KARACHI: Pakistan is grief-stricken and devastated to lose Junaid Jamshed, a face we are familiar with as a religious scholar and as the front man of one of Pakistan’s most iconic pop band of the ’90s, Vital Signs.
It is not that, the demise of other 46 victims onboard the ill-fated Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-661 on its way to Islamabad from Chitral, are not important. This is certainly not the case. But, Junaid Jamshed’s untimely and sudden death in such a tragic manner has made every Pakistani Dil (heart) sink when they heard he is no more with us.
The life of the voice behind ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ could be summarised in one line: ‘He rose to fame for the love of music, Pakistan cherished him and then at the peak of his career, he gave it up for the love of God.’
Born on September 3, 1965, and educated at the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Junaid Jamshed shaped Pakistan’s music industry what it is today.
Vital Signs – The band of Pakistan
With his extraordinary voice and good looks, Junaid Jamshed was instantly famous as the lead vocalist of Vital Signs; a pop group emerged in 1987 as a project of renowned television producer Shoaib Mansoor.
The band pioneered a wave of Western rock music when President General Zia-ul-Haq was still in power. Despite the odds of that time, Vital Signs gleamed on Pakistan’s music scene.
From leather jackets, stone-washed jeans and fresh signing style – Vital Signs brought a change in the country.
Once, Mansoor wanted the band to make a patriotic song and they created a historical beauty. The song ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ went on to become the eternal track in the history of Pakistan till date.
Music lovers in Pakistan fell in love with Vital Signs, Junaid Jamshed and ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’. Junaid Jamshed remained the band’s vocalist till 1998.
Junaid of Vital Signs – A solo journey
The Vital Signs separated. Junaid Jamshed released his first solo album, Junaid of Vital Signs (later also called Tumhara Aur Mera Naam), in 1994. His second, Us Rah Par, came out in 1999. Jamshed later releases two more solo albums in 2000 and 2001 just before changing his path.
He was an icon for Pakistan and a role model for millions of fans, who looked up to him for a career in the music industry then.
After a glorious career as a pop sensation in the 1990s, Junaid Jamshed gave up stardom to focus on religion; something he felt was missing in his life.
By the year 2004, he had publicly shunned his music career and started a new struggle to learn Islam in detail while practically implementing it in his life.
Junaid Jamshed – From pop to piety
A chapter in Junaid Jamshed’s life started and he released his debut religious album, Jalwa-e-Janan in 2005 followed by Mehboob-e-Yazdaan in 2006, Badr-ud-Duja in 2008, and Badee-uz-Zaman in 2009.
Even in his new personification, Junaid Jamshed was never far from the limelight and made a name for himself as a television personality and fashion designer, heading his own clothing line in Pakistan and abroad.
Despite shunning his music career, he never stopped occasionally singing ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ undoubtedly Pakistan’s unofficial national anthem as the world say.
Junaid Jamshed even made a short return to singing with the release of ‘Chand Sitara’ in August 2015, the teamwork of Vital Signs and Junoon, another Pakistani music band.
In 2014, the singer-turned-religious-scholar came under scrutiny for a blasphemy case, but he later apologised for few remarks, Junaid Jamshed said he made unintentionally.
He came out of the storm, safe and sound, and continued his charity and preaching work for Islam, gaining immense following within Pakistan and internationally.
Junaid Jamshed’s last tweets showed him in the mountainous area of Chitral in Pakistan, he was visiting with friends.
At the time of his tragic death, he had approximately 2.8 million fans on Facebook. Junaid Jamshed was also placed on a list of World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims 2016.