Family Background

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ASIF ALI KHAN was born in 1973, the youngest son of Manzoor Hussain, a well-known singer from a famous Pakistani musical family. He traces his musical ancestry back more than 350 years. His great-grandfather, Mian Maula Baksh, was one of the most famous classical singers of the Indian subcontinent and founded his qawwali (Sufi music) group more than 80 years ago. After partition, his grandfather, Santoo Khan, moved the family to Pakistan in 1947 settling in Lahore. Here the group, known at this time as Santoo Khan Qawwal, became extremely popular both for its wide repertoire of classical, spiritual (Sufi), and popular songs as well as their superb command of the Urdu, Persian, and Punjabi languages. The group was one of the first to record qawwali music, and was regularly heard on All Pakistan Radio.