Noted singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika passed away Saturday after prologed illness at a Mumbai hospital, his relatives said. He was 85.
Hazarika was suffering from respiratory and kidney failure. He died at the Kokilaben Hospital in Mumbai.
Born in the year 1926, Hazarika was a child prodigy in every sense. He recorded his first song at the age of 12. The song ''Biswa Bijoy No Jowan'' of just the second Assamese film ''Indramalati'' was the start of a life long association.
A multifaceted genius, Hazarika was everything from a singer to a director but his heart remained that of a poet who breathes freely in the indigenous culture of Assam.
His directorial debut ''Era Batar Sur'' came in the year 1956 and there was no looking back for Hazarika after it.
A string of successful ventures followed and Hazarika became a most sought after name on the cultural front of north-eastern India.
He was the man behind the inception of colour films in Arunachal Pradesh. ''Mera Dharam Meri Maa'' (1977) gave impetus to filmmakers with rich cultural heritage to come up with path breaking projects.
Tireless energy coupled with a clear motive brought Hazarika to the national stage when he decided to make documentaries on the musical culture of north east. The satellite television was still in the nascent stage but people like Hazarika turned it into a nation binding force via their meaningful documentaries.
Hindi film ''Ek Pal'' provided Hazarika the much awaited chance and he lived up to the expectations by helping the film win several acclaimed awards.
The deep baritone with a Midas touch ruled hearts in extremely popular TV serial ''Lohit Kinare'', directed by Kalpana Lajmi.
The music of ''Rudaali'' not only won awards, but also established Hazarika as someone who can master class and mass with the same tune.
The shaking voice from the shores of the river Brahmaputra benefited Bengali film industry too.
Indian cinemas''s highest honour Dadasaheb Phalke Award was conferred upon him in the year 1992.
Winner of many National Awards, Hazarika worked in close co-ordination with the government and served on several important committees including the Censor Board and the National Film Development Corporation.