Punjabi singer Manpreet Akhtar dies of brain haemorrhage

Punjabi folk singer Manpreet Akhtar, known in Bollywood for her inimitable number ‘Tujhe yaad na meri aayi’ from the film ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’, died at a local hospital in Patiala on Sunday, January 17. The 55-year-old singer suffered a heart attack coupled with a brain haemorrhage, according to reports.

Manpreet, who belongs to a legendary family of Punjabi singers, is survived by two sons — Naved Akhtar and Lavid Akhtar, both singers. She is the sister of famous Punjabi singer Dilshad Akhtar was shot dead in 1995. Her father Keere Khan Shaukin and her maternal uncle Sabar Hussain Sabar were considered the pillars of Punjabi ‘gayaki’.

Manpreet is known for her classical style of singing and has rendered famous Punjabi songs like ‘Beriye Ni’, ‘Nikdi Sui’ and ‘Bas Ek Gera Gidhe Vich’, besides several other folk songs.

Manpreet Akhtar tutored under Pandit Krishan Kant of Barjindra Government College, Faridkot, along with her brother Gurranditta who is also a singer. She did not take up singing as a profession but joined Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya before shifting to a government school in Patiala.

Manpreet who passed away at 12.30 am was buried in the afternoon. Prominent singers Harbhajan Mann, Pammi Bai, and Babu Singh Mann expressed their condolences to the bereaved family. Punjab Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal expresses grief over the demise of Manpreet and said she carried forward the legacy of her brother, late Dilshad Akhtar, in a very dignified manner. Gurbhajan Gill, a former president of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi, said after the death of Dilshad Akhtar, fellow singers including Sardool Sikander and Mohd Sadique, persuaded her to come forward and keep the family tradition alive. She started out with small functions.