Does Anyone Remember Nazia Hassan?

Nazia who, might well be the question posed by youngsters in India today.

Pakistani Crooner

Well, Nazia was a young London-based Pakistani pop singer who became an overnight sensation with Feroze Khan’s Qurbani (Zeenat Aman, Feroze Khan, Vinod Khanna) in 1980.

Nazia followed up the Qurbani success with her first LP Disco Deewane (Nazia’s brother Zoheb and Indian composer Biddu collaborated on the project).

You can listen/watch to the title song Disco Deewane via YouTube here:

The Disco Deewane disc went gold on the very first day of its release April 3, 1981, selling 100,000 LPs and Dolby cassettes.

And in less than three weeks Disco Deewane went platinum.

As one Indian magazine wrote then:

In India, such a sales record is without precedent. No album has ever gone gold in less than two months, and platinum in under six.  (Source: India Today, May 1-15, 1981, P.142)

You know, how long it took Bobby to go platinum – eight months.

Besides the title track Disco Deewane, our other favorites from the album are Ao Na, Lekhin Mera Dil and Dil Mera.

India had never seen anything even remotely like this.

The shock-waves of the Disco Deewane success were felt by everyone, including the most haloed of Indian light music personalities. Within a week of the album’s release, Lata Mangeshkar, the jealous mistress of popular music, felt threatened enough to fly to Calcutta for an evening’s concert for which she charged Rs three lakh.  (Source: India Today, May 1-15, 1981, P.143)

Nazia Hassan
Nazia Hassan
(Photo: Nazia Hassan Foundation)

Asked about her sudden celebrity status in India, this is what the 16-year-old Nazia had to say:

Well, sitting here it does seem very far away. It really hasn’t affected my life. It’s very hard to imagine that my songs are being played everywhere in Indian cities. Like today, you’ve called from Delhi, and that is a surprise but generally it hasn’t made a difference to my life; I’m really trying to concentrate on my studies. I can’t even come to India because I have school to attend. (Source: India Today, May 1-15, 1981, P.142)

Sadly, Nazia was never able to replicate the success of Qurbani or Disco Deewane in her subsequent work.

Nazia Hassan died of lung cancer in 2000 at the age of 35.

7 Responses to "Does Anyone Remember Nazia Hassan?"

  1. shuaib68   August 30, 2008 at 2:08 am

    Oh, that was a wonderful dance beat 80’s era. We were kids at that time and wherever we go on wedding and social functions we use to hear it being played in loudspeakers. My memories are going 30 years back.

    I was saddened by hearing the news of her untimely death.

    I think, I prefer to other sites for providing better infromations. Thank you.

  2. shuaib68   September 15, 2008 at 3:28 am

    Did Nazia sing “Aap jaisey koi mil zindagi me aye..Oh, barpen jaye…” (Sorry – if I made the language look lousy, I simply don’t know hindi or urdu)

    One of my close friends namely “Ghazzali” was a big fan of Nazia Hassan. Unfortunately we missed him because he was in the NAVY and the ship on which he was travelling for duty after a short vacation was attacked by the Terror outfit LTTE and was sunk with few survivors. My friends’ status is still “M.I.A.” for 11 years.

    I thought of writing a few lines about him with a dedication to “Nazia”- his favourite singer at that time. Responds:

    You write: Did Nazia sing “Aap jaisey koi mil zindagi me aye..Oh, barpen jaye…”

    Yes, she did. That was the song from Qurbani that brought her into the limelight.

  3. gandhiji   September 15, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Hi Shuaib, I thought your name was a variant of Shoaib.. aren’t you a muslim? But muslims in southern TN (Kayalpattinam, Keezhakarai etc.) know less Hindi than me.. you are a tamil muslim? I used to fast during Ramzan with my muslim friends.. because the food was awesome.

  4. shuaib68   September 16, 2008 at 1:42 am

    Hi Gandhiji, yes it is. My name is a variant of Shoaib. I would say it is the properway to spell it according to our “QURAN”. But, people use it in their own style and ways.

    Yes, I don’t know Hindi but a few words. I am at the moment located in ABu Dhabi, UAE. Here, hindi is the second language after Arabic. It is widely spoken between the strong Indian/Pakistani expatriate communities. If you don’t know Hindi means, things are a bit tough as Taxi drivers and many sales guys speak only Hindi/Urdu languages first. A few english. But, in the business and office circles english commands the first level.

    Now, it’s 03 years almost but still I’m very late in learning Hindi. All my colleagues tells me that I’m very weak in grasping the language. I must learn it somehow.

    I am a Tamil muslim and muslims in Sri Lanka has the advantage of knowing all 03 major languages in Sri Lanka. English, Sinhala and Tamil. I personally have a lot of Tamil and Sinhala friends. Amongst us there’s no difference because of better understanding and we have broken the language barrier for good.

    I’m glad and amazed about you Gandhiji on fasting. In UAE too many co-religion people used to fast along with the muslims and they have a great respect from the muslims for acknowledging the fast.

    Yes, we make a lot food to break fast in the evening. I wish if I had you in Abu Dhabi to invite you for a great meal with my family. Also, the SearchIndia for a spicy Sri Lankan meal. Responds:

    You write: Also, the SearchIndia for a spicy Sri Lankan meal.


  5. asha.tampa   October 21, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    My parents are singers too and they got married in 1980, they used to have this huge poster of Nazia Hassan(the same pic you put here) at their pad till they moved to another place. I’ve grown up with music, and I especially loved the song, “Aap jaisa koi”; she was awesome. R.I.P Nazia.

    Thanks for the post 🙂

  6. gandhiji   October 28, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Did Nazia sing “Jimmy Jimmy”? That song was featured in the movie “Don’t Mess with the Zohan” (yes, I am an unabashed Sandler fan.. but this movie was awful).. And Bappi Lahiri has been credited( for a song he stole from Ottawan’s ‘T’es OK, T’es Bath’ (according to

    and stumbled across .. some french guy using “Ottagatha kattikko” shamelessly. Responds:

    You write above: Did Nazia sing “Jimmy Jimmy”?

    From Parvati Khan…Here’s the YouTube link.

  7. gandhiji   October 28, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Should have researched first.. I thought all indian disco songs were sung by Nazia. Found out that Jimmy Jimmy was sung by Parvati Khan.

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