Government Policy

Remembering Shahnaz Rahmatullah

The singer died of a cardiac failure at her Baridhara residence in the capital on March 23, 2019, midnight, at the age of 67.

Born in Dhaka to M Fazlul Haque and Aasia Haque on January 2, 1952, the year of the historic Bengali Language Movement, Shahnaz sang a number of iconic Bengali modern songs and cemented her everlasting legacy as one of the greatest Bengali singers of all time.

With her mother’s wise tutelage, Shahnaz’s professional experience as a thriving music artiste began at the age of 11, as a playback singer of the movie Notun Shur (1963).

She appeared on television for the first time in 1964 and marked her Golden Jubilee as a regular music artiste in 2014.

Many of her legendary songs are considered as the remarkable patriotic songs in history, most of which she sang after the Liberation War.

Ek Nodi Rokto Periye, which she sang for eminent filmmaker Khan Ataur Rahman's majestic film Abar Tora Manush Ho (1973), ranked 9th position on BBC’s survey of 20 greatest Bangla songs of all times.

Written and composed by Khan Ataur Rahman, the song recalls the contribution of the freedom fighters during the glorious Liberation War, recalling how they snatched and earned the victory over a blooded journey of nine months.

Three of her other evergreen Bengali patriotic songs -- Ekbar Jete De Na Amar Chotto Sonar Gaye, Ek Tara Tui Desher Kotha and collaboration in the song Joy Bangla, Banglar Joy -- were also ranked 15th, 19th and 13th position on the BBC survey, marking her the only female singer with the highest number of all-time best Bengali songs.

Her other popular songs include Amar Desher Matir Gondhe, Sagorer Teer Theke, Je Chhilo Drishtir Shimanay, and Phuler Kane Bhramar Ese. In her illustrious career spanning over six decades, she also sang a number of ghazals.

Shahnaz Rahmatullah’s elder brother Anwar Pervez was one of the leading music directors in the country, and the director behind her iconic songs. Her other brother Zafar Iqbal was a famous actor who acted in over 150 films. He was also a singer, known for his iconic song Shukhe Theko O Amar Nondini and for his solo album Kano Tumi Kandaley.

For her legendary career and contributions to Bengali music, she was awarded Ekushey Padak in 1992. Her other accolades include President's Pride of Performance Medal (1965), Bangladesh National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer (1990), Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Award and Bangladesh Chalachitra Sangbadik Samity Award.

Source: United News of Bangladesh