Runa Laila, who became famous world wide for her song Dumadum Mast Kalander though may be more well known as a pop singer, is an accomplished ghazal singer too.
Classically trained she has dabbed in various genres of music and sings ghazals, mostly composed by others, rather well. Born to a Bengali family in Karachi in what was then undivided Pakistan, she took early lessons in classical music. Endowed with good voice and right aptitude was soon quite good at singing. This brought her the first break when in 1964, she was invited to sing as a playback singer for a film. After that success, she regularly started getting playback singing offers, and success came without much trouble for young Runa Laila. Her first programs in India were organized by government of India in 1974.
Her "Damadum Mast Kalandar" song became a major hit in India. In 1982 she did a couple of pop albums in India, which were big hits. Influence of Mehdi Hassan on her ghazal singing is enormous. Apart from Mehdi Hassan, perhaps, she sings best the evergreen ghazal Ranjish Hi Sahi. All along she kept recording ghazals and geets, producing her first ghazal-geet album in 1988.
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