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Who is Rahat Fateh Ali Khan?

Last updated on: February 14, 2011 17:38 IST

Who is Rahat Fateh Ali Khan?

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Best known for the soothing, silky textures of his divine singing, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is a respectable figure in the music industry. These days, however, he has hit a rather discordant note. The Pakistani artist's unexpected tryst with the law is generating a media and diplomatic storm. 

The 37-year-old is in the news for all the wrong reasons after he was detained by the Revenue Intelligence authorities for carrying undeclared foreign currency at the New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport on February 13. Expectedly, Pakistani officials insist he let be off the hook.

While the high drama develops, here's a lowdown on the singer responsible for some of the most riveting Bollywood songs in the last few years.


Image: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

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Having renowned musician Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan for uncle certainly opened quite a few doors for Rahat as he found himself drawn closer to the intricacies of all forms of classical music. As a young boy born in Faisalabad, Pakistan, he was initiated by the maestro into formal training.

By the time he hit teenage, Rahat was already part of the Ustad's troupe and gained international exposure as they travelled far and wide. Even if as a lending hand to his uncle, he collaborated with Pearl Jam front-man Eddie Vedder on the soundtrack of Dead Man Walking.

Eventually, Rahat went on to release a self-titled album in The States.

He's also contributed the score of Shekhar Kapur's The Four Feathers and Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.


Image: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and his uncle Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan

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Meanwhile, Rahat continue to enjoy acclaim back home for his Sufi and qawaali pieces.

It was Pooja Bhatt's Paap starring John Abraham, however, which acquainted Bollywood to the vocal talents of Rahat. His resplendent rendition of Mann Ki Lagan became hugely popular and after that there was no stopping.


Image: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Photographs: Udita Goswami and John Abraham in Paap
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Considering the Hindi film industry's indiscriminating approach towards international artists, Rahat, too, managed a good deal with mystical and philosophy-brooding style. 

Although brief, his body of work is studded with memorable, evocative chartbusters like Jiya Dhadak (Kalyug), Naina (Omkara),  Bol Na Halke (Jhoom Barabar Jhoom), Jag Soona Soona (Om Shanti Om), Teri Ore (Singh is Kinng), Aji Din Chadheye (Love Aaj Kal), Sajda (My Name is Khan), Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji (Ishqiya), Tum Jo Aaye (Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai), Tere Mast Mast Do Nain (Dabangg) and Aas Paas Khuda (Anjaana Anjaani).

He's worked with the best of Bollywood banners and composers ranging from Vishal Bhardwaj to Pritam in a span of seven years and was recently awarded the Filmfare trophy was Best Male Singer for Ishqiya's infectiously catchy, Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Ji.


Image: Katrina Kaif and Akshay Kumar in Singh is Kinng

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