Dhaka, June 5 (bdnews24.com)—Bangladesh's legendary pop musician Azam Khan has died at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Dhaka after a long battle against cancer, aged 61.
The doyen of bangle rock passed away around 10:20am on Sunday, CMH doctor Col Azizul Islam told bdnews24.com.
On life support, he was shifted to the CMH from Square Hospitals on June 1 as his condition worsened.
Azam Khan's long time friend Fakir Alamgir, another prominent cultural face of the country, told bdnews24.com that the body would be kept at the Central Shahid Minar between 10am and 11am on Monday for the people to pay their last respects.
Later, the remains would be taken to the singer's Kamalapur residence. He would be buried at Martyred Intellectuals' Graveyard at Mirpur following namaaz-e-janaza at Baitul Mukarram national mosque, Alamgir said.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition chief Khaleda Zia have expressed their grief at the death of the man who is etched in the collective psyche since capturing the public imagination after the war of independence in 1971.
On May 22, the pop singer was admitted to Square Hospitals when his pain became unbearable after the oral cancer spread to other parts.
He was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and underwent advanced treatment in Singapore twice that year. But he did not follow up on his treatment.
Doctors lost hope on his condition improving with the cancer spreading to his lungs.
He had been on life support since his condition got worse nine days earlier.
Born on Feb 28, 1950, Azam Khan (full name Mahbubul Haque Khan) had fought as a guerrilla fighter against the Pakistani occupation forces in the war in Sector 2 and inspired many freedom fighters with his songs.
His first television concert was aired in 1972 on Bangladesh Television.
One of the pioneers in Bengali pop music, he founded a band called "Uchcharon in the early 1970s and was dubbed as the Guru of pop music in Bangladesh by legions of fans and subsequent pop singers.
Azam Khan was an imaginative composer, inspired musician, straight-down-the-line lyricist and a singer of uninhibited emotion.
His outstanding compositions such as Obhimani, Ashi Ashi Bole Tumi, Highcourt Er Majare, Ami Jare Chaire, Orey Saleka Orey Maleka, Jibone Kichhu Pabona Re, Ami Jare Chaire, Rail Liner Oi Bostite', and Hei Allah, Hei Allah Re became instant hits.