Radio legend Ameen Sayani passes away at 91

Mumbai Feb 21 (UNI) Ameen Sayani, the iconic voice behind the beloved ‘Binaca Geetmala’ and a trailblazer in the world of radio, has died, his family said on Wednesday.

Ameen Sayani, 91, breathed his last in a South Mumbai hospital on Tuesday night following a cardiac arrest, a family member said.

Known as the ‘Sartaj’ of the radio world, Sayani’s passing marks the end of an era that saw him rule the hearts of listeners with his enchanting voice and cool style.

Born on December 21, 1932, in Mumbai, Ameen Sayani made an indelible mark in the realm of radio, during a career spanning over 42 years at Radio Ceylon and All India Radio’s Vividh Bharati.

His journey into radio began with his brother Hamid Sayani, a radio announcer, who introduced him to All India Radio, Bombay.

Ameen Sayani’s claim to fame was the ground-breaking ‘Binaca Geetmala’ programme, which started in 1952 and quickly became a sensation. The show, featuring melodious songs and Sayani’s charming style, became the first musical countdown show for Indian film music. Listeners eagerly tuned in every week, making him a household name.

Sayani’s illustrious career includes hosting over 54,000 radio programmes and providing the voice for approximately 19,000 jingles. His contributions to the world of radio were recognised with numerous awards, including the Living Legend Award and the Gold Medal Person of the Year Award from the Limca Book of Records.

Condoling Sayani’s death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his golden voice on the airwaves had a charm and warmth that endeared him to people across generations.

“Through his work, he played an important role in revolutionising Indian broadcasting and nurtured a very special bond with his listeners. Saddened by his passing away. Condolences to his family, admirers, and all radio lovers. May his soul rest in peace,” Modi said on his X handle.

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