The oldest performing musician of the country Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, a descendant of Tansen, passed away today, 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 on Friday 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 yesterday 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."
(All images sourced from PTI)