Ustad Ghulam Ali was born on December 5, 1940, in Sialkot district (now in Pakistan). The ghazal master has never felt a boundary between the two countries but recently had faced a ban for his concerts in Mumbai. He is trained in Patiala Gharana style of music since his childhood. His father, Daulat Ali, was a well-known vocalist and Sarangi player. It is his father who had got him trained under Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and his other three other brothers Barqat Ali Khan, Mubarak Ali Khan, and
Amanat Ali Khan
in Lahore. He started his career with Radio Lahore in 1960.
He is famous for blending ‘Gharana-Gaayaki’ into ghazal playback system. Thus his popularity had spread across all geographical boundaries, and his popularity is not limited to Pakistan but Canada, UK, Nepal and other neighboring countries. One of his songs from the private album was introduced in ’Nikkah’, a Bollywood film directed by B R Chopra. This song, ‘Chupke Chupke Raat Din’ is still popular in every home of India. The singer never felt a necessity to do playback for any film so far, as his forte is ghazal singing. He got many film offers, but he had declined them politely as film songs need to change voice accent many times. The versatile singer thinks pop songs are like acrobatics, and it is not in the culture of India or Pakistan even.
But he does not disown that pop song is also a form of one kind of art. His private album ‘Awargi’ constituted other melodious songs such as song ’Hungama Hai Kyon Barpa’, ‘May Nazar Sé Pee Raha Hoon’, ‘Kiya Hai Pyar Jisé’ and ‘Apni Dhoon Mein ‘ were instantly popular. He has given a performance in places where people do not understand the Urdu language of Ghazal songs, but yet people watch him singing with rapt attention. When he visited first time India, Bollywood playback singer
embraced him and even had invited him to his house for a dinner.
The Pakistani ghazal singer came into controversy when his concert in Mumbai was cancelled for the political ban. The singer was very much hurt as he feels music has no boundary. When he was young, he learnt Sa Re Ga Ma Pa in musical instrument harmonium, and he learnt its pattern and then started singing daily. His rehearsals continued year-after-year, and the voice became a perfect match for Ghazal singing. He is one of the few Ghazal singers from Pakistan who made a mark for herself in the heart of every music lover. The singer feels that his singing his just blessings of Allah.