Rashid Khan
Khan performing at Bharat Bhavan in 2015
Born(1968-07-01)1 July 1968
Died9 January 2024(2024-01-09) (aged 55)
OccupationClassical vocalist
Years active1977–2024
AwardsPadma Bhushan (2022)
Padma Shri (2006)
Musical career
GenresHindustani classical music

Ustad Rashid Khan (1 July 1968 – 9 January 2024) was an Indian classical musician in the Hindustani tradition. He belonged to the Rampur-Sahaswan gharana, and was the great-grandson of gharana founder Inayat Hussain Khan. He was married to Soma Khan.

In a story told in several versions, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi once remarked that Rashid Khan was the "assurance for the future of Indian vocal music".[1][2] He was awarded the Padma Shri, as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2006. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, in 2022 by the Indian Government in the field of Art.[3]

Early life

Rashid Khan was born in Sahaswan, Badayun, Uttar Pradesh on 1 July 1968.[4] He received his initial training from his maternal grand-uncle, Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan (1909–1993). He was also the nephew of Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan.

As a child he had little interest in music. His uncle Ghulam Mustafa Khan was among the first to note his musical talents, and for some time trained him in Mumbai.[5] However, he received his main training from Nissar Hussain Khan, initially at his house in Badayun. A strict disciplinarian, Nissar Hussain Khan would insist on voice training (Swar Sadhana) from four in the morning, and make Rashid practise one note of the scale for hours on end.[6][7] A whole day would be spent on practising just a single note. Although Rashid detested these lessons as a child, the disciplined training showed in his easy mastery of taan and layakaari later. It was not until he was 18 that Rashid began to truly enjoy his musical training.[6]


Rashid Khan gave his first concert at age eleven, and the following year, 1978, he performed at an ITC concert in Delhi. In April 1980, when Nissar Hussain Khan moved to the ITC Sangeet Research Academy (SRA), Calcutta, Rashid Khan also joined the academy at the age of 14.[1] By 1994, he was acknowledged as a musician (a formal process) at the academy.

Musical style

The Rampur-Sahaswan gayaki (style of singing) is closely related to the Gwalior gharana, which features medium-slow tempos, a full-throated voice and intricate rhythmic play. Rashid Khan included the slow elaboration in his vilambit khayals in the manner of his maternal grand-uncle and also developed exceptional expertise in the use of sargams and sargam taankari (play on the scale). He was influenced by the style of Amir Khan and Bhimsen Joshi.

He was also a master of the tarana like his guru but sang them in his own manner, preferring the khayal style rather than the instrumental stroke-based style for which Nissar Hussain was famous. There was no imitation of instrumental tone.

His renderings stood out for the emotional overtones in his melodic elaboration. He said: "The emotional content may be in the alaap, sometimes while singing the bandish, or while giving expression to the meaning of the lyrics."[6] This brought a touch of modernity to his style, as compared to the older maestros, who tended to place greater emphasis on impressive technique and skilful execution of difficult passages.[citation needed]

Rashid Khan also experimented with fusing pure Hindustani music with lighter musical genres, e.g. in the Sufi fusion recording Naina Piya Se (songs of Amir Khusro), or in experimental concerts with western instrumentalist Louis Banks.[6] He also performed jugalbandis, along with sitarist Shahid Parvez and others.[8]

Illness and death

Rashid Khan died on January 9, 2024, at a private hospital in Kolkata. He had been battling cancer for a long time.[9][10] After being diagnosed with prostate cancer, Khan sought medical attention at the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital. He later chose to pursue exclusive treatment in Kolkata. Khan initially showed positive responses to the treatment.[11] But his condition got worse on 23 December 2023, and he was admitted to the hospital, where he was placed on a ventilator for oxygen support and died at the age of 55.[12]

Film discography

Year Song Film Music Director
2023 "Chanda Se Chhup ke" Goldfish Tapas Relia
2022 "Marwa" Me Vasantrao Rahul Deshpande
2019 "Barsat Sawan" Mitin Mashi (Bengali Film) Pandit Bikram Ghosh
2018 "Bol Ke Lab Azad Hain" Manto Sneha Khanwalkar
"Ae Ri Mai Re" Dassehra Vijay Verma
2017 "Sakhi Ri" Vodka Diaries Sandesh Shandilya
"Tu Banja Gali Beneras Ki" Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana Himself
"Tu Banja Gali Beneras Ki (Reprise)"
"Tu Banja Gali Beneras Ki (Female)"
2015 "Bhara Badara" Kadambari Bickram Ghosh
2013 "Jheeni Re Jheeni" Issaq Sachin–Jigar
2012 "Sajna" Bapi Bari Ja (Bengali) Jeet Ganguly
"Aiyo Piyaji" Chakravyuh Shantanu Moitra
2011 "Poore se zara sa" Mausam Pritam Chakraborty
2010 "Allah Hi Rahem" My Name is Khan Shankar Ehsaan Loy
2009 "Bhor Bhayo" Morning Walk Jeet Ganguly
2007 "Aaoge Jab Tum Saajna" Jab We Met Sandesh Shandilya
2004 "Kahe Ujadi Mori Neend" Kisna: The Warrior Poet Ismail Darbar
"Tore Bina Mohe Chain Nahi"

Non-film discography



  1. ^ a b "Padmashree Rashid Khan". ITC SRA. Archived from the original on 16 January 2003. Retrieved 9 May 2007.The SRA site gives the Bhimsen Joshi accolade as: "One of the most notable torchbearers of the Hindustani classical tradition in the twenty first century"
  2. ^ Music Label fusion3.com Archived 18 April 2019 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Padma Awards 2022: Complete list of recipients". mint. 26 January 2022. Archived from the original on 26 January 2022. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Biographical Background". Ustad Rashid Khan. 2001. Archived from the original on 28 January 2021. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Rashid Khan Biography: Background". Archived from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2007.This page is official Rashid Khan website l ustadrashidkhan.com Archived 13 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b c d G. Jayakumar (22 September 2006). "An offering to the Almighty". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2007.
  7. ^ "Artist of the month: Rashid Khan". ITC Sangeet Research Academy. 1 September 2002. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 8 May 2007.
  8. ^ Nadadhur, Srivathsan (26 November 2016). "Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan and Ustad Rashid Khan: A 25-year togetherness". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 30 October 2022. Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  9. ^ Khan, Abubakr. "Ustad Rashid Khan-Maestro of Melody, Passes Away After Battle with Prostate Cancer". Bru Times News. Archived from the original on 9 January 2024. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  10. ^ "Kolkata: 'Aaoge Jab Tum' singer Ustad Rashid Khan dies of cancer at 55". www.indiatvnews.com. 9 January 2024. Archived from the original on 9 January 2024. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  11. ^ "Music maestro Rashid Khan passes away after prolonged battle with cancer". Hindustan Times. 9 January 2024. Archived from the original on 9 January 2024. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  12. ^ "Music maestro Ustad Rashid Khan dies at 55". The Hindu. 9 January 2024. Archived from the original on 9 January 2024. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  13. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  14. ^ Parande, Shweta (28 February 2014). "Mirchi Music Awards 2014 winners: Shahrukh Khan, Farhan Akhtar honoured; Aashiqui 2 wins 7 trophies". India.com. Archived from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Padma Awards 2022: Complete list of recipients". mint. 26 January 2022. Archived from the original on 26 January 2022. Retrieved 26 January 2022.