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Features |  24 Dec 2016 16:24 |  By RnMTeam

13 things you should know about Mohammed Rafi

Mumbai: Mohammed Rafi, best known as the voice of Indian Cinema, was born on 24 December 1924. He was a globally acclaimed playback singer known for his phenomenal range of voice and versatility. 

The Padma Shri award-winning singer has sung 26,000 songs, but there are just 7,405 songs on record so far. 

On his 92nd birth anniversary, we have listed several facts about Mohammed Rafi that you should be familiar with.

  • Mohammed Rafi made his first public performance at the age of 13 in 1937 in Lahore at a concert featuring K. L. Saigal.


  • His debut as a Punjabi playback singer happened in 1941 in Lahore with the duet song ‘Soniye Nee, Heeriye Nee’ with Zeenat Begum for the film ‘Gul Baloch’ that released in 1944. He sang the song for acclaimed composer Shyam Sundar.


  • Rafi made his  Bollywood debut in 1945 with ‘Gaon Ki Gori’.


  • Rafi created the song ‘Suno Suno Ae Duniyawalon, Bapuji Ki Amar Kahani' in the honour of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948. He was also invited by the first Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to sing the song at his residence. He received a silver medal from Jawaharlal Nehru on Indian Independence Day.  


  • In BBC Asia Network poll, Mohammad Rafi's 'Baharon Phool Barsao' was voted as the most popular Hindi song.


  • The legendary singer was a passionate badminton player. His partners being Naushad, Shakeel Badayuni, Dilip Kumar and Anand Bakshi.


  • In 1975 Rafi visited Kabul, recorded few Farsi solo songs and duets with Afghan female singer Zhilla.


  • Rafi came to Mumbai when he was 19-year-old and he was trained under Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.


  • The credit of singing in maximum languages by an Indian playback singer goes to Mohammed Rafi as he has sung in 14 Indian languages and four foreign languages (English, Farsi, Arabic, Sinhalese, Creole, and Dutch).


  • His very last song was for the movie ‘Aas Paas’, which he recorded with Laxmikant-Pyarelal.


  • In 2008, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra released a double CD titled ‘Rafi Resurrected’ comprising 16 songs by Rafi and Bollywood playback singer Sonu Nigam provided the vocals for this project.


  • During the recording of ‘Tasveer Teri Dil Mein’, Lata Mangeshkar had an argument with Rafi over a certain passage of the song, also Lata declared that she would no longer sing with Rafi. The music director Jaikishan later negotiated settlement between the two legendary singers. During 1962–1963, Lata Mangeshkar raised the issue of playback singers' share in the royalties.


  • Recently, RJ Anmol’s endeavour #RoadForRafi succeeded as the name of the road is 16th Road Bandra, where the legendary singer used to stay, is changed to 'Mohd Rafi Marg' as an honour to the legendary singer.