Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Beloved in his native Pakistan, revered in India, and seen throughout the Western world as a musical ambassador from the Indian subcontinent, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan delighted -- and enlightened -- audiences around the world for over thirty years. A master of Qawwali, the rich Sufi devotional music tradition into which he was born, Ali Khan had no qualms about cross-cultural boundary hopping -- much to the chagrin of some of his more traditional listeners. Khan collaborated on film soundtracks with the likes of Peter Gabriel (The Last Temptation of Christ) and Eddie Vedder (Dead Man Walking), and saw his music remixed by Trip-Hop sensation Massive Attack. Nonetheless, Khan was best known and loved for his passionate, strident tenor, which wavered and soared like a liberated bird leading an ascending flock into the sky at dusk. At times bittersweet, at times caressing, Khan's voice could induce ecstasy in even non-Muslim listeners, and frequently did. Khan died at age forty-nine, leaving behind a rich discography...and a gaping hole which has yet to be filled.