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Published: Thu, October 26, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Amjad Ali Khan expresses grief over 'thumri queen' Girija Devi's demise

Amjad Ali Khan expresses grief over 'thumri queen' Girija Devi's demise

Girija Devi, the iconic Indian classical singer, passed away on Tuesday following a cardiac arrest.

"Saddened by the demise of Girija Deviji". Girija Devi is known for bringing thumri and khayal from kothas to stage. One of dear and near one Pandit Debojyoti Bose who is a classical instrumentalist has said that to PTI "Seniormost artist of Benaras Gharanas Bidushi Girija Devi is no more".

Javed Akhtar‏ wrote in one of his tweets, "With Girija Devi, an era has come to an end". "I knew her since my childhood days and she was a mother figure to me", he said. "She became an institution in her lifetime", Khan said. Ab aisay log nahin hongay.

Sarod legend Amjad Ali Khan has expressed grief over the passing away of queen of "thumri" Girija Devi saying he has lost his "badee didi" who was the only woman to tie him rakhi.

Born in 1929 in Varanasi, Devi began taking singing lessons at the tender age of 5 and made her public debut in 1949 on the All India Radio Allahabad. "Her pioneering efforts to popularise Indian classical music will always be remembered".

Besides Padma Shri (1972) and Padma Bhushan (1989), the veteran was honoured with the Tansen Samman by the Madhya Pradesh government, as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1977). Her father, a zamindar, also played the harmonium and taught music.

Devi was also a faculty member of the ITC Sangeet Reseach Academy in Kolkata, in the '80s, and on the panel of Banaras Hindu University in the '90s.

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