LAHORE: One of the most iconic figures in the history of Pakistani music, Nazia Hasan, would have turned 53 today, had she not passed away with cancer at the young age of 35. To celebrate her 53rd birthday, Google honoured her with a doodle.
Google honours prominent personalities and occasions with special logos that it calls ‘doodles’. In the past, it has also paid a tribute to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Abdul Sattar Edhi, Noor Jehan among others.
The ultimate “pop queen” of the 80s and 90s, Nazia Hasan was Pakistan’s sweetheart whose songs were on everyone’s playlist.
In a statement, Google wrote, “When young Pakistani girls in the 1980s closed their eyes and clutched a pretend mic in their hands, swaying and singing, a major inspiration was Nazia Hassan. Hassan, sometimes referred to as the “Princess of Pop”, was a sensation the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the region in years. Young and graceful, with long flowing hair, she charmed the country by belting out favourite songs Disco Deewane and Boom Boom alongside her brother Zoheb.”
Along with being a sensational singer, Nazia was also a lawyer and a social activist. A graduate of Richmond, The American International University and the University of London, she started her music career at the mere age of 10.
She enjoyed widespread popularity across South and Southeast Asia and has been termed as the “Queen of Pop” in South Asia. She, along with her brother Zoheb Hassan, went on to sell over 65 million records worldwide. Her English language single Dreamer Deewane made her the first Pakistani singer to make it to the British charts.
Hassan made her singing debut with the song “Aap Jaisa Koi“, from, the Indian film Qurbani (1980). Her debut album, Disco Deewane (1981), charted in fourteen countries worldwide and became the best-selling Asian pop record up at the time.
She received numerous national and international awards, and became the first Pakistani to win the Filmfare Award at the young age of 15 and remains the youngest recipient of the award to date.
Hassan was also a recipient of Pakistan’s highest civilian award, Pride of Performance.
In addition to singing in films, Hassan was also a philanthropist and was appointed by UNICEF as its cultural ambassador in 1991. Her last album, Camera Camera (1992), was part of a campaign against drugs.