Died: August 16, 1997, London, United Kingdom
Date of Birth: October 13, 1948
Nusrat_Fateh_Ali_Khan was a Pakistani vocalist, primarily a singer of Qawwali, the devotional music of the Sufis.
Pakistani singer who is considered one of the greatest performers of qawwali, a Sufi Muslim devotional music characterized by simple melodies, forceful rhythms, and energetic improvisations that encourage a state of euphoria in the listener.
As he matured as a performer, Nusrat made various adjustments to his style, such as increasing the tempo, as a means to elevate qawwali to a new level of aesthetic and spiritual resonance with contemporary—and international—audiences. In 1985 he gave a concert in the United Kingdom, and word of his talent began to spread. He was soon performing regularly throughout Europe. He first toured the United States in 1989, and in the 1990s he contributed to the sound tracks of several popular films. Nusrat also worked with a number of internationally recognized figures in popular and art music. Popular musician Peter Gabriel promoted Nusrat on the world music circuit through his WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festivals and through recordings on his Real World Records label. Meanwhile, composer Michael Brook helped increase the accessibility of Nusrat’s vocalizations by recasting them within Western rhythmic frameworks. Nusrat believed in the universality of the musical message and strove throughout his career to make his music transcend religious and cultural boundaries. When he died suddenly in 1997, Nusrat was mourned by fans across the globe.