SB John, famed Pakistani ghazal singer, dead

Pakistan’s famous ghazal singer, Sunny Benjamin John, 87, better known as SB John, passed away on Monday in Karachi after a prolonged illness

Jun 07, 2021
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SB John

Pakistan’s famous ghazal singer, Sunny Benjamin John, 87, better known as SB John, passed away on Monday in Karachi after a prolonged illness. Prominent members of the music industry in Pakistan expressed their tributes, mourning the loss of an industry icon. 

A Christian by religion, SB John started his carrier in 1950 but rose to fame in 1959 when sang the famous “Tu Jo Nahin Hai Tau Kuch Bhi Nahin Hai” for the film ‘Savera’.

Although he performed in multiple genres, he won worldwide accolade for his ghazals. For his remarkable contribution to the music industry, in 2011, the president of Pakistan awarded him with the Pride of Performance Award. 

“SB John was among those singers of the country who earned fame solely through their hard work and struggle,” Pakistan’s classical singer Ustaad Hussain Baksh Gullo was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

“He created a space for himself at a time when there were many big-name singers, such as Mehdi Hassan, Ahmad Rushdi, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Akhlaq Ahmed, proving his talent in the presence of such legends,” he added. 

Ustad Hussain termed his death as a “big loss to the music industry.”

"SB John is among those singers of Pakistan who were not associated with a typical gharana of music, proving his talent at a time when singers from famous gharanas were incredibly popular,” renowned guitarist and composer Sajjad Tafu said. 

Despite being from a minority religion in Pakistan, SB John was popular among all classes of society. 

(SAM) 

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