Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 13 July 2020

'He was always smiling': Bollywood composer Wajid Khan dies aged 42

Stars including Priyanka Chopra and Javed Ali have paid tribute to the musician, who passed away after battling a kidney infection

Wajid Khan was one of Bollywood's most recognised contemporary composers. Getty
Wajid Khan was one of Bollywood's most recognised contemporary composers. Getty

Film composer and music director Wajid Khan, who was one half of the renowned Sajid-Wajid duo, has died aged 42.

The musician, who created soundtracks for dozens of Bollywood blockbusters with his brother Sajid, died in Mumbai following complications from a kidney infection.

The veteran composer is believed to have had coronavirus, according to entertainment journalist Faridoon Shahryar.

“Sad news: noted singer Sonu Nigam just confirmed to me that music composer Wajid Khan of Sajid-Wajid passed away a short while back," Shahryar said on Twitter. "He was suffering from Covid-19."

Khan, who worked on the score for films including Wanted and Dabangg, underwent a kidney transplant recently, according to composer Salim Merchant.

He confirmed Khan's death on Twitter, saying he was "shocked and broken" by the news.

“He had multiple issues. He had a kidney issue and had a transplant a while ago. But recently he got to know about a kidney infection," Salim told news agency PTI.

"He was on the ventilator for the last four days, after his situation started getting worse. Kidney infection was the beginning and then he got critical."

Playback singer Sonu Nigam was among the first to confirm the news, posting an image of Khan on Instagram with the caption: "My brother Wajid left us."

Khan's story

Khan, son of tabla player Ustad Sharafat Ali Khan, made his Bollywood debut with Sajid for the soundtrack of 1998 film Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya, which stars Salman Khan.

The duo went on to work on several of the actor's films, including Tumko Na Bhool Payenge, Veer and Partner.

Wajid also showed off his vocals on a number of tracks, including Chal Maar from 2016's Tutak Tutak Tutiya and Bullett Raja from the 2013 film of the same name.

Wajid Khan, left, with his brother Sajid, was a popular composer in the Bollywood film industry. Instagram / Sajid-Wajid
Wajid Khan, left, with his brother Sajid. Instagram / Sajid-Wajid

The Khan brothers acted as mentors on talent reality shows Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Singing Superstar and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2012 and scored music for singers Nigam and Rahul Vaidya on non-film-related albums.

After news of Khan's death was announced, a number of Bollywood celebrities paid tribute to the composer.

Quantico star Priyanka Chopra said she was shocked by the "terrible news", saying she would always remember the musician's laugh.

Singer Javed Ali shared his sadness over Khan's death, saying "may his soul rest in peace".

Actor Varun Dhawan revealed the composer had been very close to his family, as he shared a picture of his father with Khan.

"Shocked hearing this news. Wajid Khan was extremely close to me and my family," he said. "He was one of the most positive people to be around. We will miss you Wajid bhai, thank you for the music.”

Sajid-Wajid most recently composed a song for Ali to mark Eid Al Fitr, with the track released last week.

They also crafted Salman Khan's recent track Pyaar Karona, an anthem to encourage listeners to do their part to fight the pandemic.

Updated: June 1, 2020 02:09 PM

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