Islamabad: The talent of Jagjit Singh crossed cultural and national boundaries, said a Pakistani daily Tuesday, paying rich tributes to the renowned Indian ghazal singer who died in a Mumbai hospital.
Singh, 70, known as much for his ghazals and bhajans as for his work in Hindi cinema, died after a brain haemorrhage Monday. He had a loyal following in Pakistan.
The News International editorially said that the ghazal singer`s death has "saddened his admirers across the subcontinent, and indeed, the world".
Describing him as the pioneer of the modern ghazal, the editorial said that Singh "brought the dying tradition alive in India - adding to the traditional repertoire of love songs with more philosophical verses, which touched on many aspects of human life: the brief beauty of childhood, the suffering caused by loss and the doubts which confront us in life".
It said that the Singhs were no strangers to loss; his wife Chitra, also a singer, never sang again after the death of their son in 1990.
"To Jagjit`s singing, the loss of his son appeared to add more depth and meaning."
It went on to say that Singh`s "innovative rendering of the ghazal crossed cultural and national boundaries. Much of what he composed and sang carried a strong and exquisite humanism that recognised no differences of caste, creed and religion".
"His fans ranged from politicians to ordinary people everywhere - primarily in India and Pakistan."
Recalling that Singh sang before a rapt audience in Lahore a few years back to raise funds for the ailing Mehdi Hasan, it said that his efforts to help the maestro "exceeded those made by most at home".
"He was an extraordinary philanthropist in other ways too; offering promising young singers the support he himself did not receive in his early days of struggle. Jagjit will be missed not only for his voice - which exists now only on tape and CDs - but also as an extraordinary humanist and thinker who raised music to new heights," it added.