Attaullah Khan Niazi Esakhelvi born 19 August 1951.He is a Pakistani award-winning musician from Isakhel, Mianwali, Punjab. He was thrown out of his house for wanting to become a singer, against his father’s wishes. The only opportunity seemed to him was to follow his passion during his father’s Hajj journey. He is traditionally considered a Seraiki artist, but his music albums are in both Seraiki and Punjabi/Urdu.
He is considered a folk icon in Pakistan. Apart from the loneliness of highways, the other constant companions of Pakistani truck drivers are the lilting tunes of Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi. This Mianwali-born vocalist with his swashbuckler moustache, kameez shalwar and shawl on one shoulder became the poster boy for traditional Pakistani music.
Singing in Seraiki, the dialect of Punjabi that dominates western and southern Punjab, his searing impassioned songs caught on like wildfire almost from the moment he recorded his first session for Radio Pakistan Bahawalpur in the mid-1970s. For years, Esakhelvi reigned supreme and unchallenged, in a universe that existed parallel to the cultured music salons of the elite.
The Government of Pakistan awarded him the Pride of Performance Award in 1991.
He has recorded more than 50,000 songs in seven languages He has received a lifetime achievement award from Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, and had his name entered in the Guinness Book of World Records in 1994 for the highest number of audio albums released.
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