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Khanam, Ashrafi


Khanam, Ashrafi the first Muslim female singer in Bengal whose songs were recorded in gramophone disk. Ashrafi Khanam was born in a landed family of Paril-Naohadda under Singair upazila of Manikganj district. She was the daughter of Ali Ahmad Hamidullah Khan (Naya Mian). Her grandfather Muazzam Hussain Khan was interested in songs and music, and thereby Ashrafi had a congenial family atmosphere for cultivating songs and music from her very childhood.

With an object of getting an opportunity for cultivation of songs in a wider arena Ashrafi Khanam accompanied her paternal aunt begum badrunnessa ahmed to Calcutta and devoted herself exclusively to Nazrul songs. She came in close contact with the rebel poet kazi nazrul islam under whose patronage Ashrafi, under the pseudonym Kumari Baby, got four Nazrul songs recorded in gramophone disc by the Twin Brothers of Calcutta in 1934. [Muazzam Hussain Khan]