Pakistani singers and bands became very popular and started to spring up during the early nineties, with Pop, Rock and Ghazal. In this article we have gathered a list of Top Pakistani Musicians and Singers.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan (1985-Present)
Rahat Fateh Khan is one of the popular singers of Bollywood and Lollywood industries. He belongs to a famous punjabi family of Qawwals and classical singers. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is the nephew of legendary singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He learnt music at a very young age from his uncle NFAK.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan started his musical career from NFAK’s Qawwali group. He also performed many solo songs at that time. He started playback singing from the indian movie Paap (2003). He performed in many international shows and gained worldwide popularity.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan also worked hard on indian platform, his first non-film song “Zaroori Tha” was also released from indian industry. He judged “Chhote Ustaad” with Sonu Nigam and reality show “Junoon” as well. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is the first Pakistani singer, who performed at Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in 2014. He also appeared in four seasons of the famous Pakistani Music Show Coke Studio.He won many Lux Style Awards, ARY Film Awards, HUM Awards, UK Asian Music Awards, IIFA awards, Mirchi Music Awards etc.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan also awarded an Doctorate of Music Award by University of Oxford. Now he is working as one of the top musicians of Pakistan with Worldwide popularity.
Abida Perveen (1970-Present)
Abida Perveen is a “Queen of Sufi Music” and highest paid Sufi singer of Pakistani music Industry. She is a Music composer, Musician, painter and entrepreneur as well.
Abida Perveen belongs to a sindhi Sufi family, she learnt music from his father Ustaad Ghulam Haider who was a famous Music Teacher. She started her music career in the early 1970s but came into global height in the 1990s. Abida Perveen sings mainly sufi Rock, Thumri, Ghazals, Qawwali, classical and semi-classical music. She sings Baba Bulleh shah kalam in an impassioned voice. She had appeared in many Pakistani and Indian music reality shows like Pakistan Idol, star Voice of India, Chhote Ustaad etc. She had many offers from India to sing songs for bollywood movies but she rejected all those offers, because she immersed herself in “Sufism”. She was awarded by the President of Pakistan with the second highest civilian award “Hilal e Imtiaz”. She was also awarded with Pride of Performance and many other awards. She is a living legend of Pakistani Sufi Music.
Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi Niazi (1971-2019)
Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi Niazi is a popular Pakistani Musician. He is famous for his traditional Folk Music and Ghazals. Esakhelvi has developed an interest in music in his early age but music is strictly forbidden in his House. His school teacher tought him some Muhammad Rafi and Mukesh songs and advised him to never stop singing. Attaullah tried hard to convince his parents but they forbade him to continue singing songs. At the age of 18, Attaullah Khan Esakheilvi left his home for music. He continued his music training after leaving home and recorded his songs on cassettes. 1n 1972, he got a chance to perform on Radio Pakistan. At this point he officially started his music career. Later on, he was invited by a company to record folk songs, he recorded four albums in just one session. These albums were released in 1977 and became nationwide popular. Attaullah Esakhelvi recorded more than 50 thousand songs in seven different languages. Esakhelvi has received a lifetime achievement award from Queen Elizabeth-II. He has recorded the highest number of audio songs and for this his name was entered in Guinness Book of world Records in 1994. He received the “Pride of Performance Award” in 1991 by the Government of Pakistan. He also received the second highest civilian award “Sitara e Imtiaz” in 2019.
Sajjad Ali (1979-Present)
Sajjad Ali is a well known Pakistani Musician, also a poet, actor, film producer as well as a film director. He is an expert musician of classical, semi classical, rock and pop genres. He belongs to a Patiala gharana of Kasur (Classical Musicians).
He started learning music from his uncle Tassaduq Hussain after completing his FA degree from National Arts College, Karachi. He sang different classical songs of bade Ghulam Ali Khan,Ghulam Ali, Amanat Ali Khan and Mehdi Hassan in his first album. He worked in many TV shows like Raag Rang, Aap Janab etc. Then he produced his own albums Chef Saab, Sohni Lagdi and Babia 93. After the great success of these albums, he started releasing single songs. His first song “Chal Rein De” was released in early 2006. After that he released many single songs and albums and he achieved greater success in the music industry with the help of his brother. He released a single song “Tamasha” with Bohemia in 2017, which was a massive hit on social media. He also composed many songs for movies e.g. Love letter (1990), Aik Aur Love Story (1999), Mujhe Chand Chahiye (2000), Bol (2011) etc. He also directed two movies which are Love Letter & Aik Aur Love Story. Overall Sajjad Ali is a multi talented person of our industry.
Arif Lohar is Pakistani folk singer, who usually sings using a musical instrument (Chimta). His music is a great representation of traditional punjabi folk music.
He has performed in 50+ international musical shows during his career. He also performed in the opening ceremony of Asian Games in 2004, this ceremony had a crowd of almost one million people. He also produced 3 songs in Syed Noor’s film “Jugni” which was released in 2012.
His “21st century Jugni – 2006” album was released by Internalmusic UK. He recorded almost 3000 songs and 150 music albums, which was mostly in punjabi language. He also participated in Coke Studio season 3. Arif Lohar performed “Alif Allah” with Meesha Shafi. He also performed two other songs, which became an international success. Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan bought “Jugni” for his movie Cocktail. Arif Lohar also sang in indian movie “Bhaag Malikha Bhaag” which was released in 2013.
Arif Lohar was awarded by the Government of Pakistan with Pride of Performance award in 2005. He also achieved “Lifetime Achievement Award” at Brit Asia TV Music Awards show.
Atif Aslam (2002-Present)
Atif Aslam is one of the top pakistani musicians of Pakistani music industry. He is a top Pakistani Playback singer and actor. He sings for both home and neighbour music industries (Pakistan & India). Due to his many popular songs to the industry continuously, he is known as all time best playback singer in both Pakistani and Indian Music industries.
He started his music career by taking part in different music competitions during his college days. He has no music family background as others top musicians have. His companions encouraged him to put his efforts in the music industry. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was a great inspiration for Atif Aslam when he started his music career.
He officially started his music career in Pakistani Music Industry by forming a music band “Jal”. Then he released his first song “Aadat” in 2003 on the internet with Goher Mumtaz. He recorded this song at the age of seventeen with just his pocket money. Then he separated from the Jal band and released his own album “Jal Pari” which is produced by Sarmad Ghafoor. Atif Aslam got instant fame after the success of this album and also won Lux Style award in 2005.
Then he started his journey in both Bollywood and Hollywood music industries. His famous hits in bollywood industry are Woh Lamhey, Aadat, Tere Bin etc. Hollywood movie “Man Push Cart” used his songs “Yakeen”, “Aadat” and “Ehsaas” in 2005. He achieved greater success in neighbouring industries as well. He worked hard in the music industry and recorded various unforgettable songs which were hits of his career. Some of his hit songs are Doorie, Woh Lamhey, Pehli Nazar Main, Tu Jaane Na, Tera Hone Laga Hoon, dil Diyan Gallan, Maula, Tere Naal Love Ho gya, Main Rang sharbaton ka, Jeena Jeena etc. He sang “Tajdar e Haram” in coke studio season 8, which crossed 285 million views in july 2020 (originally sung by Sabri Brothers). “Tajdar e Haram” has been viewed in 185 countries across the World. He also released many record breaking songs for our Music Industry.
Atif Aslam received Several Lux Style awards for best song albums and best playback singer. Atif Aslam also received Tamgha-e-Imtiaz from the Government of Pakistan in 2008. “Dubai Walk of Fame” awarded him for the “Best Singer in Pakistan”.
Alamgir Haq is a Pakistani Musician, and also known as “Babae Pop” or “founder of pop music” in Pakistan. He completed his early education in Dhaka. When Alamgir was around 15 years old he completed his college level studies from Mirzapur Cadet college Bengal , then he moved to Karachi, west Punjab for further studies in University of Karachi.
“Windy Side of Care” was the first music band created ever in East Pakistan. Alamgir started his music career from this band by playing Bass Guitar. Later he became the leader of the Windy Side of Care Band.
In 1970, Alamgir started singing in the evening at a small cafe “Globe Hotel”. Globe Hotel was famous for intellectual gatherings. In a gathering, someone from the audience liked his singing style and then told him about a TV Show “Ferozan” which is for “Youth”. Alamgir gave his audition, host of the program Khushbakht Aliya liked his singing and guitar playing style but unfortunately she had already selected another candidate. But it was just a coincidence, famous Pakistani Music composer Sohail Rana was also there. He later asked someone to call Alamgir outside the station. Sohail Rana gave him an opportunity to perform as a guitarist in a children’s show “Hum hi Hum”. He started singing in early 1970s on the Pakistan Television channel. Where he introduced Modern Urdu Pop Music toPakistani audiences. “Shair Saddiqui” hired him for the first Pakistani Pop musical Show named as “Sunday Ke Sunday”, where Saddiqui introduced Alamgir as a Urdu Pop Singer with a song “Albela Rahi”. Alamgir became popular among the Youngsters. “Pyar hai Zindagi Ka Gehna” was his second pop song. In his career beginning, he only sang for Pakistani Television but soon he started singing for Pakistani Film Industry. Alamgir has inherited Kidney Disease from his mother, so he quits everything and moves to America for kidney transplant. He came back to Pakistan for his fans in 2012 and started performing in various tv shows. The Government of Pakistan awarded him with the Pride of Performance Award in 2013. He also won the Nigar Award for Best playback singer. Pakistan Television awarded him with Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.He also received Pride of Performance award from Pakistan Air Force and Hum TV.
Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan (2000-Present)
Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan is son of great Musician Amanat Ali Khan and younger brother of Asad Amanat Ali Khan(Late). He belongs to Patiala Gharana. As he belongs to a musical family so music is flowing with his blood. He was the leader of famous rock music band “Fuzon” till 2006. Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan started singing at his early age. He sang “Aankhon Ke Saagar”, Ankhiyan”, “Mitwa” and “Khamaj” which became his popular songs. He sang two songs for a Pakistani Movie “Ramchand Pakistani”.
Shankar Mahadevan introduced Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan to the Bollywood Music Industry. He heard a famous song of Shafqat Amanat Ali khan at a radio Station when he was driving. Shankar immediately calls the radio Jogi and demands for the contact number of Shafqat. Later he composed Safqat’s famous hit “Mitwa” for his movie “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna”. Great success of “Mitwa” opened the doors of the Bollywood music industry for Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan. Later he gave his other hit songs to the industry like “Yeh Honsla” “Mohra Saiyan” and “Tere Bina”.
In 2006, he quit Rock Fuzon Band and then focused on his solo music. He released his first solo music album “Tabeer” in 2008. Song “Khairheyan De Naal” from this album was hugely appreciated by both Pakistani and Indian audiences. After the success of his first Solo Album Tabeer, he composed and released his second solo album “Kyun Dooriyan” in 2010. Songs “Kagha Ja” and “Naal Naal” from this album also got a remarkable impact on the audiences. He released his third album “Muh Dikhai” in 2015.
Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan also worked with “Coke Studio” in Season 2 & 10. He also collaborated with other singers in “Imtehan Hai Imtehan” and “Tu hi tu Hai” songs.
He also sang many OST songs for various Pakistani Dramas. His famous OST songs from different Paksitani Dramas are Makan, Kahmaoshiyan, Alvida, Lakin, Gulfam, Saiqa and Alif Allah Aur Insaan.
Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan has also won several awards for his achievements in the Music Industry. He won the “GIFA Best Male Playback Singer” award for “Mitwa – Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna” in 2006. He also won an award for “Most Wanted Male” from The Musik Awards in 2008.
Rafaqat Ali Khan (1990 – Present)
Rafaqat Ali Khan is a Pakistani Musician, singer and Songwriter who belongs from a “Chaurasia Gharana”. He is the son of Nazakat Ali Khan and Nephew of Salamat Ali Khan. As he was born in a Musical Family, he started learning music from his Father and Uncle. He was trained for classical music. He did many Television and Radio Shows with his Uncle and Cousin (Shafqat Ali Khan – a classical singer).
He has shown his skills in the Music industry for almost 20 years. He started Solo Singing and then performed in different shows held in the UK, UAE, United States, Australia, Canada, America, and many other european countries. He worked with Coke Studio Pakistan – Season 9 and gave a big hit “Tu Kuja Man Kuja” collaboration with Sheraz Upel. This Kalam got instant popularity. He also worked for many international movies like Krrish, Silence please, Dhokha, The Dressing Room and Youngistan.
He also received Mirchi Award for presenting traditional Sufi Music
Hadiqa Kiani (1995-Present)
Hadiqa Kiani is a Pakistani Pop and Folk Singer and Songwriter. She also received many national and international awards.
She had a God gifted musical ability which is observed by her mother Khawar Kiani. Khawar enlisted Hadiqa in the Pakistan National Council of Arts, where she received her early music education. She performed in many international events when studying in Viqar-un-Nisa and won various medals during her journey as a child representative of Pakistan in various countries. Hadiqa moved from Rawalpindi to Lahore when she was in grade 8. In Lahore, she received her classical music training from Wajid Ali Nishad and Ustad Faiz Ahmed. She continued her studies side by side.
Hadiqa hosted a children’s show “Angan Angan Taray” in the early 1990s, where she sang many songs for childrens. Hadiqa began to sing songs as a Playback singer in 1995. She released her first debut album Raaz in 1996 and received many positive views from the listeners. Then she released many music albums after that, which are Roshni (1998), Rung (2002), Rough Cut (2007), Aasmaan (2009) and Wajd (2017). She also gave many single songs to Pakistani Music industry. She recorded the official theme song “Intehai Shauq” for “1999- Cricket World cup”. Her famous songs from various albums are Dupatta from album Roshni, She also sung many single songs like Roshni, Boohey Barian, Woh Kaun Hai, Ranjhan, Mahi, Jogi Bun Kay Aa, Dholan, Janaan etc. She also performed at the most renowned venues in the world “the Kennedy Center” and Royal Albert Hall.
Hadiqa Kiani received so many awards for her great achievements Best Playback Singer (1995-Sangam), Best New Talent (1995), Best Selling Album (1996-Raaz), Excellence in Pop & Light Music (2005), Best English Song (2008-Living this lie), Most Wanted Female (2008), Stylish Singer Female (2010) and much more. Hadiqa won Best singer(female) more than 10 times. She was also awarded for Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (2006) and Pride of Pakistan (2015).
Farhan Saeed (2003- Present)
Farhan Saeed is a Pakistani Singer, Songwriter, Composer and actor as well. He started his music career from joining a pop rock based Band Jal in 2003. Later he quit Band Jal to focus on his solo career. Goher Mumtaz who is the former of jal band offered him to continue his solo music career along with the band but he refused his offer. He started his solo music career in Bollywood for movie Creature 3D by singing a song “Naam e Wafa”. He also started his acting career from Hum TV drama “De ijazat Jo tu”. Then he played a lead role as a lawyer in drama serial “Udaari”. His famous TV drama was “Suno Chanda 1 & 2” as arsal along with iqra aziz.
His famous songs are Naam-e-Wafa, Sajna, Roiyaan, Yeh jo Halka Halka Saroor hai, Sajna Ve Sajna, Baliyay, Suno Chanda etc.
He also won various awards for his singing and acting skills. He won Best Song of the year award for Roiyaan in 2015, Best Music Single (Roiyaan 2005) , Best on-screen couple ( along with Urwa Hocane for Udaari), Best on-screen couple (along with Iqra Aziz for Suno Chanda).
Ghulam Ali (1960- Present)
Ghulam Ali is a Pakistani Musician who is famous for his fabolous Ghazal Singing Style all over the World. He is the only ghazal singer of his era who gave a touch of hindustani classical music with ghazals. His father was a fan of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan that’s why his father gave him the name “Ghulam Ali”, he also got his early training from the elder brother of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.
His unique style of ghazal singing has the capability to attract the audience’s hearts. He started his ghazal career in 1960s from singing ghazals on Radio Pakistan.
He is not only famous for singing ghazals, but he is also famous for his unique composition. He recorded many ghazal compositions like Madhosh, Mahtab, Lamha Lamha, Haseen Lamhe etc.Some of his famous ghazals all around the world are Aah ko Chahiye ik umar asar hone tak, Chupke Chupke Raat Din, Awargi, Baharon ka chaman, Dil jala Ke Mera Muskurate hain woh and many more.
He sang ghazals in different languages Urdu, Punjabi, Nepali, Hindi languages. Many of his ghazals are used in Bollywood movies Chupke Chupke Raat din, Main Nazar Se Pee Raha Hoon, Hum Ko Kisi Ke Gham ne Mara, Apni Dhun Main Rehta Hoon, Dillagi etc.
Asha Bhosle recorded many combined ghazals with him.
Ghulam Ali was awarded with Pride of Performance (1979) and Sitara-e-Imtiaz(2013) by the Government of Pakistan.
Sahir Ali Bagga
Sahir Ali Bagga is Pakistani Musician famous for his singing, compositions and music directions. He is one of the top musicians of Pakistani with an attractive voice. He is the son of top Pakistani Composer Amjad Hussain.
He started his career in the music industry of Pakistan as a drummer and then joined a music band Jupiters, where he met with Jawad Ahmed. He started composing music for Jawad and later he helped Sahir to build his music career. Pakistan armed Forces played a vital role in establishing Sahir’s career. Pakistan Armed Forces adopted him as official singer of armed forces. He got fame from the great music show Virsa Heritage Revived hosted by Yousaf Sallahuddin. In Virsa he composed music for renowned musicians like Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shafqat Amanat ALi Khan and many others.
He also composed and sang many famous OST songs of Pakistani dramas like the title song of Khani, Bharosa Pyar Tera, iltija etc.
Ahmed Jahanzeb (1984-Present)
Ahmed Jahanzeb is a Pakistani Music composer, Musician and actor. Jahanzaib started his music career at a very young age of 8. He has an attractive, soft and most charming voice just like Sahir Ali Bagga. He is also known as Ahmed Jahanzaib and Wonderboy. He is originally trained in classical music that’s why most of his songs are slow songs. He learnt his classical music from Ustad Rais Khan. He performed live in many shows individually and also shared the stage with famous singers like Sunidhi Chohan, Sonu Nigam, AR Rehman etc. He recorded kalam “Allah u Akbar” with Shafqat Amanat songs in Coke Studio (2017) and a song “Khaki Banda” with Umair Jaswal in Coke Studio (2016).
Jahanzaib also showed his acting skills in Drama Serial Khuda Aur Muhabbat(2011) as Abdullah, Jawad Ahmad’s Film Bol(2010) and Shoaib Mansoor’s film Khuda Kay Liye(2007).