Birthday Special:Remembering Mohammad Rafi

Mohammed Rafi mesmerized entire nation for decades with his versatile singing. Rafi is a rare gem for Bollywood. With his extraordinary talent, he took Indian music to worldwide. He sung in 17 Indian languages. Mohammed Rafi ruled Bollywood for 35-years by singing around 26,000 songs in his career. The Melody King had enthralled Telugu audience too with his sweet voice.

With a typical voice, when he was in lime light as a star singer in Hindi, Mohammed Rafi enthralled Telugu audience with his songs. Rafi mesmerized with melodious songs in NTR’s films such as Aradhana, Akbar Saleem Anarkali, Talla Pellama, Bhale Tammudu etc. Mohammed Rafi behavior has no comparison with his voice. Though he had appeared dignified, Rafi used to persuade people with rocking numbers. Watching some songs we may get doubt that, whether they were actually sung by him or any other.

Mohd Rafi enriched Indian music with his voice for over four decades. The legendary singer was born on December 24th, 1924. Rafi’s birth place is Kotla Sultan Singh village in Punjab. Mohammed Rafi is fifth child of six children to his parents. Rafi’s father moved to Lahore.His elder brother who recognised the talent in him had encouraged him to sing. Rafi was trained in Hindustani music. Rafi learnt music at Ustad Wahid Khan. Music director Naushad Ali Jugnu gave Rafi first break in 1947 with Jugnu. Later, he sung in all the languages.

After being introduced to music director Naushad, Mohammed Rafi did not need to be taking back. From 1947 to 1980, about 35 years the melody king Rafi had mesmerized cinema industry with his songs. Apart from a national award, Rafi won Filmfare Awards 6 times. Recognizing his contribution to Indian cinema, Government of India honoured him with the Padma Shri  in 1967.

Mohammed Rafi gave new life to the actors whose career was in final stages. From 1944 to 1980, Rafi had impressed spectators by singing for three generation stars. Rafi used to change his voice according to the body language of actors. He became perfect jodi for Shammi Kapoor by singing wonderful songs.

Rafi craze was is reduced to some extent with Kishore Kumar entry in Bollywood. Rafi went through tough times then. However, he came back strongly in 1977 with song in the film ‘Hum Kisise Kum Nahin’. He even won National Award then. He sung for Kishore Kumar films too. Mohammad Rafi had seen many ups and downs in his career. He crooned patriotic songs, romantic songs, sentimental songs, ghazals, fast beats with required emotions. That’s why he became most favorite singer for most of the music directors.

The melody king who enchanted generations had died with heart attack at the age of 55 in 1980, July 31st. Just before three hours of his death, Rafi sung a song in Aas Paas. Rafi who was grown up listening to the songs had made unforgettable mark in millions of fans.