Shafqat Amanat Ali, lead vocalist of Pakistani band Fuzon and popular Bollywood singer
I'm very shocked and still can't believe he's gone. He had been hospitalised for weeks now and we were prepared for the worst but I would request people to keep praying for him and keeping him alive in their thoughts. That is all that we can do in return of all the great music he has taught and entertained us with.
I've had the privilege of meeting him a few times, mostly at television and radio stations. My earliest and most favourite moment with him was sometime in the mid-eighties when I was a teenager. My uncle Fateh Ali Khan was producing a television show called Sangam. There was one entire episode he did with Mehdi Hassan and I spent the entire time with Mehdisaab. He would share a lot of his life's stories with me ' fun moments, his days of struggle….
Mehdisaab has been an influence in terms of the kind of accent he brought to the gayaki. Most singers before him were careless about their Urdu pronunciation but he was always very strict about his articulation. That was his forte. Six years later, he was invited to a show where I sang one of his songs, Woh dil nawaaz hai, and afterwards he came to me and told me, "You sing well".
Every experience with him has been a memorable one. The last time I interacted with him in person was in 2003 at an awards function when I was on stage performing and he was on a wheelchair.
He has made a lasting impression… truth is no one can ever ignore Mehdi Hassan and become a ghazal singer.