Mehnaz Begum: The Melodious Voice that cannot be forgotten

Mehnaz Begum is regarded as one of the most famous singers of the country who gained unmatchable popularity as a play back singer.  She was the daughter of Kajjan Begum and Abdullah ( a government officer by profession). Despite her mother being a famous singer, Kaneez’s (Known as Mehnaz Begum) father was determined that education must be given preference. Therefore acquiring education was Kaneez’s first priority hence she did not take any formal music training during her childhood.  She graduated from Sir Syed College and did a typing course as she intended to apply for a job. However, she was destined to be one of the greatest singers of the nation. Therefore back in the day her uncle Abu Turab Naqvi considering the fact that Kaneez naturally had an impeccable style of singing, decided to introduce her to the radio. After seeking permission from Kaneez‘s parents, she was introduced to radio listeners.  Her first performance was a ghazal composed by Mehdi Hassan’s brother Pandit Ghulam Qadir. This Ghazal was an instant hit and resultantly she was noticed by many television producers.  Ameer Imam was the first television producer to approach her for his television program Naghma  Zaar.  Mehnaz‘s first television appearance was made by rendering Sohail Rana’s composition which made waves.  Her increasing popularity as a new television singer, soon helped her to gain the attention of notable film composers.  Soon Nisar Bazmi approached Mehnaz for the film Pehchan.  However prior to the release of Pehchan she was also approached for the film Haqeeqat by musician A Hameed.  Soon Mehnaz Begum gained unprecedented popularity as one of the greatest singers of Pakistan.  It was her naturally melodious voice and a lot of hard work that she gained popularity as a singer when Noor Jehan was ruling the roost.

Following are some less known Interesting Facts about Mehnaz Begum

  • During her youthful days at one point in time Mehnaz Begum was into exercising and workout.
  • Mehnaz enjoyed painting and drawing during her school and college days however she was eventually overwhelmed by her love for music.
  • Mehnaz Begum had invested 30 years of her life in the film industry and during this time she had developed a good working relationship with all her colleagues.
  • During her initial days as a play back singer she moved from Karachi to Lahore but stayed half the time in Lahore and half the time in Karachi.
  • She rendered numerous songs and flawlessly performed all forms of music including classical.
  • Mehnaz recalled her last visit to ailing Noor Jehan who asked her to sing a few lines from the ghazal “ Dayar-e- Ghair Main Kaise Basar Ho”.

Mehnaz Begum received 10 Nigar awards during her career besides receiving the admiration and affection of millions of fans worldwide.  After having a career spanning nearly 30 years, Mehnaz Begum began to change her style of singing by rendering dadra and thumris.  Therefore in addition to listening to Kajjan Begum’s records she began taking formal training from Ustad  Bulanday Khan.  She passed away on 19th January 2013 in Bahrain while travelling from Karachi to the United States for medical treatment.  She shall always be remembered for her melodious voice and as a gem of the society.

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