Srinagar, Nov 9: Veteran singer Ghulam Hassan Sofi, the melody king of Kashmir who had enthralled generations, died here on Monday after a prolonged illness.
Visually impaired Sofi (77) was laid to rest at his ancestral graveyard at Maletang in Dalgate area of the city. Born on July 8, 1932 at Dalgate, Sofi began his career from Radio Kashmir in early 1950s and became very popular with the masses.
He also sang for Doordarshan Srinagar and the Cultural Academy besides working as an instructor in the Song and Drama Division from 1967 to 1994.
Sofi, who also performed outside the state, was a recipient of Sangeet Natak Academy Award. He had also received life-time achievement award from the Union Information Ministry and Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah award from the State Government in 2006.
Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, in his message said, "He will live in the hearts of people for his excellent artistic work. His death is a great loss to the state."
Omar expressed sympathies with the bereaved family and prayed for the peace to the departed soul.
Former Chief Minister of J&K and Union Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad and his wife Shamima Azad condoled his demise and expressed solidarity with the bereaved family. "He would be remembered for his philosophical and mystic recitals," they said.
Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Bank, Dr Haseeb A Drabu, in his condolence message said, "It is a collective loss for the people of Kashmir and nobody can fill the void created by his demise. Ghulam Hassan Sofi was not just a great singer but an institution in himself. He didn't merely sing songs, he vocalized the cultural philosophy of the Kashmir Valley. Not only his style his sensibilities too were deeply Kashmiri. May Allah grant him the same peace and solace that he gave to millions of Kashmiris by his soulful singing."
The Minister for Rural Development, Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Ali Muhammad Sagar in his condolence message said, "He was a legendary singer. May Allah rest his soul in peace."
Agriculture Minister Ghulam Hassan Mir said the void left in Kashmiri music world by Sofi's death would be very difficult to fill.
Chief Minister's Political Advisor, Devender Singh Rana, described Sofi a great and renowned singer. "The State has lost a great artist who lived in the hearts of people."
He prayed for the eternal peace to the departed soul.
A condolence meeting was held in the premises of Directorate of Information, Mubarak Mandi Jammu. The meeting was chaired by the Director Information, Khawaja Farooq Renzu, and was attended by all Joint Directors, Deputy Directors and Information Officers.