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‘Gana Mehdi Hassan Ka, Award Arooj Aftab Ka’ – Arooj Aftab Faces Criticism For Not Mentioning Mehdi Hassan In Her Grammy Acceptance Speech

On Sunday, Arooj Aftab made history and made the nation proud at the Grammy Awards. But looks like many people are not happy with her acceptance speech because she didn’t even bother mentioning the legendary Mehdi Hassan and Hafeez Hoshiarpuri’s names in her speech.

Because no doubt she composed the song, but the melody is the same as the original. This whole thing made netizens angry and they criticized her for that.

Source: Express Tribune

Many of the popular names from the music industry also raised their voices against it and shared their views on it.

Her speech didn’t hit the right notes and ended up heavily schooled for not mentioning the legends who made the original song.

Arooj Aftab’s speech made chaos by not mentioning the real makers of the song

Arooj Aftab won the Grammy award for Best Global Performance and gave a heartfelt speech after receiving the award but it didn’t strike the Pakistani audience. Let’s see what she has said, “I think I’m gonna faint,” Arooj said the first thing on stage.

“Thank you, this category itself has been so insane. Should this be called Best World Music Performance or should it be called the Yacht Party category?

Anyway, thank you so much, to those who helped me make this record, all of my incredible collaborators, for following me and making this music that I made about everything that broke me and put me back together. Thank you for listening to it and making it yours.”

While talking on the red carpet regarding her acceptance speech, she said “I feel like I was nervous, this is a life-changing moment for me. I can’t believe any words came out of my mouth at all.”

Upon being praised for her “amazing” music, she acknowledged, “A lot of respect to those who came before us, it’s really important for me. Our ancestors, our ancients, they live on cosmically and they continue to make music through us.”

But people didn’t care about her nervousness and straight targeted her for not giving any credit to the real legends.

If you haven’t heard her version of Muhabbat, then here you go then.

Netizens criticized Arooj Aftab’s acceptance speech

Renowned Pakistani guitarist Faraz Anwar took his feelings to Facebook and wrote, “Gana Mehdi Hassan ka, award Arooj Aftab ka, wah re wah Duniya. She did not even mention Mehdi Hassan’s name, congrats Arooj, well done!”


Others have argued that Mohabbat offers a different arrangement but the same melody. Faraz told the local newspaper, “She should have mentioned Mehdi Hassan’s name because the song, the melody was composed by him and it’s unethical of her to not do so.

In her video description, she says it is composed by her. She has composed the new track arrangement, not the melody, the melody is the same [as Mehdi Hassan’s].”

Former Stings band’s frontman Bilal Maqsood said, “let [Arooj] enjoy this moment,” Tehzeeb Foundation patron and music producer, Sharif Awan, whose album Indus Raag was Pakistan’s first indigenous entry to be shortlisted for the 57th Grammys, told The Express Tribune, “As Pakistanis, we should be happy.


If Ali Sethi sings Farida Khanum’s songs, he should not be judged by Farida Khanum’s standards. The new singers, the youngsters who are reviving ghazals, I support them. Our classists are critical of them. People who say, the way Mehdi Hassan sang, he or she did not, but Mehdi Hassan has done his job.

The modifications brought by the new generation are necessary for music’s development. The ghazals were becoming a thing of the past. For 30 years after Mehdi Hassan, nobody touched that ghazal. So, credit goes to these young people.”

‘She hasn’t been in Pakistan for 15 years’ – Sharif Awan

Sharif further added, “I can’t say Arooj should not have named Hafeez or Mehdi Sahab, but it also depends on how much time she had on her hands.

Sometimes, there is a time constraint. And if someone like Ali Sethi had received the award, being aware of the psyche of our people, he would have named the artists he took inspiration from. But a girl, who hasn’t been in Pakistan for 15 years now, it’s probable she isn’t aware of the sensitives of Pakistan’s music circles.”


He then shifted the radar to commercial singers and asked people to blame them. He said, “if people wanted to blame someone, they should blame Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Atif Aslam, and every other commercial artist who is earning endlessly from this country but isn’t investing in a single good marketing company in America that can promote Pakistani music abroad.”

Sounds of Kolachi front man Ahsan Bari supported her, “It’s a big moment for Arooj and Pakistan. She should have mentioned them, it would have been nice, maybe she forgot, maybe she was under a lot of pressure. I can’t say much.”

Source: Youlin Magazine

But he pointed out, “The tune in question is the same tune Farida Khanum jee has sung, what Mehdi Hassan Sahab sang was also an iteration, and Arooj has credited the poet on her YouTube. We don’t know about the composer yet. But all this hullabaloo, does one have to give credit to all the people who used the tune? It’s like a jazz standard, there is one composition and several people can perform it, any rendition can receive an award.”

Tina Sani said, “I was never expected to single out a particular song unless I was awarded for it. A few times, that a song was nominated, I mentioned the lyricist and the composer. But these are very short and curated acceptance speeches, especially on such platforms. Her song wasn’t nominated, her performance was.”

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