Ahmad Zahir (14 June 1946 – 14 June 1979) was a singer, songwriter, and Afghanistan from composer.
Among his fans, he is considered an icon of Afghan music and is sometimes called the “King of Afghan music and Afghan Star Elvis”. His songs are mostly in Dari Persian and based on Persian poems, although a few are in Pashto and English.Zahir composed and performed rock and pop music, in a similar style to Elvis Presley. Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest persons in Afghan culture and history.
Zahir was born on 14 June 1946 (Jauza 24, 1325 of the Jalali calendar) in Kabul, Afghanistan, in a Pashtun family from Laghman. His father, Abdul Zahir, was a royal conductor who served as minister of health and Prime Minister of Afghanistan between 1971 and 1972.He was a speaker of the parliament and an influential figure in King Zahir Shah ‘s era who helped write the 1964 Constitution of Afghanistan.
Zahir died on 14 June 1979, on his 33rd birthday. It was reported in the news that he died in a car accident around the Salem Tunnel in the Parwan Province. There are mixed views from critics regarding his death, some claim that he was assassinated. Zahir’s political stance was at odds with the Marxist government of the time. A large crowd of mourners attended Zahir’s funeral in Kabul, clogging the city streets and bringing daily activities to a halt.
After his death, Zahir became somewhat of a national hero and his image was mythologized by many Afghan people. Because of his privileged family background, Zahir helped to establish music as a more respected profession which in turn led to the founding of The Kabul Music School in 1974.