Tributes have poured in from across the state for noted Assamese singer and musician Khagen Mahanta – also known as the ‘King of Bihu’ – who had passed away on June 12, 2014.
On the Ganasilpi’s seventh death anniversary, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took to Twitter and wrote in Assamese, that he paid his deepest respect to the artist and has enriched the field of Assamese folk music for last five decades and his music will remain eternal and continue to inspire the people of the state.
Former Chief Minister of the State, Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted: With his mellifluous voice, Ganashilpi Khagen Mahanta carried the rich heritage of Assamese folk music to the masses and to the world. An icon of our times, my tributes to the Bihu Samrat on his death anniversary.
Agriculture Minister Atul Bora also took to the social media platform and wrote, “Heartfelt tributes to legendary singer Khagen Mahanta on his Smriti Diwas. The ‘Bihu Samrat’ united millions with his music and contributed immensely towards Assamese folk culture”`.
Moreover, fans globally across different social media platforms paid their deepest respects to the late musician.
The singer passed away at his Guwahati residence at the age of 72. He was born on August 17, 1942.
A winner of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1992, Mahanta was known for picking up Bihu songs from different parts of Assam and presenting them in his inimitable way, prompting Bhupen Hazarika to call him Bihu-samrat.
Mahanta, along with his wife Archana, who also passed away last were known for popularising various forms of Assamese folk songs during his singing career,
Mahanta was associated with the Indian People’s Theatre Association movement, and sang his first song on the All India Radio in 1960, the same year he acted in Bhupen Hazarika’s Assamese film, Shakuntala.
He is now survived by his son Angarag (Papon), who is also a renowned Bollywood singer and artist, and daughter Kingkini.
Papon in a Facebook post on Friday wrote ahead of the release of a song, “Dedicating Haate Haat Dhori, a song about evergreen love and companionship to my parents, Archana & Khagen Mahanta. They were inseparable and lived in music together. I haven’t seen a better love story than theirs in my life! A beautiful composition by Hopun Saikia, Releasing tomorrow on Atlas Creation”.