannum in 1982, Mehfil in 1983, Pankaj Udhas Live at Royal Albert Hall in 1984, Nayaab in 1985 and Aafreen in 1986.

After his success as a ghazal singer, he was invited to appear and sing for a film by Mahesh Bhatt.

He will be remembered for singing evergreen tracks like ‘Chitthi Aayee Hai’ and ‘Chandi Jaisa Rang Hai’.

In 2006, Pankaj Udhas was awarded Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award.


Indian Minister Anurag Thakur posted on X: “Deeply saddened the news of passing of Pankaj Udhas ji. His career, spanning more than 4 decades, enriched our music industry and gifted us with some of the most memorable and melodious renditions of gazals. His demise is an irreparable loss to our music world.”

“My sincere condolences to his family, friends, and followers in this difficult time. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

Singer Anup Jalota wrote on X: “Shocking …. Music legend & my Friend #PankajUdhas passes away. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his Family and loved ones during this difficult time. .”