On the 22nd anniversary of her passing, Nazia Hassan, the late Queen of Pop, lighted up Times Square in New York City thanks to Spotify. Nazia, who is regarded as one of the most influential vocalists of all time, had her ambassadorship scheduled to begin just before she passed away as a way to honor the iconic artist.
Nazia is one of the select group of musicians who have left an enduring impression on people’s hearts. She is revered as a legend not just in Pakistan but also throughout the world for redefining the pop music genre at a period when it was comparatively untapped. The music streaming service is honoring Nazia by placing her on the cover of its Global EQUAL playlist in recognition of how long her voice and contributions to society have lasted.
Sharing his thoughts on this special occasion and remembering Nazia as a woman of substance, a press release quotes her brother Zoheb Hassan as saying, “My sister always considered herself as a social worker, and not really a musician. She worked with the UN for children and peace in the region. She also did a lot of charitable work as she wanted to help children and young people in need, and she did all of this very quietly.”
The singer-songwriter and producer added, “She did not share this side of her life with anyone, including her own family. We only found out later after she had passed away. It was her greatness that she never spoke about it.” Zoheb also took the opportunity to thank Spotify for making her “dear sister” the ambassador for EQUAL Pakistan and Global, as well as for “representing the female artists of the region.”
Nazia’s nieces Allanya and Amelia Hassan also showed their gratitude. We love her music and she was a beautiful person, so she has always had a huge impact on us as we were growing up. Additionally, when it came to creating and singing our own songs, she and her music served as a tremendous source of inspiration for us. We are grateful and honored to be a part of this tradition, they said.
As a member of the singing duo Nazia and Zoheb in the 1980s, Nazia launched her career as a singer-songwriter, lawyer, and social activist. Over 65 million recordings have been sold globally by her and her brother. The song Aap Jaisa Koi, which was featured in the 1980 Indian movie Qurbani, marked Nazia’s singing debut. She was the first Pakistani to receive the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer at the age of 15 in 1981. She continues to be the prize’s youngest winner.
When her debut album Disco Deewane was published in 1981, it immediately shot to the top of the charts in fourteen different nations, making it the best-selling Asian pop album of the time.
Nazia followed up with the albums Boom Boom in 1982, part of which was used as the soundtrack of the film Star (1982), Young Tarang (1984), which featured the track Dum Dum Dede and Hotline (1987). Her last album, Camera Camera in 1992, was part of a campaign against drugs.
Nazia rose in Pakistan in the span of her brief (15-year) career. She won Pakistan’s Pride of Performance Award, and UNICEF named her its cultural ambassador in 1991 as a result of her charitable work. At the age of 35, she passed away in London from lung cancer in 2000.