Home » History of Legends » 10 Legends Of Pakistan Who Will Never Die

Some names don’t deserve to fade. They deserve their place in the history, culture and in the hearts of the people who remember them. Such are these legends of Pakistan, who will never be forgotten as they are part of a script that cannot be unwritten. Their contributions in their respective fields brought Pakistan recognition and optimistic glory around the globe.

1. Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948-1997)

Ustaad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (1948-1997)
pri/ pri.org

“Saaya bhi saath jab chorr jaey, aisi hai tanhai. Rona chaahun toh, aansun na ayein, aisi hai tanhai!”
Call him the ‘Singing Budha’ or the ‘Elvis of the East’; Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab has to be Pakistan’s most prized possession, even today. He was an absolute lyrical-beast, with a voice throw that wouldn’t just melt hearts but mountains too. Nominated for Grammies, collaboration with celebrities of the West to being part of the Guinness World Record for the largest recorded output by a Qawwal, NFAK had been there, done that.

2. Noor Jehan (1926-2000)

Noor Jehan (1926-2000)
Hamari/ shughal.com

“Sab jag soay, hum jaagein, taaron se kerein baatein, Chaandni Raatein.”
Born to a simple family, Malika-e-Taranum (Queen of Melody) Noor Jehan achieved unique success, fame and fortune throughout her life. She was God gifted, a voice that even the Heavens would be proud of. Praised by music maestros across the globe, Noor Jehan was considered the playback singing dream of Lollywood.

3. Waheed Murad (1938-1983)

Mehdi Hassan (1927-2012)
pak 101/ shughal.com

The ‘Chocolate Hero’ of Pakistan, also known as the ‘Lady Killer’, Waheed Murad breathed new life to Pakistan’s cinema with his tender tone, charming expressions and an attractive personality. His romantic cliques and flirtatious manner revolutionized a new acting style in Pakistan’s cinematic industry in the 1960s. Waheed Murad was the heartthrob of the nation. His perfectly combed puff with the bell-bottoms pants, supersized by his intense acting, made him a living legend of his time. His notable roles in ‘Armaan’ and ‘Heera Aur Pathar’ dominated the box-office in their day.

4. Mehdi Hassan (1927-2012)

Mehdi Hassan (1927-2012)
nyt/ nytimes.com

“Zindagi mein toh sabhi pyaar kiya kerte hain, main toh marr ker bhi meri jaan tujhay chaahunga!”
Known as the Shahansha-e-Ghazal (King of Ghazal), Mehdi Hassan Sahab is without a doubt one of the leading legends of Pakistan’s music industry. Prior to his demise in 2012, Mehdi Hassan poached many lifetime achievement awards for his outstanding contribution in the field of Ghazals. His ‘haunting’ baritone voice has been credited for revealing Ghazal music to a wider audience. A compliment he received from India’s Queen of music, Lata Mangeshkar, overwhelmed him and people all around the world when she said “God sings through his voice”.

5. Moeen Akhtar (1950-2011)

Moeen Akhtar (1950-2011)
dmcdc/ dmcdn.net

Moeen Akhtar was a legendary Pakistani television, film and stage artist, who did wonders for the industry with his impersonations and wide-spread humor. Akhtar Sahab’s name is synonymous to comedy action in Pakistan. His engagement and service for Pakistan’s entertainment industry was no joke. His amazing ability of bringing laughter to depressed faces around the country was his top trait. A combination of wit, satire, dialogue delivery and style made him primetime comedy. His tv show ‘Loose Talk’ – with Anwar Maqsood, is probably the most missed show for satire/wit fond Pakistanis around the world. A recipient of countless national awards, including the Pride of Pakistan, Moeen Akhtar will never be forgotten.

6. Abdul Ghafoor Majna (1938-2012)

Abdul Ghafoor Majna (1938-2012)
tribune/ tribune.com.pk

Known as the ‘Pakistani Pele’, the ‘Black Pearl of Pakistan’ and the ‘Football Encyclopedia’, Abdul Ghafoor Majna was Pakistan’s football captain when the team was good enough to beat USSR, China and UAE. He captained Pakistan for 11 years, including Pakistan’s 1974 Asian Games win. Majna was known to be the strategist and plotter of tactics. Majna literally lived football and had an incredible knowledge of the beautiful game. Majna’s founded Saifi Football Club has more than 70 players, all in their minds, dreaming of carrying Abdul Ghafoor Majna’s legacy for years to come.

7. Muhammad Ali (1938-2006)

 Muhammad Ali (1938-2006)
junoon/ shughal.com

Known as the ‘Shahansha-e-Jazbaat’ (Emperor of Emotions), Muhammad Ali sat on the Throne of acting in his time. Starring in over 250 movies, he was a diverse actor who did numerous roles as hero and villain. In a CNN Survey, he was included in Asia’s 25 greatest actors of all time.  The only actor to receive the ‘Tamgha-e-Imtiaz’ subsequently, he was also awarded the ‘Noshad Award’ of India. His roles in ‘Khamosh Raho’, ‘Dooriyan’, ‘Bobby’, ‘Aag ka darya’ and numerous other blockbusters helped him win the Nigar Award 10 times. Safe to say, Muhammad Ali will never be forgotten by the cinematic faithful of Pakistan.

8.  Reshma (1947-2013)

Reshma (1947-2013)
tribune/ tribune.com.pk

“Lambi judaai, chaar dinaan da pyaar o Rabba, barri lambi judaai.”
With a voice that would leave the soul in abyss of her tone, Reshma was Pakistan’s pride in folk singing. The renowned folksinger was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz for her excellence in the field. She was as popular in India, as she was in Pakistan. Spotted singing at Shahbaz Qalandar’s shrine as a child, she started from the bottom and climbed her way up the ladder of fame. Some of her famous folk tunes include “Dama Dam Mast Kalandar”, “Sun charkhe di mithi mithi kook”, “Chori chori” and “Ankhiyan nu rehn de”.

9. Ahmed Rushdi (1934-1983)

Ahmed Rushdi (1934-1983)
dunya news/ dunyanews.tv

“Rehtee hai who yaheen kahin ataa pataa maloom nahi, Ko-Ko-Korina!”
Pakistan’s music industry might never see a playback singer as versatile as Ahmed Rushdi. He will forever be remembered as one of the most important contributors to the Golden Age of Pakistan’s film industry through his prolific contributions. A natural baritone, which helped him sing high tones with ease, Rushdi’s melodious and powerful vocals were full of complex and dark emotions. He was awarded with the Nigar award 5 times, the ‘Best Singer of The Millennium’ title, a ‘Life Time Achievement Award’, the ‘Legend’ Award and the Sitara-e-Imtiaz.

10. Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1911-1984)

Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1911-1984)
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Winner of the ‘Lenin Peace Prize’, Faiz Ahmad Faiz was a revolutionary poet, an intellectual and one of the most regarded literary workers in the sub-continent. Nominated for the ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ in poetry four times, Faiz was a voice that catered the masses with his left-wing approach to life. Faiz received the Sitara-e-Imtiaz when his work was honored by Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Faiz’s poetry was layered and complex, it was not easy to understand, but once understood, the reader wouldn’t want to divert his attention.

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