Afghan Pop Star Killed After Vancouver Concert

Afghan singer Nasrat Parsa (search) died after an attack outside his hotel following a weekend performance at a downtown Vancouver theater, police said Monday. He was 36.

Parsa, who had performed in Toronto (search) earlier in the week, was outside his hotel with his brother, Najib, when he was assaulted by three men early Sunday, police constable Tim Fanning said.

Parsa, who had been living in Germany (search), died later after sustaining a brain injury, according to his official Web site.

A 19-year-old man was arrested and faced an initial charge of aggravated assault. Police later recommended the charge be upgraded to manslaughter.

Parsa "had been approached by three male suspects, one punched him and he fell down some stairs hitting his head," Fanning said. "He was rushed to hospital and was pronounced dead."

Fanning said police searched the area and detained two suspects. Information about the second suspect was not immediately available.

The death was a huge blow to the Afghan community around the world, said Mohammed Nayebzadah, who was the caterer for the Vancouver concert. He sold tickets to the show at his family business, the Silk Road Cafe, where Parsa's CDs were being played in tribute on Monday.

"He was very popular," Nayebzadah said. "I'm sorry for his mother and this is very sad news for all Afghans."

Parsa, who was born in Kabul, had released 10 albums since he started recording in 1989, including his new collection "Dil." He toured all over the world and had been in Canada for the past month, promoting the collection of soft melodies.

According to the Web site, Parsa began performing as a young boy, appearing on a radio show in Kabul at the age of 7.

He later was discovered during a New Year's celebration on Radio Kabul. Parsa left Afghanistan (search) with his family for Pakistan when he was 12, and the family later moved to India, where he attended music school and took private lessons.