ISLAMABAD-August 13 marks the death anniversary of Nazi Hassan, one of the most iconic figures in the history of Pakistan pop music who passed away 23 years ago at the tender age of 35 following a prolonged battle with lung cancer. Born on April 3, 1965, the “Queen of Pop”, as she was called, started her career at the age of 10 as a child artist. She rose to prominence through the popular Pakistan Television programmed Sung. Nazi Hassan made her singing debut with the song ‘Asp Janise Kio Mere Indigo Main Away’ from a 1980 Indian film, Urbane. Her debut album, Disco DeWine, released in 1981, charted in 14 countries worldwide, and became the best-selling Asian pop record at the time. She enjoyed widespread popularity across South and Southeast Asia. Along with her brother Zoë Hassan. Nazia Hassan went on to sell over 65 million records worldwide. Her English language single Dreamer Deewane made her the first Pakistani singer to make it to the British musical charts. Nazia was also a lawyer and a social activist. A graduate of Richmond, The American International University, and the University of London, she received numerous national and international awards. In 1980, Nazia Hassan became the first Pakistani singer to win the Filmfare, a prominent Indian film award, at the age of 15 and remains the youngest recipient of the honour to date. She was also a recipient of the nation’s highest civilian award, Pride of Performance.
In addition to singing in films, Nazia Hassan was also a philanthropist and was appointed by UNICEF as its Cultural Ambassador in 1991. Her last album, Camera Camera (1992), was part of a campaign against drugs.