She is the artiste of many popular and timeless songs. Today is the birthday of the great singer Shahnaz Rahmatullah. She was born into a musical family on 2 January 1953 in Dhaka. His two brothers were Anwar Parvez (composer) and Zafar Iqbal (actor and singer). Shahnaz Rahmatullah made his first playback at the age of 10 in a movie called “Natun Sur”. In 1984 she first sang on television. She took lessons in music from renowned ghazal artist Mehedi Hasan.
According to a BBC survey, she was the singer of 4 songs of the top 20 Bengali songs of all time. One of them is' Ek Nadi Rakta Periye 'written and composed by Khan Ataur Rahman. The other 3 songs composed by lyricist Gazi Mazharul Anwar and Anwar Parvez are 'Joy Bangla Banglar joy', 'Ekbar jete de na amar chotto sonar gaay' and ‘Ektara tui desher kotha bol re ebar bol’. In 1992, Shahnaz Rahmatullah received the Ekushey Padak.
In 1990 she won the national film award as the best female singer for her playback in the film named ‘Chhutir Faade’. Today, on her birthday, four contemporary singers remember her.
I used to call her Fairuz of Bangladesh: Syed Abdul Hadi
Shahnaz was an artiste of rare voice. The sweetness of her voice, the texture, the range — everything was of international standard. Shahnaz's temperamental style of singing and the emotion it carried could capture the hearts of her listeners instantly. I always called her Fairuz of Bangladesh. I knew her from the sixties. We were soul mates and we kept in regular contact. I was a television producer back then when I brought her to sing on this platform. After that, she became a regular artiste on television. Later we recorded a duet,‘Shagorer teer theke’ which became a super hit.
Although she was older, we were friends: Sabina Yasmin
We have been friends since childhood. I used to call her Shaheen, and she used to call me Rosy. I used to visit her place often, because of my work with Anwar Parvez Bhai. Although she was older than me, we were friends.
The two of us sang on the radio programme 'Khelaghor' as child artistes back in 1966 or 1967. Later, we worked together for duets in six or seven films. At the beginning, I gave my voice to the song- 'Dao Gaye holud, Paye Alta' under the music direction of Ali Hossain Bhai. During these recordings we used to chat a lot.
She was impeccable in patriotic songs: Khurshid Alam
In my opinion, Shahnaz Rahmatullah was the best singer in Bangladesh. She achieved this place by through struggles and practice. She came from a musical family.
Anwar Parvez was her elder brother and Zafar Iqbal the younger. Her mother had a major contribution to her becoming an artiste. She was impeccable in patriotic songs. None of her songs can be discarded. She was a singer of great calibre. She knew how to respect and love others. I love her like my little sister.
She lived in Naya Paltan and I in Purana Paltan. Her husband, retired major Rahmatullah, was very close to me. My father was his teacher. I was so close to her. I sang with her on radio and television.
I used to follow her songs and lifestyle: Samina Chowdhury
I had been fascinated with her since my childhood. She used to sing from her soul. Her songs could touch the heart of the listeners. I could feel every melody, every expression. She was like an aunt to me. I once did her makeup at an event in Qatar. She liked it so much that she told me, “From now on you will do my makeup." Her marriage with Uncle Rahmatullah also fascinated me. Auntie's life was so beautiful that I followed her songs and lifestyle. Simplicity was her greatest asset.