Malika-e-Ghazal (Queen of Ghazal)
The Late Mushtari Begum
The young Mushtari Begum accompanied by Umar Ali on Harmonium and Nageshwar Phuppa on Tabla, 1952.
Mushtari Begum (25 Dec.1934 - 14 Mar.2004) was the first Indian Ghazal exponent whose father hailed from Lucknow, India and was born in the Islands of Fiji.
In her young age, she was first a disciple of her father, the late Ustad Amjad Ali, a Thumri exponent. In her later life, she travelled to India and learned from legends such as the late Ustad Faiyaz Khan of the Sahaswan Gharana of vocal singing, and Shrimati Shyamala Bhave of Bangalore, India. Her extraordinary vocal capabilities ranged close to four octaves and, in her prime musical form, she quickly ruled the charts of Fiji's musical industry.
She won 36 trophies and numerous recognitions and wards between 1947 and 1973. Her crowning moment was when she was awarded the title Malika-e-Ghazal or "Queen of Ghazal" in 1973, by the Indian High Consulate in the Island of Fiji.
Mushtari Begum died suddenly from a massive heart attack in her home on the evening of March 14th 2004.