By Shoaib Ahmed
LAHORE, May 31: Famous for her voice range and often credited for her versatility, yore years’ playback singer Naheed Akhtar will perform after 22 years at Alhamra Art Centre, The Mall, on June 8.
The singer, who gave up professional singing in 1991, will be awarded Alhamra Excellence Award on the occasion.
She used to be a household name from the 70s to the 90s. Famous TV host and actress Ayesha Sana will interview Ms Akhtar at the evening while Hamid Ali Khan, Shabnam Majeed and Saima Jahan will sing the popular film songs sung by the singer.
Videos of her film songs and those she sang on television will also be screened. There will also be a few performances on some of her songs by film and TV artistes.
A number of known film artistes, music composers, lyrists and other guests are invited to the occasion.
The credit for bringing to stage Akhtar after so many years directly goes to the council for its officials made repeated requests to the singer for a public appearance.
LAC Deputy Director Zulfiqar Ali Zulfi told Dawn that after repeated requests the singer finally got convinced for a public appearance and a performance.
He said since Akhtar belonged to the league of such singers who were thoroughly professional therefore she had several meetings with Alhamra officials to finalise the list of songs to be sung and performed. He said: “These days she is doing rehearsals for the songs she is going to sing at the evening.”
Ms Akhtar was discovered by veteran musician M Ashraf in the mid-70s and replaced Runa Laila. Her debut film was ‘Nanha Farishta’ in 1974 and that year she sang songs in the film Shama also.
As a singer, she was brilliant in fast tracks, sad songs and ghazals as well.
Melodies such as ‘Piyar Kabhi Karna Na’ and ‘Yeh Aaj Mujko Kia Hua, and ‘Kisi Meherbaan Nay Aa Ke Meri Zindigi Saja Dee’ gave her immense popularity. The song ‘Meherbaan’ was a huge landmark in her singing.