Farida Khanum (born 1935) is a Pakistani Ghazal singer from Punjab. The Times of India has called her “Malika-e-Ghazal” (Queen of Ghazal). In 2005, she was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civilian honour by President Pervez Musharraf.
Born in Calcutta and raised in Amritsar. Her sister is Mukhtar Begum. She started learning Khayal from her sister Mukhtar Begum at age seven and later learnt classical music from Ustad Ashiq Ali Khan. Her sister Mukhtar Begum would take her, a seven-year-old Farida, to Khan’s place for riyaaz. She migrated to Pakistan after partition of India in 1947. Farida Khanum gave her first public concert in 1950 and then joined Radio Pakistan where she courted fame and fortune. She became a star when Pakistan’s president Ayub Khan invited her to a public recital in the ’60s.
The ghazal she is most associated with is “Aaj Jaane Ki Zidd Naa Karo”. Farida Khanum lives in Lahore, Pakistan. She has 1 son and 5 daughters. She lives with her second oldest daughter, and her only son, his wife and kids. One of her daughters lives with her husband and kids in New York, One of her daughters lives in Canada with her daughter. Her youngest daughter is a medical doctor in Pakistan and lives with her husband and kids.
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