Biography of Begum Akhtar:

Begum Akhtar: The Queen of Ghazal

Early Life:

Begum Akhtar, originally named Akhtaribai Faizabadi, was born on October 7, 1914, in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India. She displayed a passion for music from a young age, captivating audiences with her soulful voice and remarkable talent. Her father, Asghar Hussain, supported her musical pursuits and enrolled her in classical music training under renowned musicians like Ustad Imdad Khan and Ata Mohammed Khan.
Early Life and Musical Career - Contribution to Music and Legacy - Later Years and Passing of Begum Akhtar
Biography of Begum Akhtar

Begum Akhtar’s Musical Career:

In her teenage years, Akhtaribai became a noted singer, performing at public events and royal courts. She later married a barrister, Ishtiaq Ahmed Abbasi, and adopted the name Begum Akhtar. Despite her marriage, she continued to pursue her musical career with unwavering dedication.
Begum Akhtar was renowned for her mastery of ghazals and thumris, captivating listeners with her emotive renditions. She blended classical and semi-classical styles, infusing her performances with deep emotions and expressive nuances. Her soul-stirring voice and poignant lyrics made her a celebrated exponent of the ghazal genre.

Contribution to Music:

Begum Akhtar’s contribution to Indian classical music, particularly the ghazal genre, was immense. She breathed new life into traditional compositions, infusing them with her unique style and grace. Her renditions were characterized by their depth of feeling and lyrical beauty, earning her accolades from music enthusiasts and critics alike.


Begum Akhtar’s musical legacy continues to inspire generations of singers and listeners. She paved the way for female artists in the male-dominated world of Indian classical music. Her contributions to the ghazal genre earned her the title “Mallika-e-Ghazal” (Queen of Ghazal).

Later Years and Passing of Begum Akhtar:

In the later years of her life, Begum Akhtar’s health deteriorated. She suffered a heart attack and passed away on October 30, 1974, leaving behind a rich musical legacy that endures to this day.
Begum Akhtar’s artistry, passion, and dedication to her craft have immortalized her in the annals of Indian music. She remains an icon of ghazal singing, captivating hearts with her timeless melodies and soulful expressions.