Noor Jehan – Biography, Facts & Life Story
Her Social Media Profiles
Height, Weight & Physical Stats
|Body Measurements||36-31-37 inches|
|Height||5 feet 8 inches (1.70 m)|
|Weight||58 kg (128 lbs)|
|Shoe Size||8 (US)|
|Dress Size||6 (US)|
|Date of Birth||September 21, 1926|
|Full Name||Noor Jehan|
|Profession||Actress, Playback Singer|
|Date of Death||December 23, 2000|
|Place of Death||Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan|
|Cause of Death||Heart failure|
Allah Wasai is professionally known as Madam Noor Jehan whose honorific title is “Malika-e-Tarannum” and was renowned as “the queen of melody”. She was also titled as Voice of Century by the Pakistan television. Madam was a veteran, greatest, most influential, and prolific Pakistani classical playback singer and actress, who spanned more than six decades to serve first for British-India, and then for Pakistan. She was born on 23rd September 1926 in Kasur, Punjab, British-India. She belonged to a Punjabi Muslim family. She had ten siblings. Her parent’s name was Imdad Ali and Fateh Bibi. She got married to Shaukat Hussain Rizvi in 1943 in Dahli. The couple blessed with three children. In 1954, Jehan and Rizvi got divorced due to personal issues. She kept custody of her three children from their marriage. She got married to another film actor, Ejaz Durrani in 1959 who was nine years junior to her.
She has the record of singing the largest number of songs in the history of Pakistan cinema. She sang around 20,000 songs and had acted in about more than 40 films during her great career journey which consists of more than six decades from the 1930s to1990s. She was also the first female Pakistani film director.
When Jehan was at the age of five years, she attended Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan to get her early training in classical singing. That was the time when she started her great career journey. She had worked in a range of classical music, including traditional folk and popular theatre.
Following the years, Noor Jehan met to Punjabi musician Ghulam Ahmed Chishti, when she was at the age of nine. He then composed some naats, ghazals, and folk songs for her to perform in the stage. Once Jahan’s vocational training finished, she started her career in singing alongside her elder sisters in Lahore. She usually gave her live performances in cinemas before screenings of films.
In the early 1930s, she moved to Calcutta with her family and started to work in a Diwan Sardari Lal’s theatre. Her parents hoped to develop the film careers of Allah Wasai and her older sisters, Eiden Bai and Haider Bandi. Here, they met with Mukhtar Begum who encouraged her sisters to join film companies and also recommended them to her husband, Agha Hashar Kashmiri who was the honor of a maidan. It was the time when Allah Wasai received the stage name “Baby Noor Jehan”. Now, Eiden Bai and Haider Bandi got a job opportunity with one of the Seth Sukh Karnani companies, Indira Movietone and then they recognized as the Punjab Mail
Noor Jehan made her first debut along with her older sisters and sang a Punjabi song “Langh Aja Patan Chanaan Da O Yaar” of the Punjabi movie “Pind di Kuri”, in 1935, K.D which was directed by Mehra. This song became the earliest hit of Noor Jahan. In 1936, she then got the opportunity to act in a film called “Missar Ka Sitara” and also sung the songs of this film for the music composer Damodar Sharma. Some of her early popular performances of that period were included film “Heer-Sayyal” in which she played as a child artist of Heer role in 1937, Punjabi song “Shala jawaniyan maney” from Dalsukh Pancholi’s Punjabi film “Gul Bakawli” in 1939. In 1939, Jehan also worked for the renowned music director Ghulam Haider who composed various songs for he thus he became her early mentor.
In 1942, she made her first debut as an adult lead role in the film “Khandaan” opposite Pran. She got critical acclaim and the film was super hit. After her major success in Khandaan, she had shifted to Bombay, and worked with director Syed Shaukat Hussain Rizvi. Where she shared melodies with Shanta Apte in 1943, Duhai. Following the years, Noor Jehan became one of the topmost film actresses of the Indian Film Industry. Her top-grossing films of the years 1945 to 1947 included Badi Maa in 1945), Zeenat in 1945, Gaon Ki Gori film in 1945, Anmol Ghadi in 1946, and Jugnu film in 1947. Subsequently, she migrated to Pakistan after the separation.
In Pakistan, Jehan made fourteen films, ten in Urdu and four in Punjabi as a film actress. Her first film as a playback singer and heroine was after the three years of settlement in Pakistan. She stirring as the first female director of Pakistan in Chan Wey opposite Santosh Kumar, in 1951. The film got critical and commercial success and became the highest-grossing film in Pakistan. Her second film in Pakistan was Dopatta in 1952 which was Directed by Sibtain Fazli, Produced by Aslam Lodhi, and assisted by A. H. Rana as Production Manager. Dupatta got major success even than Chan Wey (1951).
Due to Durrani’s pressured to left the acting, she had the firewall film industry as an actress/singer and her last film was Mirza Ghalib in 1961. Now she started rendition on many poets, such as on Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s “Mujh Se Pehli Si Mohabbat Mere Mehboob Na Maang”. She has read their poetry as a song with the beautiful music of Rasheed Attre in the Pakistani film “Qaidi” which was released in 1962 was a great example of her talent. “Baaji” in 1963, was the last act in Pakistan Film Industry where she played the side role.
After giving up the acting career she started playback singing. Her first playback song for a Pakistan film industry was for film Chann Wey in the 1951. She also made her debut as a playback singer in the film Salma in 1960. She sang numerous duets with Ahmed Rushdi, Mehdi Hassan, Masood Rana, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Mujeeb Aalam.
Jehan also made her singing performance in the “Mehfils” of Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Roshan Ara Begum. In the 1990s, Jehan also sang for the famous actresses of the Lollywood, such as Neeli and Reema. She also sang various national songs which further increase her popularity during the 1965 war between India and Pakistan.
Madam Noor Jehan went to Tokyo for the World Song Festival as a representative from Pakistan, in 1971. Jehan also visited India to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Indian talkie movies, where she was welcomed by the veteran Dilip Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar in Bombay and she met with Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi in New Delhi, 1982. She had also sung with the Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. The website Women on Record stated about Noor Jahan that:
“Noor Jehan injected a degree of passion into her singing unmatched by anyone else. But she left for Pakistan”.
In 1991, Jehan was invited by Vanessa Redgrave to perform at the star-studded fundraising event to benefit the children of the Middle East which were held at Royal Albert Hall, London. Thespian Sir John Gielgud, Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter, and Oscar-winning actor Dame were the gust of the event whereas Peggy Ashcroft Lionel Richie, Bob Geldof, Madonna, Boy George, and Duran Duran were the performers of the event. She sang a song of a famous Pakistani folk singer, songwriter and composer Akram Rahi from the film “Dam Mast Kalander/Aalmi Gunday” as the first Pakistani singer in this event. The song is titled as “Saiyan Saadey Naal”.
List of the filmography of Noor Jahan:
- Zeenat (1945)
- Anmol Ghadi (1946)
- Jugnu (1947)
- Chan Wey (1951)
- Dupatta (1952)
- Intezar (1956)
- Anarkali (1958)
- Koel (1959)
The Queen of Melody was a super hit playback singer worldwide. She was ranked at the eighth position after Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the list of Most Influential Pakistanis.
“Noor Jehan was one of my favorite singers and when I listened to her Ghazals, I realized how unusual compositions were those, so I decided to take them to a larger audience which they deserve”.
Further added that;
“The world will never see a singer like her. Just as people have not seen another Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar there would never be another Noor Jehan”.
It was the statement of a veteran playback Indian artist Asha Bhosle’s interview.
“Noor Jehan was the first female singing star of the Indian cinema and helped to lay the foundation of playback singing as we know it. She inspired a generation of singers including Lata Mangeshkar before single-handedly kick-starting music In Pakistan and inspired subsequent generations there”.
It was the statement of Eastern Eye who had ranked Noor Jehan at the 16th position in the list of twenty top Bollywood singers of all time.
American Queen of Pop Madonna Louise Ciccone said that:
“I can copy every singer but not Noor Jehan”.
Apart from those awards, she was the titlist of many titles, such as she was declared as the Greatest Female Singer Of Pakistan of all times in August 2014, she was also ranked at the top of Female Pakistani Singers in August 2017, She was dedicated the Cultural Ambassador of Pakistan, and Google Doodle commemorated her 91st birthday on 21 September 2017.
Check out exclusive ➡facts about Noor Jehan.
Noor Jehan Career
Profession: Actress, Playback Singer
Known For: Malika-e-Tarannum
Salary: 10 Lac
Net Worth: USD $40 Million Approx
Family & Relatives
Father: Madad Ali
Mother: Fateh Bibi
Brother: Muhammad Shafi, Gul Muhammad, Inayat Hussain, Muhammad Husain, Mian Nawaab Din
Sister: Haider Bandi, Eiden Bai
Marital Status: Divorced
Ex Spouse: Shaukat Hussain Rizvi (1942–1953 div.) Ejaz Durrani (1959–1970 div.)
No. of Children: 6
Son: Asghar Hussain Rizvi, Akbar Hussain Rizvi
Daughter: Mina Hasan, Hina Durrani, Nazia Ejaz Khan, Zil-e-Huma
Noor Jehan Favorites
Hobbies: Reading Books
Favorite Movie: Sholay
Favorite Destination: Pakistan
Favorite Food: Apple, Vegetables, Rice
Favorite Color: Black, White
Favorite Books: Pakistan A Personal History
Facts You Never Knew About Noor Jehan
- The veteran plays back singer was the recipient of more than fifteen Nigar Awards for Best Female Playback Singer, eight for Best Urdu Singer Female and six for Punjabi playback.
- She was also the recipient of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz from the Pak Army for her moral support in the Indo-Pak in 1965 war.
- She was also the first Asian woman to sing Qawali and awarded by a Gold Medal by Z.A Bukhari due to her great performance in the film Zeenat in 1945.
- She with Khwaja Khurshid Anwar received President’s Award for her acting and singing debut, and Best Music Director, respectively, in the film “Intezar”..
- She has received the NTM Life Time Achievement Award in 1987.
- She was the recipient of Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 1996.
- She received Millennium Award for her services at Pakistani Cinema in 1999.
- In 2002, she received First Lux Life Time Achievement Award.