Her namaz-e-janaza was held at the Park Mosque at Baridhara
Renowned singer, Shahnaz Rahmatullah, was laid to eternal rest at the Banani Military Graveyard in Dhaka on Sunday. Her namaz-e-janaza was held at Park Mosque on Road 9, Baridhara. She passed away at the age of 67, following a major cardiac arrest at her Baridhara residence, early Sunday. The singer left behind her husband, a son and daughter, and a host of relatives, well-wishers, and thousands of fans, to mourn her death.
The singer had a long career spanning several decades. Her notable songs include "Ekbar Jete De Na Amar Chotto Sonar Gaye,""Je Chilo Drishtir Shimanay," and "Ek Tara Tui Desher Kotha."
Shahnaz was born on January 2, 1952 in Dhaka. She emerged as a singer in Dhaka in the mid-1960s. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she sang many patriotic songs, including "Sohni Dharti Allah Rakhe," and "Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan," to inspire the people of what was then Pakistan. Shahnaz is, to date, very popular in Pakistan for her Urdu patriotic songs.
Eminent lyricist, Gazi Mazharul Anwar, who wrote many of her famous songs, told Dhaka Tribune that Bangladesh has lost a treasure. He shared memories he has of Shahnaz Rahmatullah and her family from when she was a little girl.
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“I knew her like a sister. I was very close with her elder brother, music director Anwar Parvez. The entire family was very culture-oriented,” he said. “Even when foreign artistes came to Bangladesh, they would appreciate the artistic pursuits of this family.”
He said Shahnaz showed an indomitable magnetism towards music even at a tender age. She started performing at Pakistan Radio when young singers like Sabina Yasmin, Runa Laila, and Ferdousi Rahman were becoming popular. From radio, she went to TV, and later into film.
“Her first song, ‘Ami to Amar Golpo Bolechhi,’ written by me, became an instant hit,” he said. “Her voice was so refined, everyone accepted her as a rising star. She mostly liked to sing classical and patriotic songs.”
Citing “The old order changeth, yielding place to the new,” he expressed optimism that the new generation of musicians will take inspiration from artistes of her stature and carry on the legacy.
Some of the famous songs she sang which were written by Gazi Mazharul Anwar, include “Ektara Tui Desher Kotha,” “Ekbar Jete De Na,” “Amay Jodi Proshno Kore,” and so on.
Celebrated singer Samina Chowdhury shared with Dhaka Tribune, her deep respect for the departed artiste.
“She was extremely pious and had good relations with everyone. She loved me a lot,” Samina said. “She used to tell me to sing her songs as she liked my voice.”
"She had no jealousy about other singers and liked to do gardening," Samina said, adding that her love for her husband was one of her admirable qualities.
“She had no known diseases and died peacefully,” Samina added. “She is my idol and I pray we can do justice to her memory.”
Singer Dinat Zahan Munni, who spent the entire day with Shahnaz on Sunday, said spending the last day rehearsing with her for a live show for Independence Day will remain a haunting memory.
“She loved me dearly,” Munni said. “She wanted young singers with a suitable voice to carry on her torch.”
In recognition of Shahnaz’s timeless songs, she was awarded the Ekushey Padak in 1992, the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for the film "Chhutir Phande" in 1990, the Bangladesh Shilpakala Award, and many more.