Eminent Bengali folk singer Amar Paul passed away Saturday evening in a hospital following a cardiac arrest, hospital sources said. He was 97. The folk song exponent had taken classes in the morning after which he complained of chest pain, family sources said. He was taken to the hospital where he died at around 5.30 pm.
Born on May 19, 1922, at Brahmanbaria in present day Bangladesh, Paul had started taking music lessons from his mother Durgasundari Paul. Afterwards, he learnt classical music from Ayat Ali Khan and folk music from Mani Chakraborty and Suren Chakraborty.
He surfaced as a folk singer for the All India Radio in the early 1950s. Paul lent his voice in a number of films including Satyajit Ray's "Hirak Rajar Deshe".
He has penned several books on folk songs of Bengal and received accolades from various academies around the world. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her grief over the passing away of Paul.
"Saddened at the passing away of well-known folk singer Amar Paul. I recall his contribution to films like Hirak Rajar Deshe and Nimantran. My condolences to his family and admirers," she wrote on her Twitter handle.