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Girija Devi passes away at 88; condolences pour in for thumri queen on Twitter

Indian classical singer Girija Devi, of the Seniya and Banaras gharanas, was reportedly admitted at the BM Birla Hospital in Kolakata on the morning of October 24 after complaining of chest pain.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
October 25, 2017 10:34:06 am
girija devi, varanasi, demise, girija devi condolences, girija devi death, Indian express, Indian express news Eminent thumri singer Girija Devi passed away at the age of 88 in Kolkata on October 24. (Source: File Photo)

Girija Devi, popularly known as the thumri queen, passed away at the age of 88 following a cardiac arrest on October 24. The Indian classical singer of the Seniya and Banaras gharanas, performed classical and light classical music and was known to have uplifted the profile of thumri. Born in the family of zamindars in Varanasi on May 8, 1929, Devi was introduced to music by her father. He played the harmonium and taught music and encouraged his daughter to take singing lessons in khyal and tappa from vocalist and sarangi player Sarju Prasad Misra, at the age of 5.

According to family sources, the Padma Vibhushan awardee was taken to Kolkata’s BM Birla Heart Research Centre with cardiovascular ailments and was put on life support on October 24. She passed away at 8:55 pm. Renowned personalities and fans took to Twitter to remember the singer and pay respects by sharing pictures and offering condolences.

 

Devi made her public debut on All India Radio Allahabad in 1949, she, however, faced opposition from her mother and grandmother, who believed that women of upper class should not perform publicly. The artist gave in to her elder’s demands and agreed to not perform privately, but she later went on to give her first public concert in Bihar, 1951. After her mentor Sri Chand Misra died in early 1960, Devi worked as a faculty member of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata (1980s) and of the Banaras Hindu University during the early 1990s. She often toured and performed till 2009.

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