LAHORE -- Legendary sitar player Ustad Raees Khan died on Saturday. He was 77.
He was reportedly diagnosed with an ailment and had been bedridden for quite some time. He breathed his last in Karachi.
He is survived by his wife, renowned singer Bilqees Khanum, and four sons, according to Tribune Pakistan.
Ustad Raees was born in 1939 in Indore, India in a family of musicians. He belonged to the Mewati Gharana of Indian classical music. His maternal grandfather Inayat Ali Khan was also considered one of the finest sitar players in the subcontinent.
He learned music from his uncle, Walayat Ali Khan and father Muhammad Khan.
He gave his first performance at the age of 5 in Bombay's Sunder Bi Hall. The performance was attended by the governor and Maharaja of India, who appreciated his talent.
Subsequently, he performed on several occasions and had his first foreign tour to Poland. He travelled around the world and in 1963 visited Pakistan for his maiden performance in Karachi.
In 1968, he moved to Pakistan.
He met Balqees Begum in 1979 and the following year they tied the knot.
Ustad Raees has composed famous songs like "Jab Tera Hukam Mila Tarkay Mohaabat Kar Di", "Ab Kay Saal Poonam Main", "Neend Ankhoun Se Uri", "Mojoun Sahil Se Milo", "Main Khayal Hun Kisi Aur Ka", "Kabhi Kitaboun Main Phool Rakhna" and many others.
He was honoured with Presidential award and Sitara-e- Imtiaz in 2005 and 2017, respectively.
Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar took to Twitter to condole, Raees Khan's death, writing, "The magician among sitar players, Ustad Rais Khan sahab, is no more. It is a very sad news. I pay my tributes to him."
Pakistani singer Ali Zafar posted, "Extremely saddened. The great Ustad Raees Khan Sahab,legendary sitar nawaz passed away. Have wonderful memories with him. God bless his soul.
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