Shafqat Amanat Ali was born into a Muslim family in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan to Ustad Amanat Ali Khan and his wife Almas Amanat Ali Khan, on 26 February 1965 making him the ninth generation of Patiala Gharana. He is the youngest brother of the late Asad Amanat Ali Khan. He received his bachelor's degree from Government College University, Lahore (now known as GC University). He received the roll of honor from the Music Society of Government College University, Lahore, which is led by Tariq Farani. He was the lead vocalist of the Pakistani rock band Fuzön. He was awarded the President's Pride of Performance civil award on 23 March 2008.
"Aankhon Ke Saagar," "Khamaj," "Ankhiyan" and "Mitwa" are some of his most popular works. He also sang the songs "Phir Wohi Raastey" and "Allah Megh De" for a Pakistani film named Ramchand Pakistani.
Shafqat was introduced to Bollywood by Shankar Mahadevan. One morning while driving to his studio, he heard Shafqat's hit song "Aankhon Ke Saagar" on the radio. He immediately called the radio jockey who was his friend and got Shafqat's contact number. Shafqat sang "Mitwa" composed by Shankar Ehsaan Loy for the movie Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. The song was listed in the top charts in India, helping propel Shafqat into stardom. He was the voice behind the critically acclaimed song "Yeh Honsla" in the Bollywood film Dor. He sang background for the films Hello and Mumbai Cutting. His songs "Mora Saiyaan" and "Tere Bina" were featured in Nagesh Kukunoor's Hyderabad Blues 2.
After leaving the band Fuzon in 2006, Shafqat concentrated on his solo career. Based on folk and Sufi works, the album Tabeer was commissioned and released by Music Today in mid-September 2008.
The album was released by Fire Records in Pakistan in September 2008 as their mega Eid release. The entire album has been produced, arranged, recorded, mixed and mastered in Pakistan by Shani Haider (Zeeshan Haider) at "Couple of Good Studios". All songs except "Naina" and "Tu hi tu hai" were composed by Shafqat. Naina was composed by Shani Haider.
The first video of the premier song of the album, "Khairheyan De Naal", was aired on all channels in India and Pakistan. He has fondly been nicknamed the "Rock star Ustad" by Saleem Merchant of the Saleem-Suleman duo. He also appeared on the Rubaroo episode of Indian Idol 4. He released his second solo album Kyun Dooriyan in 2010. It included a couple of songs — "Kaga Ja" and "Naal Naal" — which he had written during his time with Fuzon.
His vocals in the song "Dildaara" from the movie Ra.One fetched him a nomination for Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer for 2012. Recently he sang "Raske Bhare Tore Naina" for the 2013 movie Satyagraha starring Amitabh Bachchan, Ajay Devgn, Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal and Manoj Bajpai in lead role. He was also featured on MTV Unplugged Season 2.
Shafqat Amanat Ali was assigned to sing his country's national anthem before the Pakistan-India's Twenty20 match at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. But he alleged to have forgotten the lyrics of the national anthem during his performance on 19 March 2016. People retaliated over his mistake on social media. However, he apologized to the nation over his unintentional blunder.