Rahat Fateh Ali says “proud of receiving honorary degree from Oxford University”

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Nation special report

OXFORD: On receiving the honorary degree from Oxford University on previous Wednesday Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan said; “I am honoured to be accepting this degree from Oxford University, a world famous educational institution. This is a very special day for my family and I, but also for my fans, who have shared this journey with me. To be presented with this honour is a massive achievement and I am happy that my music has allowed me to reach such incredible heights.”

An initial report was published in ‘The Nation’ last week. Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan performed the next day (Thursday) at Oxford Town Hall. The special evening marked the occasion with a stellar performance of Qawwalis by Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, as well as explore his family legacy and look back at his career to date.  All profits generated from the event will be used to enhance the Faculty of Music’s Sounds of South Asia series.

Oxford University have previously recognised the work of Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan by naming one of their prestigious music halls after the maestro. 

He carries the torch for a family which has a rich cultural history in music, a heritage which includes over 600 years in Sufi and Qawwali music folklore, initially made famous in modern pop culture but Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the uncle of Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

In recent times Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has won numerous globally recognised awards, performed for the British royal family at Buckingham Palace, performed at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, and amassed over 1 billion views on his music videos.

The Pakistani singer was presented with the degree of Doctor of Music.

“I am honoured to be accepting this degree from Oxford University, a world famous educational institution. This is a very special day for my family and I, but also for my fans, who have shared this journey with me. To be presented with this honour is a massive achievement and I am happy that my music has allowed me to reach such incredible heights,” Khan said in a video posted on his official Twitter page.

Khan was among the eight people who were conferred with the degree this year.

Earlier, while announcing that Khan would be awarded an honorary degree, the Oxford University had described him as a “Pakistani singer, primarily of Qawwali, a devotional music of the Muslim Sufis”.

“Born into a family whose name has become synonymous with South Asian musical tradition, he began formal training at the age of seven and has since released more than 50 albums, performed in numerous high-profile concerts across the world and amassed a global following, achieving over one billion views online,” the varsity had said in a statement.

“Rahat Ali Khan has sung more than 50 title tracks of television serials and over 100 film songs in both Hollywood and Bollywood,” it added. (ANI)