A gifted voice, Adeel Burki has struck a chord, leaving everyone awed and exultant. His devotion for music and a growing fan following continuously pressed him on to revitalize both popular as well as semi-classical music. As his private shows steadily increased in number and popularity, people listened rapt with wonder as he sang live. His memory impeccable; draws forth any song, anyone from the audience requests and his songs lucid, are not limited to any genre.

Schooled at Aitchison and Cathedral High School Adeel Burki did his Bachelors from a local college. He won 83 first prizes in college, which was a record in itself. Successful in winning Umra Tickets in Naat Khawani competitions, Adeel got two rolls of honour at school and two at college for extra-curricular activities as well. He was the first person in the history of his college to get a roll of honour in the field of music. Adeel also won an Inter-collegiate competition arranged by the Director of Education at Bokhari Auditorium at Government College Lahore. An experience cherished by him, he was lauded by his vice-principal Mr. Akhtar-ud-din Sahib on getting the first prize in the competition.

Completing his Bachelors, he left for Canada on scholarship to study at Queen’s University. There he did courses in Interior Decoration, Mass Communication and Dress Design. It was in Canada that he realized he was destined to sing. Away from home, he made a lot of friends from India and Pakistan studying there. These students participated in and arranged a lot of cultural shows and Adeel’s first taste of acclaim came through one of these shows. One of his Indian friends, Suresh’s father, used to arrange these shows.

It was a time when the Indian movie ‘Tezaab’ was a blockbuster and the song ‘Aik do teen’ was a smash hit. Therefore when a show ‘Aik do teen Madhuri show’ was arranged and Adeel was also asked to sing in it, he could not refuse. Adeel sang ‘Ay Duniya Kay Rakhwalay’ by Rafi and was taken aback by the overwhelming response.

Returning to Pakistan he joined Punjab University to do L .L.B and was made the General Secretary of the Law College Debating Society. Adeel dropped out of the course after one year. His heart was elsewhere.

Even though his performance in Canada was a turning point in Adeel’s life, music was not something new for him. It had been a part of his life since childhood. Although hailing from a conservative Pathan family that discouraged singing and dancing, Adeel felt a natural inclination towards music from a very young age. One of his school teachers, who prepared children for music competitions and Naat Khawani contests, played on the piano and encouraged him to sing.

Never getting a nod or approval from his family, Adeel used to go early to school to practice with his Ustad Israr Ahmad Sahib and was also a student of M.Sadiq, who taught him to play instruments and to sing raags. He rarely sang in front of his parents or grandfather. A rare occasion was one of his birthdays, celebrated in a hotel, where he sang for hours.

Adeel worked with The Nation for a short period of time and contributed to numerous supplements for the paper. Three of these supplements on Education, Pakistan Film Industry and Marriage Bureaus got APNS awards.

Dabbling in different activities never took his interest away from music and then there was always a growing fan following that pressed him on. His private shows steadily increased in number and popularity. People listened rapt with wonder, hours on end as he sang live. His memory impeccable; drew forth any song, anyone from the audience requested and his songs lucid, were not limited to any genre.

The General Manager, PTV, Rafiq Warriach called him an ‘Awami Singer’ or ‘National Singer’ highlighting his diversity and mass appeal. Farrukh Bashir recognized the spark in Adeel and persuaded him to sing on PTV for the first time. Adeel also hosted a programme called ‘Music Time’ on PTV. Another programme on PTV called ‘Nishist’ featured Adeel Burki performing live. He recorded nine songs, live on this programme much to the delight of the viewers.

N.T.M’s music show ‘Geet Banay Sangeet’ featured Adeel in one of the episodes too. This episode was got rave reviews and was rerun three times.

In any case, Adeel never exploited the media to its fullest. His private concerts busied him and he enjoyed singing live. Over time he realized that the masses were more or less uneducated about classical music. The raags and thumris he wanted to perform were often shadowed by requests of ‘light ghazals’, ‘film songs’ or ‘Bhangra numbers’. Nonetheless, Adeel succeeded in satiating every ear.

Adeel has sung Ghalib, Josh Malihabadi, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Aatish, Perveen Shakir, Faraz and Wasih Shah among others. His renditions of ‘Sheikh Sahib Say Rasam-o-Rah Na Kee Shukar Hai Zindagi Tabah Na Ki’ and ‘Zindagi Say Yehi Gillah Hai Mujhe, Tu Bahut Dair Say Milla Hay Mujhe’ by Faraz are remembered by people.


Adeel fondly remembers this meeting ordained by fate.

‘I had gone to Dubai to perform in a programme arranged by the Pakistan Women Association, Dubai. Lata was also in the city but I was unaware of that. My host who took me around the city for shopping and sightseeing suggested a private meeting with her. I was extremely enamoured of the legendary singer and felt this was a stroke of luck. It was better than what I expected. This meeting changed my perspective about music, singing and even about my own self.

Here was this tiny, little woman doing her household chores; I remember her sewing a button on a blouse, hair parted and plaited into braids. She sang and I quivered with emotion.

I was deeply affected by her extreme humility and simplicity. Her voice and knowledge about music completely overwhelmed me and she left a profound impact on my life.’

Adeel was also offered a chance to sing with Lata for the film ‘In Do Naino Kay Beech’ by Gulshan Kumar. The film remained unannounced due to the tragic death of Gulshan Kumar.


Adeel enjoys a special relationship with his younger sister Farzana a.k.a. Fairy. The two are inseparable. Both of them left for Canada together and she still remains one of his fiercest advocates. Fairy is a poetess and Adeel has composed one of her ghazals.

Adeel is also very close to his friend Hamza, who has been through thick and thin with him. It was Hamza who bought Adeel’s first harmonium for Rs.4500 from his own pocket money.


On his musical journey, his voice ripening over seasons, the following teachers groomed and polished Adeel to a fruitful end.

  • Ustaad Hafeez Ali Khan Talwandi
  • Ustaad Muhammad Hussain Khan (Kalay Khan)
  • Muhammad Sadiq
  • Begum Anisa Fatima Majeed Khan
  • Knowing fully music to be a continuous learning process, Adeel places critical importance on daily ‘Riyaaz’ or singing practice to retain the freshness of his voice.


  • Best Singer Award from Nukooro’s Governor Amushla in Kenya
  • Sur Aradhana Award from the Cultural Minister Mr. Abbass in New Delhi
  • Graduate Award
  • Bolan Cultural Awards for Best Performance 2004 and Excellence Award 2004
  • Sangat Award 2004
  • Best Performer Award from Lesco’s chairman Brigadier Riaz Toor
  • Adeel was listed in the Outstanding Artiste Category by PTV.


  • Adeel hosted the programme ‘Music Time’ produced by Farrukh Bashir aired on PTV
  • Recorded a programme called ‘Nashist’ on PTV on which he recorded nine songs in 2003, singing them live
  • Performed at the American Consulate for his Excellency William Whob
  • At Attock Artillery he sang for five and a half hours in front of the President, his wife and mother along with six and a half hundred VIPs in December 2002
  • Indian Award Sur Aradhana given to Adeel on his song ‘Mai re mein ka say kahon’. He is the second Pakistani to get it after Nusrat Fateh Ali.
  • Best Singer Award from Nukooro’s Governor Amushla in Kenya
  • Performed live concerts in front of President Musharraf, General Jahangir Karamat, Gerneral Mirza Aslam Baig, the Principal Advisor to the Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, Ex-Prime Minister Chaudry Shujaat Hussain, Governor Punjab Khalid Maqbool, General Hamid, Chairman Senate Mian Muhammad Soomro and Lady Diana.


As a poet Adeel Burki has launched two Urdu poetry Books. List of his publications is as under

  1. Gustakh Nigahi Ka Gilla (Poetry)
  2. Zee hal-e-Maskeen (Poetry)