Ustad Rashid Khan, who made Hindustani classical music accessible to countless listeners, died at a Kolkata hospital on Tuesday after a four-year battle with prostate cancer. The classical singer was 55. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.
"We tried our best but failed. He passed away at around 3:45 PM," said an official of the private hospital where Khan was admitted. The classical singer, who belongs to the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana, is the great-grandson of the doyen Inayat Hussain Khan.
"I heard about his death. This is a great loss for the entire country and the entire music fraternity. I am in a lot of pain as I still can't believe that Rashid Khan is no more," Mamata Banerjee said at the hospital while standing beside his family members.
The chief minister said Khan will be given a gun salute and state honours before his last rites are performed on Wednesday.
"His body will be kept at a mortuary today. It will be taken to Rabindra Sadan on Wednesday where his admirers can pay him last respects," she said.
The musician was on ventilator support. His health condition deteriorated following a stroke last month.