August 18 [Updated 16:00 EDT] -- Two days after the death of qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, artists who were touched by the Pakistani singer are expressing their sorrow.
As we reported Saturday, the emotive qawwali singer died that day of cardiac arrest in a London hospital at the age of 49. Khan's work in the traditional qawwali style earned him praise outside of Pakistan, and he eventually found himself working with Eddie Vedder, Peter Garbiel, and Joan Osborne (for more on Khan's career, see "Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Dead At 49" from August 16).
"I feel a great sense of loss today. The loss of an extraordinary artist and the loss of a friend," said Peter Gabriel, whose professional and personal relationship with Khan dates back to 1985. "I have never heard so much spirit in a voice. My two main singing inspirations, Nusrat and Otis Redding, have been supreme examples of how far and deep a voice can go in finding, touching
and moving the soul.
"Over the years we got to know each other inside and outside of the studio and it was always a thrill to work together, especially on some of the film music where we could cut loose. He was always generous and ready to experiment with whatever I threw at him," Gabriel concluded.
Ironically, the late singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley had sounded off on the importance of Khan as the liner notes author for an upcoming Khan release. Buckley writes of the first time he heard the qawwali singer, saying, "Then came the voice of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Part Buddha, part demon, part mad angel... his voice is a velvet fire, simply incomparable."
Caroline Records, who will release Khan's "The Supreme Collection Volume 1" on August 26, said, "It was a wonderful honor to be involved with an artist of such creative magnitude."