Aluva: Malayalam ghazal maestro Umbayee passed away here on Wednesday. He breathed his last at a private hospital here at 4.40 pm. He was 68.
He had been undergoing treatment for cancer.
Born in 1952 in Mattanchery near Kochi, Umbayee's real name was Ibrahim. He nurtured his taste for music in Mumbai, where he worked as a trainee electrician after schooling in Kerala.
Umbayee, with his unique style of singing ghazals, had a huge fan following in the state.
He had performed ghazals in many states in India and abroad, particularly in the Gulf countries.
An expert in playing the tabla and harmonium, Umbayee became adept in Hindustani music during his stay in Mumbai, the sources said.
His body will be placed at a community centre at Kalvathi in Mattancherry on Thursday for the public to pay their last respects and later buried in a mosque at Kalvathi, they said.
In his condolence message, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Umbayee had popularised ghazals in Kerala for the past four decades.
"He had developed his own style of rendering ghazals. His passing away is a great loss to the ghazal world," he said.
KPCC president M M Hassan was among those who condoled the death of Umbayee.
Umbayee has recorded nearly 20 albums include Gazalmaala, Hrudayaraagam, Madhuramee Ganam and Orikkal Nee Paranju.
He has composed music for the film 'Novel' along with M Jayachandran.