Thumri queen Girija Devi dead

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Kolkata, Oct 24: Iconic Indian classical vocalist Girija Devi passed away following a cardiac arrest here on Tuesday, hospital sources said. She was 88.

“She was brought in a critical condition on Tuesday afternoon. She passed away around 9 p.m.,” a BM Birla Heart Research Centre spokesperson told IANS.

Besides Padma Shri (1972) and Padma Bhushan (1989), the veteran was honoured with the Tansen Samman by the Madhya Pradesh government, as well as the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1977).

Born in 1929 in Varanasi, she received her initial training in vocal music from Shri Sarju Prasad Mishra, and honed her skills under the guidance of Shri Chand Mishra.

An outstanding exponent of Thumri, Tappa, Hori, Chaiti, Kajri, Tarana, Sadra, and other forms of Hindustani classical music, Girija Devi was groomed in the tradition of the Benaras and Seniya gharanas.

She was celebrated for her extensive repertoire of rare traditional abandishes’.

Lauded for renditions of ‘Khayal’ with astounding clarity and control, the stalwart was a regular performer on All India Radio and Doordarshan with numerous CDs and audio cassettes to her credit, according to Sangeet Natak Akademi award citation.

She performed widely within the country and abroad.

Mamata condoles Girija Devi’s death

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday mourned the death of Hindusthani classical vocalist Girija Devi and described her as “one of the finest exponents of the genre”.

Expressing profound sadness over the octogenarian singer’s death, Banerjee conveyed her heartfelt sympathies to her family in a condolence message.

Banerjee recalled that her government had conferred the Sangit Mahasamman and Bangabibhushan awards on the singer in 2012 and 2015 respectively.