Mumbai: Legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika, who wove a magical tapestry out of traditional Assamese music and lyrics, died here on Saturday following a prolonged illness.

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"It was a multi-organ failure. The end came around 4.30 pm," Jayanta Narayan Saha, in-charge of media relations at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital here, said.

The 86-year-old Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner was undergoing treatment at the hospital since June 29, after he complained of breathlessness. Since then he was confined to the hospital bed.

He had an infection and was on medical support and dialysis.

Hazarika's health deteriorated on October 23, after he developed pneumonia. He had to undergo a minor surgery whereby doctors placed a food pipe into his system.

The balladeer who composed his own lyrics and music last lent his voice to the film "Gandhi To Hitler", where he sang Mahatma Gandhi's favourite bhajan 'Vaishnav jan'. Hazarika was regarded as one of the greatest living cultural communicators of South Asia. He had been a poet, journalist, singer, lyricist, musician, filmmaker and writer.

The Padma Bhushan awardee had celebrated his birthday this year in the ICU of the hospital on September 8 when he cut a cake and fans sang his favourite numbers.

India has lost one of gifted artists: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday joined countless admirers of legendary singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika in condoling his death, saying the passing away of one of the most gifted artist had left a void which will never be filled.

"It is with great sorrow that I learnt of the passing away of Dr Bhupen Hazarika... On this sad occasion, I offer my deepest condolences to the family, friends and countless admirers of Dr Hazarika," Singh said in his condolence message.
In Hazarika's "sad demise, India has lost one of its most gifted artists", he said.

Paying tributes to Hazarika, Singh said his "extraordinary talent" encompassed not only music and literature but also cinema acting and direction.

"His contribution greatly enriched our cultural landscape and his influence on Assamese art and culture was particularly profound," the Prime Minister said.

"The reverence with which Dr Hazarika was looked upto and the innumerable awards that he received are a tribute to his dazzling brilliance and creativity, and his love for the people," he said.

Singh said "the void that Dr Hazarika's passing away has caused will never be filled."

Hazarika spread message of amity, equality: BJP

BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Saturday paid tribute to renowned Assamese singer and music director Bhupen Hazarika terming him as a "versatile" personality who spread the message of amity and equality".

In his condolence message, Gadkari lauded Hazarika's "pro-active role in promoting the cultural heritage of Assam" through his films and music.

"He was a versatile singer who spread the message of amity, equality and universal brotherhood," he said.

Gadkari also recalled Hazarika's association with BJP and paid tributes to his contribution to the party in Assam.

(JPN/ Agencies)