Asia

Celebrated Indian singer Bhupen Hazarika dies

Bhupen Hazarika - 20 November 2010
Image caption Bhupen Hazarika was a multi-talented singer, composer and writer

Celebrated Indian folk singer and composer Bhupen Hazarika has died in Mumbai, aged 86.

A hospital spokesman said he died of multiple organ failure after an illness lasting several months.

Hazarika was best known for his folk songs and ballads, sung in a number of Indian languages, but he also sang and wrote music for hundreds of films.

He was known as the Bard of Brahmaputra after the river flowing through his native Assam state in eastern India.

"As a child, I grew up listening to tribal music - its rhythm saw me developing an inclination towards singing," he said in an interview.

"Perhaps, I inherited my singing skills from my mother, who sang lullabies to me." he said.

He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Indian cinema's highest honour, for his contribution to film music.

He had a PhD in communication from Columbia University in New York.