Cultural fraternity mourns singing maestro

The 96-year-old legend died following cardiac and respiratory problems at Hubli town, about 480 km from here.
Expressing sadness over the death, noted playwright U.R. Ananthamurthy said: "She belonged to the Kirana gharana, and was a unique singer. Her dignity and grace were unsurpassed. Not only was she very melodious, but her hold over the grammar and structure of classical music was of superior nature."
"I don't think she has died, but has only stopped crooning in her melodious voice. Till recently she was singing, in spite of her old age and ill health. I don't think, anybody like her will be ever born again. She was a star in the art fraternity," the Jnanpith award winner mourned.
Echoing Ananthamurthy, noted playwright and actor Girish Karnad expressed sadness at the death of the legend, who had mesmerized music lovers for over six decades.
"She was a maestro and will be always be remembered as a genius. The art fraternity in Karnataka and across the world will miss the singer and her singing style," lamented Karnad.
Hangal was unwell for the past one month and was admitted at Lifeline Emergency Care Centre in Hubli on Thursday, family sources said.
She died at 7.10 a.m. at the hospital. Close family members, including her three sons and two daughters, were by her side when she died.
The doyen of the Kirana Gharana was awarded India's prestigious civilian honours of Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan in 1971 and 2002, respectively.
"She was an inspiration for all of us. The music world will be poorer now, after the death of the icon," said C. Aswath, veteran Kannada music composer.
"I have no words to express my sadness. She was a guide and guru for all singers and music composers across Karnataka. I am extremely saddened by Hangal's death," said Kannada singer Pallavi.

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