Punjabi singer Sardool Sikander dies in Mohali hospital, was diagnosed with COVID-19

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Chandigarh, Feb 24 (PTI) Noted Punjabi singer and actor Sardool Sikander died on Wednesday at a Mohali hospital where was undergoing treatment for COVID-19. He was 60.

Sikander, who had undergone a renal transplant in 2016, passed away at 11.55 am, sources at Fortis Hospital said.

In a statement, the hospital later said Sikander was admitted on January 19 in 'a very serious condition with complaints of low oxygen levels'.

'Mr Sikander, who was diabetic, was recently treated for COVID-19. He had undergone renal transplant in 2016 and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty in 2003,' the statement said.

'In spite of the best efforts of doctors and other caregivers at Fortis Mohali, his condition improved only marginally over the next 3-4 weeks. Due to his severely compromised state of health, his condition deteriorated again and had to be put on life support. Unfortunately, the patient breathed his last with his family at the bedside,' it further said.

Sikander, regarded an icon in the Punjabi music industry, is survived by his singer-wife Amar Noorie, and music composer sons Sarang and Alaap Sikander. The untimely death of the singer led to condolences from various quarters, including fellow musicians, actors and politicians.

The Punjab Cabinet, which had a scheduled meeting here on Wednesday, also condoled Sikander's demise, with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announcing that his government will clear the deceased's hospital dues of Rs 10 lakh.

Amarinder Singh announced the decision after Cabinet Minister Charanjit Singh Channi informed him that the deceased's family had no money to pay the bills, a Punjab government statement said.

In a condolence resolution, the cabinet noted that with the demise of the legendary singer, the nation had lost one of its best-known Punjabi singers and the void left behind by him will be impossible to fill.

Earlier, Amarinder Singh took to Twitter and described him as a legendary singer and said he was 'extremely saddened'.

'He was recently diagnosed with #Covid19 and was undergoing treatment for the same. The world of Punjabi music is poorer today. My heartfelt condolences to his family and fans,' he said on Twitter.

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal also expressed his shock. 'Saddened to learn about the demise of legendary Punjabi playback singer Sardool Sikander. A huge loss to Punjabi movie & music industry. Prayers for his family, friends & fans. May his soul rest in peace!' Badal said in a tweet.

Sikander, who acted in several Punjabi films, including 'Jagga Daku', initially came into the limelight with appearances on radio and TV during the early 1980s.

His album 'Roadways di Laari' was an instant hit.

Born at Kheri Naudh Singh in Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab, Sikander belonged to the Patiala Gharana of music and his album 'Husna de Malko' in 1991 sold over five million copies.

He had several hit songs to his credit. These included 'Sanu ishq brandi char gayi' and 'Ek charkha gali de wich dha laya'. He also sang the track 'Mari Koyal Ne Aisi Cook' in the 2003 Bollywood film 'The Hero: Love Story of a Spy' Patiala MP and former Union minister Preneet Kaur said Sikander's death had left a a big vacuum in the Punjabi music industry and also in the hearts of millions of fans worldwide.

Punjabi singer Gurdas Maan remembered the singer as a melodious voice, life of the party and a friend like no other.

Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana shared Mann's post on his Instagram Story and wrote 'Rest in Peace Sardool sahab.' Singer-composer Daler Mehendi said Sikander's death was a 'big loss to our family and music industry'.

Actor-singer Diljit Dosanjh called the late singer the 'pride of Punjabi music'.

According to Bollywood music composer Vishal Dadlani, Sikander's loss is 'far too personal'.

'A true pioneer, he was the soul of humility & a wellspring of music. My condolences to the family, esp. to my brothers @AlaapSikander & @SarangSikander1,' Dadlani said.

Actor-comedian Kapil Sharma said Sikander had such a powerful voice that even a layman would sound melodious while singing his songs.

Sharma said he was fortunate that Sikander visited his residence on the occasion of his daughter's first Lohri.

'All of us were happy, but we didn't know it would be our last meeting. You'll be missed a lot paaji. May God keep you close,' he added.

Singer Harshdeep Kaur said she was saddened to hear about the demise of the iconic singer.

'Huge loss to the music Industry. Prayers for his family,' Kaur wrote on Twitter. PTI SUN CHS RDS JUR RDS MIN RDS RDS