Noor Jehan is a singer of two countries India and Pakistan. She has sung over 10,000 songs in various languages of India such as Urdu, Hindi, Punjab and Sindhi. She is known by her stage name ‘Noor Jehan’ – a name and an identity that she picked from Indian soil and left to Pakistan after the partition of Pakistan and India. Her songs in Pakistan films were better undoubtedly than she had sung in India. Before partition, she was almost a household name in India. Her songs with high-pitched range and nasal voice in Indian films Khandaan (1942), Naukar (1943), Dost (1944), Zeenat (1945), Village Girl (1945), Badi Ma (1945), Anmol Ghadi (1946) and Jugnu (1947) made her highly popular. Her quit from India sent shockwaves then to Hindi filmmakers- she packed her belongings to Lahore and got settled there.
After 1951, she appeared in movies in Pakistan. Actually, before partition, Lahore was the prominent filmmaking centre before 1947. When riots broke, studios were burnt down, and local Indian filmmakers did not have basic infrastructure or equipment to make films. Noor Jehan’s husband, Syed Shaukat Hussain Rizvi also directed many of her hit films, Her husband left a studio ‘Shorrey Studio’ in Uttar Pradesh for which later she and her husband made a claim. The studio name was changed to ‘Shahnoor’. Noor Jehan was first Pakistani film director. In India, she acted opposite Pran before India’s Independence(1942) in a film called ‘
Khandan’ which was her fist adult debut in cinema. The film was a major hit, and she then shifted to Mumbai. As an actress, she acted 14 films in Pakistan, ten in Urdu, four in Punjabi as a film actress. Noorjehan had multiple affairs with filmmakers. She married Rizvi but got divorced in 1953. The couple had three children. She married Ejaz Durrani in 1959 which also ended in divorce in 1979.
From the second marriage, she had three children again. Her fans include legendary singer
Lata Mangeshkar and Mohamad Rafi and even actor
Dilip Kumar. Lata was praise for her voice as she was a trained playback singer and in films she maintained her vocal quality same both in high and low pitches. It is said that Lata was inspired from her singing. She was crowned with Pakistan President's Award in 1965 for her contribution to Pakistani films and music. She passed away in Karachi on December 23, 2000, Karachi.