Pankaj Udhas had pancreatic cancer, reveals long-time friend and singer Anup Jalota

The singer enthralled legions of music lovers through his unique style. Photo | Instagram

Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas who passed away on Monday had pancreatic cancer, revealed long-time friend and singer Anup Jalota. In an interview with The Indian Express, the singer said Pankaj was diagnosed with cancer some time ago and had been under treatment for the illness for the past three months.

Pankaj's family, however, are yet to reveal the cause of the ghazal legend's death, though they had released a statement that 'Pankaj was under treatment for a prolonged illness.”

Prime Minister mourns singer's death 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union minister Anurag Thakur, and film industry veterans, incuding Mahesh Bhatt, Anuradha Paudwal, Anup Jalota, Daler Mehndi and Madhuri Dixit Nene were among those who mourned the singer's death. According to the prime minister, Udhas' singing conveyed a range of emotions and his ghazals spoke directly to the soul.

"He was a beacon of Indian music, whose melodies transcended generations. I recall my various interactions with him over the years. His departure leaves a void in the music world that can never be filled. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti," Modi said in a post on X.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said Udhas' death is an "irreparable loss" to the music world. "Deeply saddened the news of passing of Pankaj Udhas ji. His career, spanning more than 4 decades, enriched our music industry and gifted us with some of the most memorable and melodious renditions of gazals," he wrote on X.

Udhas was an important fixture in many of Bhatt's movies, beginning with "Naam" where the singer also featured in "Chitthi aayi hai" song. "If you think of 'Naam', you think of 'Chitthi aayi hai', you cannot separate the heart from the heartbeat... The song contributed in a very large way to the phenomenal success of the movie,” Mahesh Bhatt said.

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