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News |  24 Dec 2018 18:44 |  By RnMTeam

Walking down the memory lane with Mohammad Rafi on 95th birth anniversary

Mumbai: Hindi film songs history is incomplete without the mention of Mohammad Rafi. The legend was known for his full-throated and melodious voice and also for his kind heart. On his 95th Birth anniversary, let’s get to know him better.

Born to Haji Ali Mohammad, Rafi was the eldest of six siblings. The family originally belonged to Punjab and apparently, their family owned a salon in Lahore, undivided India. Rafi was called Pheeko lovingly by his family and he would imitate the chanting of fakir, who would frequent their locality.  Soon, he started taking classical music training. By the time he was 13, he had given his first stage performance for a Punjabi film Gul Baloch, featuring the then reigning superstar K L Saigal. He made his debut in Hindi films with the movie Gaon ki Gori in 1945.

He then moved to Mumbai. And the rest, as they say, is history. Rafi Sahab as he was known in the film fraternity also appeared in some movies like Laila Majnu. But his popularity as a singer kept growing by leaps and bounds each year. His combination with Naushad or O P Nayyar belted out hits after hits. Also, he was considered to be the voice for Shammi Kapoor. Their songs are considered o be timeless classics.

He led a peaceful and almost a non-controversial life. However, the tussle on royalty clause with nightingale Lata Mangeshkar in the 60s, caused a loss for the fans, as both the singers didn’t sing a duet for over five years. In the later years, both the singers again got in a feud due to the honor of the highest number of songs sung in the Guinness Book of World Records. In the 90s, the title was finally given to Asha Bhosale.

Be it a sad song or a happy one or a romantic one or a patriotic one, Mohammad Rafi’s voice suited each of the genres. He sang in 11 languages including Indian regional language from Hindi to Maithili to Marathi along with songs in Sinhalese, Farsi, English. He was awarded with the Padmashri honour.

Mohammad Rafi died a sudden death due to a massive heart attack at the age of 55.

Today, he is looked upon by many young musicians and is a reference point for most of the music composers.  Mohammad Rafi not only left a treasure trove of memories for music lovers, but also a legacy for the next generation of singers.