Eminent folk singer Fakir Alamgir had conquered hearts of music lovers across the country singing people's songs. His songs captured the rustic life, struggles of the masses, culture, human relationships and more.
He was a shining star in the country's cultural arena. But unfortunately this legend passed away at the age of 71. But people will remember his contributions forever.
Son of Hachen Uddin Fakir and Begum Habibunnesa, Alamgir was born on February 21, 1950 at Kalamridha village in Faridpur's Bhanga upazila. He stepped into the music arena in 1966 and played a vital role during the mass uprising of 1969 as a member of the Kranti Shilpi Gosthi and Gana Shilpi Gosthi. During the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh, he joined the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra and performed frequently to inspire freedom fighters.
In independent Bangladesh, Alamgir played a pivotal role in the development of Bengali pop music alongside Ferdous Wahid, Azam Khan, Pilu Momtaz and others who led a generation of artists in shedding conventions to combine elements of indigenous music with contemporary western imports.
In his illustrious career, several of his songs including "O Sokhina", "Shantahar", "Nelson Mandela", "Naam Tar Chhilo John Henry", "Banglar Comrade Bondhu" became very popular and achieved monumental success.
His songs allowed him to attain ubiquitous name-recognition, and even enjoy an almost direct, one-to-one relationship with his fanbase. Arguably no other Bangladeshi male artist would be as instantly recognisable in almost any corner of the country as Fakir Alamgir, with his unruly, flowing shock of hair and Seventies moustache.
Fakir Alamgir was the founder of the cultural organisation 'Wrishiz Shilpi Gosthi' in 1976. He had also served as the president of Gono Sangeet Shamanya Parishad (GSSP).
A Master's graduate of the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism in Dhaka University, Fakir Alamgir was also a keen writer and researcher. He published his first book Chena China in 1984. His next two publications were Muktijuddher Smriti Bijoyer Gaan and Gono Sangeeter Otit O Bortoman. In 2013 he published three books - Amar Kotha, Jara Achhen Hridoy Potey and Smriti Alaponey Muktijuddho. So far, he has authored nine books.
The government awarded the Ekushey Padak to Fakir Alamgir in 1999 for his significant contributions to music. In his successful career, Alamgir also received several other awards, including Sher-e-Bangla Padak and Bhashani Padak.
The folk legend was put on life support last Sunday, having been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital since the early hours of the previous Friday.
He suffered a cardiac arrest around 10pm at the Covid unit of the hospital. There, the singer breathed his last at 10:56pm, his son Mashuque Alamgir Rajeeb told The Business Standard.
Fakir Alamgir is survived by his wife and two sons, and leaves behind a sea of admirers to mourn the passing of one who spoke directly to their hearts.