India's Oldest Performing Musician Dies At 107

19/02/2016 9:16 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Hindustan Times via Getty Images
NEW DELHI, INDIA - AUGUST 11: Eminent Classical Singer Padma Bhushan Abdul Rashid Khan performs during the Lifetime Achievement Award 2013 after his felicitation at Kamani Auditorium on August 11, 2013 in New Delhi, India. Rashid Khan, who turned 106 this year, is a Hindustani classical vocalist of Gwalior gharana. Anjolie Ela Menon is India's leading contemporary artist whose work is renowned internationally. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

KOLKATA -- The oldest performing musician of the country Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, a descendant of Tansen, passed away yesterday, family members said.

The Padma Bhushan awardee was 107 and is survived by his two sons, two daughters and a number of grandchildren.

Suffering from old-age related ailments, he fell sick in the morning and was rushed to a hospital where he breathed his last, family said.

The body will be flown to Raebareli today for burial as many members of his family are settled there.

A recipient of many honours including Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi award, the eminent classical vocalist never stopped enthralling his fans even if it meant singing from a wheelchair on the stage.

A resident guru at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in the city for the past two decades, Khan had given music lessons even on Wednesday to his students who always called him 'Baba' out of respect.

Trained in the Gwalior gharana of Hindustani classical music, he was adept in the worlds of Khayal, Dhrupad, Dhamar and Thumri.

In 2013, he got the distinction of being the oldest person to get a Padma award.

Also a poet, Khan has written around 2,000 compositions under the pseudonym 'Rasan Piya'.

Born to Chhote Yusuf Khan, he represented the 16th generation of Miyan Tansen's lineage.

Condoling his death, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said "Saddened at the passing away of veteran vocalist Padma Bhushan Abdul Rashid Khan. India has lost a great gem in the world of music."

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