Mohammed Rafi


Artist Birthday : 24/12/1924 (Age 55)
Born In : Kotla Sultan Singh, Punjab, British India
Occupation(s) : Playback singer
Genres : Hindustani classical music[2], indian music, film music

It won’t be wrong to say that Mohammed Rafi is the greatest Indian singer of all time. His exceptional voice quality and innocent vocals have made millions fall for him. The apex of the Indian music industry is so grand that no singer after him has been put to the comparison.

Rafi was born on 24 December 1924 Kotla Sultan Singh village, Punjab to Hajji Ali Mohammad and Allahrakhi Bai and took his last breath on 31 July 1980. Widely known as Pheeko in his childhood, he used to imitate fakirs on the streets of his town. He took music classes under the guidance of Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, Pandit Jiwan Lal Matto, and Firoze Nizami. In 1935, he gave his first public performance at the age of 13. Earlier that year his father had moved to Lahore to start a men’s salon, and it was then All India Lahore called him for a show.  After ten long years, he made his Hindi film debut in Gaon Ki Gori.

As one of his patrons, music composer Naushad gave him a break in “Pehle Aap” and also included him in singing the chorus for legendry K.L Saigal’s song “Mere Sapno Ki Rani” for the movie “Shahjahan.” After getting the initial success, he instantly became a favorite among other music composers like Shankar Jaikishan, O.P Nayyar and Sachin Dev Burman. Rafi then collaborated with Burman for Guru Dutt’s movies like “Kaagaz Ke Phool” and “Pyaasa.”

Rafi was the go-to singer for 1950’s and 1960’s but limited himself to live shows in the later part of his career which were huge hits. Apart from singing Hindi language songs, he gave his voice to many regional songs in Konkani, Odia, Punjabi, Assamese, Bengali, Sindhi, Marathi, Gujarati, Magahi, Telugu, Urdu, Farsi, Arabic and eight other languages.

Rafi married twice. First with his cousin; Bashira Bibi and the other to Bilquis Bano. His first wife was against living in India due to her parents being murdered during the partition of undivided India and moved back to Lahore. Rafi had four sons and three daughters with his second wife, and a son Saeed, born from his first marriage.

Rafi won the National Award for the song “Kya Hua Tera Wada” for the movie “Hum Kisi Se Kum Naheen” and a total of six Filmfare awards in his career.  Rafi was known to be a humble, egoless, calm and loving gentleman who never let anyone go empty handed as penned by his son Shahid in the book “Mohammed Rafi Voice of a Nation.”