A formidable name in the ghazal world, his soulful voice touched ghazal lovers across the world. Hassan has been keeping unwell since the last couple of days, with his son Arif commenting a couple of days back, "My father has been ill for the last 12 years but this year, his condition has deteriorated significantly and in the last one month, he was discharged from the hospital for just one day before being admitted again."
He has been suffering from chest, lungs and urinary tract ailments since the last few years and had retired from professional singing since the late 80's.
He was born into a family of hereditary musicians on 18th Jul 1927 in Luna, Rajasthan and claims to be the 16th generation of hereditary musicians hailing from the Kalawant clan of musicians. He had to shift base to Pakistan after the partition of India that saw him suffering serious financial hardships.
Mehdi Hassan has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions: the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz granted to him by General Ayub Khan; the Pride of Performance bestowed on him by General Ziaul Haq and the Hilal-i-Imtiaz conferred by General Pervez Musharraf.
Besides the Nigar Film and Graduate Awards from Pakistan, he was presented the Saigal Award in Jalandhar, India, in 1979 and the Gorkha Dakshina Bahu Award in Nepal in 1983.