Special Supplement, Magazine

Azam Khan: Pioneer, pop-guru, pop-samrat

Published : 02 Jul 2019 06:01 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 08:29 PM

Azam Khan is popularly known as the pop-guru or pop-samrat of Bangladesh. He dedicated his life to make a difference through his music and the activist-like lyrics of his songs. Regardless the issue, whether it was music of society, Azam Khan always stepped up to fight against all odds and overcome to establish the power of youth. He was the pioneer of pop music in Bangladesh. Moreover, the history of Bangladesh music industry will never be complete without stating his immense contributions in the sector. 

The pop-guru left behind a legacy and even though he is no longer amongst his followers and fans who love his music, his liveliness and high spirits for his profession, sheer will, determination and passion through which he captured the hearts of Bangladeshi music enthusiasts, will live on. 

A phenomenal individual in the history of Bangladeshi music scene, Mahbubul Haque Khan, popularly known to his fans as Azam Khan was born on February 28, 1950 in Dhaka. He became popular especially among the younger generation during 1970s. 

Popular songs by the legend

Saleka Maleka

Pure Jachche

Rail Liner Oi Bostite

Guru Tomay Salam

Hei Allah Hei Allah Re

Alal O Dulal

Kachhe Eshe Tumi

He is one of the personalities whom we will cherish evermore when it comes to music. His role in the Liberation War of 1971 was exemplary. He fought against the Pakistan army in the 2nd sector under the command of Brigadier Khaled Mosharraf. Moreover, he received special guerrilla training at Melaghar in India's Tripura state. After the war he started his music career professionally and formed the first rock band of Bangladesh --- Uchcharan --- in 1972. 

The first performance of Uchcharan was aired by Bangaldehs Television in 1972. By 1974 he became popular nationwide because of his individual, original and unique style of music.

The fight for independence was enhanced through the beauty and the melody of Bengali music. Along with Fakir Alamgir, Ferdous Wahid, Pilu Momtaz, Najma Zaman, and Firoz Shai, he is considered the pioneer who brought the glory to Bangla pop music. 

Composer of the epic songs such as Ore Saleka, Ore Maleka, Obhimani, Rail Line er oi Bostite, Alal O Dulal and many more. During his youth days, he participated in club criket matches under the Gopibagh Friends’ Club.

In his last days, Azam Khan was suffering from oral cancer. He was on life support for some time and then was taken to Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore for better treatment. He battled cancer for a while but in the end, he chose to take an overwhelming rest.

He has received numerous awards including the Best Pop Singer Award, Television Audience Award in 2002. He also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Coca-Cola gold bottle. 

He breathed his last on June 5, 2011 at Dhaka Combined Military Hospital at the age of 61. 

Even though his presence is missed by the multitude of fans he has left behind, his songs provide the amber of condolence to those who still remember his through his music.