Padma Bhushan for late Punjabi singer Gurmeet Bawa

Chandigarh, Jan 25 (IANS) Legendary Punjabi folk singer and the first Punjabi woman artiste to sing on Doordarshan, late Gurmeet Bawa, was on Tuesday awarded the Padma Bhushan, the nation’s third highest civilian honour.

Bawa passed away on November 11, 2021, after prolonged illness at the age of 77 at her hometown Amritsar.

Known for her long ‘hek’ (one breath recital) that she could hold for 45 seconds, she made her name in singing ‘Jugni’ after Alam Lohar and entertained generations with pure Punjabi music.

She got married to Kirpal Bawa in 1968 and the couple had three daughters.

She was bestowed with the state award by the Punjab government in 1991, Sangeet Puraskar by the Punjab Natak Akademi, the national Devi Ahilya Award by the Madhya Pradesh government in 2002 and the Shiromani Gayika Award by the Punjabi Language Department in 2008.

Her passing away left a big void in the Punjabi music industry. She would always be remembered for her contribution to folk music.