Salamat Ali Khan

Salamat Ali Khan (12 December 1934 – 11 July 2001[4]) was a Pakistani vocalist and touring artist known for his contribution to the Hindustani classical music.[5] Widely regarded as one of the greatest classical singers of the subcontinent,[6] he was active in music industry, particularly in classical music after the partition of the Indian subcontinent, however he earned his recognition before migrated to Pakistan. In 1969, he appeared in Edinburgh Festival, leading him to earn international recognition. He visited several countries, including India after partition where he participated in music concert, All India Music Conference in Calcutta. During unstable India–Pakistan relations, he visited India along with his brother Nazakat Ali Khan around 1953 where his music conference was also attended by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India.

Salamat Ali Khan
Sharafat Ali Khan.jpeg
Background information
Born(1934-12-12)12 December 1934
Hoshiarpur, British India
Died11 July 2001(2001-07-11) (aged 66)
Lahore, Pakistan
Occupation(s)Vocalist, Singer
Years activec. 1946–2001
Associated actsAll India Radio
Spouse(s)Razia Begum
ChildrenSharafat Ali Khan, Shafqat Ali Khan
  • Ustad Vilayat Ali Khan (father)
RelativesNazakat Ali Khan (brother)
Ustad Zakir Ali Khan (brother)
Rafaqat Ali Khan (nephew)
Ustad Sain Karim (grandfather)[3]

Born in Hoshiarpur, British India in Sham Chaurasia gharana, he belonged to a family of musicians and was influenced by khyal, a Sufi devotional music genre associated with Hindustani classical music. After he appeared in music concerts, Sham Chaurasia gharana earned recognition in the Indian subcontinent.[1]


He married Razia Begum, with whom he had eight children, including four daughters and four sons. He trained two of his two sons Sharafat Ali Khan and Shafqat Ali Khan with classical music, leading the Sham Chaurasi to retain its position in traditional music.[1]

He, along with his brother (collectively known as Ali brothers) was introduced to singing at the apparent age of twelve by his father, Ustad Vilayat Ali Khan who taught him singing. After learning music, he went to Calcutta (in modern-day Kolkata) where he appeared in a music conference. His family later migrated to Lahore in 1947 following the partition of India.

Prior to migrating to Multan, he appeared in Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan in 1941 and todi. In 1955, he returned from Multan and went to his then hometown, Lahore. He was assigned music conferences by the All India Radio and worked for the station for over ten years. He later quit the job following the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 and subsequently went to Pakistan. As a solo singer, he participated in several music concerts in England, America, Holland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Afghanistan, Nepal and Singapore, as well as Pakistan.[7] In 1973, he and his brother, Nazakat parted their duo over uncertain personal issues, however Salamat later continued playing his role as a solo singer.[1]


Year Award Result Ref.
1977 Pride of Performance Won [8]
N/A Sitara-i-Imtiaz


He died from kidney failure in Lahore on 11 July 2001[1] and is buried in Charagh Shah Wali shrine where his brothers, spouse and his eldest son, Sharafat Ali Khan are also buried.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Obituray: Salamat Ali Khan". the Guardian. 3 August 2001.
  2. ^ "Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Sharafat Ali Khan – Musik Aus Pakistan: Khyal Und Tarana (1986, Cassette)". Discogs. 22 October 1985. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  3. ^ Nair, Jyoti (31 August 2017). "Fixed gayaki, but freedom to innovate". THG PUBLISHING PVT LTD – via The Hindu.
  4. ^ "Ustad Salamat Ali Khan - Profile & Biography". Rekhta.
  5. ^ Palmer, Robert (22 September 1987). "Concert: Music From India (Published 1987)" – via
  6. ^ "Legend Remembered: Salamat Ali Khan's anniversary observed". The Express Tribune. 11 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Classical singing great Ustad Salamat Ali's anniversary today | SAMAA". Samaa TV.
  8. ^ "Legend Ustad Salamat Ali Khan remembered on his 19th anniversary". 11 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Classical singer Ustad Sharafat passes away". DAWN.COM. 2 December 2009.

External linksEdit