Born on April 3, 1965, She would have been all of 50 today. But sadly, she lived to be barely 35, dying of lung cancer in 2000. However, in a brief singing career, no one epitomized the pop music scene (or disco) of the 1980s better than Pakistani singer, Nazia Hassan. Hassan shot to fame when as a 15 year old, she crooned the all-time hit Aap Jaisa Koi for Feroz Khan’s Qurbani (1980), composed specially for the film by Biddu. Hassan was a sensation and went on to win the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback for the song. Followed a best selling album, produced specially for her and brother Zoheb, by Biddu – Disco Deewaane (1981). Songs like the title number and Aao Na are still remembered as iconic songs of the Disco age in the sub-continent, with the former finding a new lease of life after being re-recorded for Karan Johar’s Student of the Year (2012).
Today, we celebrate what would have been Ms Hassan’s half century by looking at some of her rare but memorable forays into Hindi cinema.
What better way to start than with the song that started it all! Yes, here’s Zeenat Aman swinging to Nazia’s vocals in Qurbani!
The soundtrack for Star (1982) was composed by Biddu originally for a follow up album after Disco Deewane with Nazia and Zoheb, Boom Boom (1982). Unfortunately, Star, with Kumar Gaurav and Rati Agnihotri, was a box-office disaster even though its music actually proved quite popular. Here’s Agnihotri strutting her stuff ably aided by Hassan!
Zoheb and Nazia came together for this number composed by Disco King, Bappi Lahiri, for Govinda’s break-through film, Ilzaam (1986). Here’s the ‘Virar ka Chokra’ grooving it up with Anita Raaj!
Though not a film song, can we really leave out Disco Deewane? And not when we have Nazia herself performing arguably her most famous song!
And finally coming back a full circle, we have Nazia performing Aap Jaisa Koi at the BBC Studios in Birmingham!