Legendary Thumri Singer, Girija Devi, who was the renowned name in the semi-classical Indian music industry, dies of cardiac arrest at the age of 88 in Kolkata. She was taken to the city's BM Birla Heart Research Centre in the morning following the complaints of chest pain. She passed away at 8.45 pm.
Girija Devi was born on May 8, 1929 in a small place near Banaras in the family of of zamindars. Music was in her blood. She started learning it from her father Ramdeo Rai at a very young age and then took training from vocalist and sarangi player Sarju Prasad Misra. In 1949, she made her public debut on All India Radio Allahabad. For her contribution, the lady was honoured with many awards.
She received the Padma Shri in 1972, the prestigious Padma Bhushan in 1989. In 2016, she also received Padma Vibhushan. She was also the recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship.
During 1980s, Girija Devi was the part of faculty in ITC Sangeet Research Academy and in 1990s she worked in Banaras Hindu University.
The death of the iconic singer came as a shock. People on twitter expressed their grief over her demise.
CBFC chairman Prasoon Joshi tweeted, “Will miss the chaumukhi gayaki of Benares reflected in her voice. ..Was to do a session with her on 27th in jaipur #Girijadevi Appaji.”
Will miss the chaumukhi gayaki of Benares reflected in her voice. ..Was to do a session with her on 27th in jaipur #Girijadevi Appaji🙏— Prasoon Joshi (@prasoonjoshi_) October 24, 2017
Javed Akhtar tweeted, “Girija Devi was not only a great classical singer but a national treasure too. We are poorer without her. Girija ji , AAP Ko mera salaam.”
Girija Devi was not only a great classical singer but a national treasure too . We are poorer without her . Girija ji , AAP Ko mera salaam .— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) October 24, 2017
My condolences at the demise of Vidushi #GirijaDevi. An outstanding exponent of Indian Classical Music, her work will live for ages to come.— Pranab Mukherjee (@CitiznMukherjee) October 24, 2017