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Renowned Indian singer and composer Bhupinder Singh died at a Mumbai hospital on Monday (18 July) from suspected colon cancer and Covid-19 complications. He was 82.
Singh’s wife Mitali confirmed the news of the Amritsar-born singer’s death in a statement to the Press Trust of India on Monday, telling the outlet he was admitted to hospital for treatment of a urine infection over a week ago.
A ghazal singer herself, she said: “He was admitted to the hospital eight to 10 days ago as he had some infection in the urine. After tests were performed, [Singh] tested positive for Covid-19. He passed away at around 7.45pm due to suspected colon cancer and [also] had Covid-19.”
Singh was one of India’s pioneering ghazal singers. A ghazal is a lyrical poem composed of couplets or “sher” and typically deals with feelings of amatory loss, pain or separation.
Over his decades-long career, Singh has lent his voice to popular ghazals such as “Do Deewane Shehar Mein” (Two lovers in the city), “Ek Akela is Shehar Mein” (Alone in the city), “Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Aasman” (A little bit of earth, a little part of the sky), and “Karoge Yaad Toh” (You’’ll remember me) among others.
While working in the Hindi film industry, or Bollywood, Singh collaborated with other legendary singers and composers such as RD Burman, Gulzar, Bappi Lahiri, Lata Mangeshkar and Madan Mohan.
He was also the guitarist on several iconic Bollywood songs like “Dum Maaro Dum” (Puff, take a puff) from the 1971 film Hare Rama Hare Krishna and “Chingari Koi Bhadke” (When a spark flares) from Amar Prem, which was released the following year.
After news of Singh’s passing broke, several well-known Bollywood singers paid tribute to him on Twitter.
Bollywood playback singer Harshdeep Kaur wrote: “Extremely sad news… Rest in Peace Bhupinder Ji. A huge loss to the world of music.”
Ankur Tewari, one of the country’s foremost musical talents, tweeted: “Oh no, RIP” with the folded hands emoji.
Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde said: “With the demise of Bhupinder Singh, we have lost an artist whose voice was revered by audiences.
“His voice made several ghazals immortal and unforgettable. His songs will continue to resonate in the minds of the audiences.”
Singh is survived by his wife Mitali and their son.