Iconic classical singer Girija Devi who was also known as the “Queen of Thumri” passed away yesterday night at the age of 88 propelling a surge of emotional tributes from Bollywood and music fraternity on Twitter.
“Queen of Thumri” and eminent classical singer Girija Devi passed away on Tuesday night at a Kolkata hospital following a cardiac arrest. The Padma Vibhushan awardee was admitted to the BM Birla Heart Research Centre around afternoon in a critical condition and the hospital staff put her on life support. However, she breathed her last at night around 8:45 p.m. She is survived by her daughter.
As soon as the news of her death spread, tributes and condolences started pouring in on Twitter. Noted singer Lata Mangeshkar tweeted about Girija Devi’s greatness and that she shared a very warm relationship with the Thumri singer. Lyricist Javed Akhtar called her demise the end of an era and wrote that people like her would no longer be born. He further tweeted that she was a national treasure without whom the art world would be poorer and paid his salute to her.
Classical singer Pankaj Udhas also mourned the loss of the Padma Vibhushan awardee along with Shubha Mudgal, Amjad Ali Khan, Shankar Mahadevan and others. All paid their condolences and expressed grief at her death referring to it as an irreparable loss. Those who do not know, Girija Devi fondly called “Appa ji” was a notable classical singer of the Seniya and Banaras gharanas. She is credited with elevating the status of Thumri, the semi classical Indian music genre.
Girija Devi was born on 8 May, 1929 in Banaras and started taking training from Sarju Prasad Misra from the age of five which she later continued with Sri Chand Misra. She also acted in a movie called “Yaad Rahe” at the age of nine. She made her public debut on All India Radio Allahabad in 1949 and two years later, gave her first public performance at a concert in Bihar.