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Nazia Hassan Lights Up Times Square in New York

Popular music streaming service Spotify has paid a glorious tribute to the late Nazia Hassan, known as the Queen of Pop in Pakistan, on her 22nd death anniversary. She graced the iconic Times Square in the United States as the brand ambassador of Spotify’s EQUAL playlist. Nazia passed away in London on August 13, 2000 at the age of 35 due to lung cancer. Even after 2 decades, her contribution to music is celebrated all over the world.

Nazia Hassan as Global Artist for August 2022

Nazia Hassan was a singer, songwriter, political analyst, lawyer, and a philanthropist. She has earned immense respect in the world of music as well as social causes. Honoring her commitments, Spotify lighted up its digital billboard on the Times Square with Nazia’s face. The app displays global artist of the month on that space and this time it chose Nazia. The Pakistani singer who redefined the country’s pop music during the 80s and 90s, has become the first deceased star to be made EQUAL brand ambassador. This program was launched in early 2022 with an aim to recognize the impact of women artists on the music industry.

Nazia instantly crossed all heights of popularity in Pakistan with her debut song Aap Jaisa Koi in 1980. In collaboration with her brother, the pop duo was called Nazia and Zoheb. They mesmerized the audience with thier soft rythemic movements as they sang soulful songs. According to reports, they sold more than 300 million records worldwide. Some of thier most beloved songs included Dosti, Boom Boom, Ankhein Milane Wale, Disco Deewane, and Lekin Mera Dil. She is also the only Pakistani and youngest artist to receive the Filmfare Award for Best Playback Singer at the age of 15 in 1981.

Social Good

Nazia Hassan is known for helping women and children living in the underprivileged sections of Karachi. She was affiliated with and raised funds for Inner Wheel Club of India, an international women’s organization working to promote friendship, service, and understanding. Nazia established BAN (Battle Against Narcotics) organiation in Pakistan to help drug addicts and contributed in introducing mobile clinics in Lyari to make medicine easily accessible for the needy.

Nazia raised funds for the children in Tharparkar and Rajasthan by visiting different schools. She gave toys to the poor kids and delivered talks to raise social awareness for the underprivileged. Nazia worked at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2 years (1991-1992) and also served at the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Her education and social work won her a scholarship for Leadership Program at Columbia University, but around that time she was diagnosed with cancer, so could not go.

After her death, Nazia’s parents established Nazia Hassan Foundation in 2003 to further the legacy of their daughter. However, the UK-based NGO was dissolved because trustees failed to submit charity reports for 1000 days. It was revealed that the charity hardly engaged in any humanitarian activity since its launch.

The Life of Pain

Nazia may have lit up other people’s lives with happiness but her own life was tragic. After her death, her brother and singing partner Zoheb Hassan made a shocking revelation that Nazia was in pain and died an unhappy person. Her arranged marriage to Pakistani businessman Ishtiaq Baig in 1995 was full of problems that eventually led to divorce in 2000, 3 months before her death.

She accused her husband of physical abuse and poisoning her before her testimony in a UK court. Nazia revealed the nature of her marriage in her final interview. It was Baig’s 3rd marriage with Nazia. He previously married a Filipino dancer and a Pakistani actress. Nazia accused him of cheating on her with that actress. However, his second marriage with the actress ended soon due to Baig’s mental health.

Nazia also said that Baig forced her to lie to media that her marriage was fine. Further developments revealed that the businessman never paid child support, accused Zoheb of living off of his sister’s money, and never even tried to bear the expenses for her cancer treatment.

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