|Height:||170 cm (5' 7'')|
|Birth Day:||December 24, 1924|
|Death Date:||31 July 1980(1980-07-31) (aged 55)
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
|Birth Place:||Amritsar, Punjab, India, India|
As per our current Database, Mohammed Rafi died on 31 July 1980(1980-07-31) (aged 55)
Bombay, Maharashtra, India.
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|170 cm (5' 7'')||85 kg||Black (Semi- bald)||Black||N/A||N/A|
Mohammed Rafi was the second eldest of six brothers born to Haji Ali Mohammad. The family originally belonged to Kotla Sultan Singh, a village near present-day Majitha in Amritsar district of Punjab, India. Rafi, whose nickname was Pheeko, began singing by imitating the chants of a fakir who roamed the streets of his native village Kotla Sultan Singh where his family lived. Rafi's father moved to Lahore in 1935, where he ran a men's hair cutting saloon - in Noor Mohalla in Bhati Gate. Rafi learnt classical music from Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, Pandit Jiwan Lal Mattoo and Firoze Nizami. His first public performance came at the age of 13, when he sang in Lahore featuring K. L. Saigal. In 1941, Rafi, under Shyam Sundar, made his debut in Lahore as a playback singer in the duet "Soniye Nee, Heeriye Nee" with Zeenat Begum in the Punjabi film Gul Baloch (released in 1944) under music director Shyam Sunder. In that same year, Rafi was invited by All India Radio Lahore station to sing for them.
Rafi moved to Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra in 1944. He and Hameed Sahab rented a ten-by-ten-feet room in the crowded downtown Bhendi Bazar area. Poet Tanvir Naqvi introduced him to film producers including Abdur Rashid Kardar, Mehboob Khan and actor-director Nazeer. Shyam Sunder was in Bombay and provided the opportunity to Rafi to sing a duet with G. M. Durrani, "Aji dil ho kaabu mein to dildar ki aisi taisi...," for Gaon Ki Gori, which became Rafi's first recorded song in a Hindi film. Other songs followed.
As per Naushad, Rafi came to him with a letter of recommendation from Naushad's father. Rafi's first song for Naushad Ali was "Hindustan Ke Hum Hain" ("We belong to Hindustan") for the film Pehle Aap in 1944. The first song for the duo was the soundtrack of the movie Anmol Ghadi (1946).
He made his Hindi film debut in Gaon Ki Gori in 1945.
Rafi appeared in two movies. He appeared on the screen for the songs "Tera Jalwa Jis Ne Dekha" in film Laila Majnu(1945) and "Woh Apni Yaad Dilane Ko" in the Film Jugnu (1947). He sang a number of songs for Naushad as part of the chorus, including "Mere Sapnon Ki Rani, Roohi Roohi" with K. L. Saigal, from the film Shahjahan (1946). Rafi sang "Tera Khilona Toota Balak" from Mehboob Khan's Anmol Ghadi (1946) and a duet with Noor Jehan in the 1947 film Jugnu, "Yahan Badla Wafa Ka". After partition, Rafi decided to stay back in India and had the rest of his family flown to Bombay. Noor Jehan migrated to Pakistan and made a pair with playback singer Ahmed Rushdi.
In 1948, after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the team of Husanlal Bhagatram-Rajendra Krishan-Rafi had overnight created the song "Suno Suno Ae Duniyawalon, Bapuji Ki Amar Kahani". He was invited by the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to sing at his house. In 1948, Rafi received a silver medal from Jawaharlal Nehru on Indian Independence Day.
In 1949, Rafi was given solo songs by music directors such as Naushad (Chandni Raat, Dillagi and Dulari), Shyam Sunder (Bazaar) and Husnalal Bhagatram (Meena Bazaar).
Rafi sang several songs in Chris Perry's Konkani album Golden Hits with Lorna Cordeiro. He recorded many private albums in various genres and languages. Rafi recorded Hindi songs in English on 7" release in 1968. He also sang 2 songs in Creole while on his visit to Mauritius in the late 1960s.
Rafi made a comeback as the leading singer in mid 1970s. In 1974 he won the Film World magazine Best Singer Award for the song "Teree Galiyon Mein Na Rakhenge Qadam Aaj Ke Baad" (Hawas, 1974) composed by Usha Khanna.
In 1976, Rafi sang all the songs for Rishi Kapoor in the hit film Laila Majnu. Rafi went on to sing many more songs for Rishi Kapoor in the subsequent hit films, including Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977), and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977). In 1977, he won both Filmfare Award and the National Award for the song "Kya Hua Tera Wada" from the movie Hum Kisise Kum Naheen, composed by R.D. Burman. He was nominated as the best singer at the Filmfare Awards for the qawwali "Pardah Hai Pardah" from Amar Akbar Anthony (1977).
Rafi got his first Filmfare Award for the title song of Chaudhvin Ka Chand (1960), composed by Ravi. He received the National Award for the song "Baabul Kee Duaen Letee Jaa" from the film Neel Kamal (1968), also composed by Ravi. Rafi wept during the recording of this song. He admitted this in his interview to the BBC in 1977.
He could recover some of the lost ground in 1977, but the main songs of the period were by Kishore Kumar.
During his last years, Rafi was involved in a controversy over Lata Mangeshkar's entry in the Guinness Book of World Records. In a letter dated 11 June 1977 to the Guinness Book of World Records, Rafi had challenged the claim that Lata Mangeshkar has recorded the highest number of songs ("not less than 25,000" according to Guinness). Rafi, according to his fans, would have sung more songs than Lata – he being the senior of the two. They estimated the number of songs sung by Rafi to be anything from 25,000 to 26,000. This prompted Rafi to write a letter, in protest, to Guinness. After receiving a reply from Guinness, in a letter dated 20 November 1979, he wrote, "I am disappointed that my request for a reassessment vis-a-vis Ms Mangeshkar's reported world record has gone unheeded." In an interview to BBC recorded in November 1977, Rafi claimed to have sung 25,000 to 26,000 songs till then.
Rafi sang for many successful films in the late 1970s and the early 1980s many of whose hit songs were dominating the charts in the late 70s on radio programs such as Vividh Bharati, Binaca Geetmala and Radio Ceylon. Some of these include Bairaag (1976), Amaanat (1977), Dharamveer (1977), Apnapan (1978), Ganga Ki Saugandh (1978), Suhaag (1979), Sargam (1979), Qurbani (1980), Dostana (1980), Karz (1980), The Burning Train (1980), Abdullah (1980), Shaan (1980), Aasha (1980), Aap To Aise Na The (1980), Naseeb (1981) and Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai (1982). In 1978, Rafi gave a performance at the Royal Albert Hall and in 1980 he performed at the Wembley conference centre. From 1970 until his death he toured around the world extensively giving concert performances to packed halls.
In December 1979, Rafi recorded six songs for the Hindi remake of Dilip Sen's Bengali superhit Sorry Madam; the film was never completed due to a personal tragedy in Dilip Sen's life. These songs, written by Kafeel Aazar and composed by Chitragupta, were released digitally in December 2009 by the label Silk Road under the title "The Last Songs". The physical album was released only in India by Universal.
Mohammed Rafi died at 10:25 pm on 31 July 1980, following a massive heart attack, aged 55. The last song sung by Rafi was for the movie Aas Paas. One source says it was "Shaam Phir Kyun Udaas Hai Dost / Tu Kahin Aas Paas Hai Dost", recorded just hours before his death. another source says that it was "Shehar mein charcha hai" from the same film
After Rafi's death, in its 1984 edition, the Guinness Book of World Records gave Lata Mangeshkar's name for the "Most Recordings" and stated, "Mohammad Rafi (d 1 August 1980) [sic] claimed to have recorded 28,000 songs in 11 Indian languages between 1944 and April 1980." The Guinness Book entries for both Rafi and Lata were eventually deleted in 1991. In 2011, Lata's sister Asha Bhosle was given the title.
A song in the 1990 Hindi film Kroadh "Na Fankar Tujhsa" picturised on actor Amitabh Bachchan and sung by singer Mohammed Aziz was also dedicated to the memory of Rafi.
Rafi is one of the recording artists mentioned in the 1997 hit British alternative rock song "Brimful of Asha" by Cornershop.
In 2001, Rafi was named as the "best singer of the millennium" by Hero Honda and Stardust magazine.
His "Aaj Mausam Bada Beiman Hai" is featured in the 2001 film Monsoon Wedding. His "Kya Mil Gaya" (Sasural, 1961) has been used in The Guru (2002), where Ramu and Sharonna sing a version of the song. His song "Mera Man Tera Pyasa" (Gambler, 1970) has been used as one of the soundtracks in the Jim Carrey-Kate Winslet starrer Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004). This song is played in the background in Kate Winslet's character's home while the lead pair are having a drink (at approximately 00.11.14 runtime).
On 22 September 2007, a shrine to Rafi designed by artist Tasawar Bashir was unveiled on Fazeley Street, Birmingham, UK. Bashir is hoping that Rafi will attain sainthood as a result. The Padma Shri Mohammed Rafi Chowk in the Bandra suburb of Mumbai and Pune (extending MG Road) is named after Rafi.
In the summer of 2008, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra released a double CD titled Rafi Resurrected comprising 16 songs by Rafi. Bollywood playback singer Sonu Nigam provided the vocals for this project and toured with the CBSO in July 2008 at venues including the English National Opera in London, Manchester's Apollo Theatre and Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
In 2010, Rafi's tomb along with many film industry artists such as Madhubala, was demolished to make space for new burials. Fans of Mohammed Rafi, who visit his tomb twice a year to mark his birth and death anniversaries, use the coconut tree that is nearest his grave as a marker.
In June 2010, Rafi along with Lata Mangeshkar was voted the most popular playback singer in the Outlook Music Poll, conducted by Outlook magazine. The same poll voted "Man re, tu kahe na dheer dhare" (Chitralekha, 1964), sung by Rafi as the No. 1 song. Three songs were tied for the No. 2 place: Two were sung by Rafi. The songs were "Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hain" (Guide, 1965) and "Din dhal jaye, hai raat na jaye" (Guide, 1965). This poll was published in Outlook. The jury included people in the Indian music industry.
Mohammed Rafi Academy was launched in Mumbai on 31 July 2010 on the 30th anniversary of the singer's death, started by his son Shahid Rafi to impart training in Indian classical and contemporary music.
In 1962–1963, the popular female playback singer Lata Mangeshkar raised the issue of playback singers' share in the royalties. Recognizing Rafi's position as the leading male playback singer, she wanted him to back her in demanding a half-share from the 5% song royalty that the film's producer conceded to select composers. Rafi refused to side with her, stating that his claim on the film producer's money ended with his being paid his agreed fee for the song. Rafi argued that the producer takes financial risk and the composer creates the song, so the singer does not have any claim over the royalty money. Lata viewed his stand as a stumbling block on the royalty issue and stated that it is because of the singer's name also that the records get sold. This difference of opinion subsequently led to differences between the two. During the recording of "Tasveer Teri Dil Mein" (Maya, 1961), Lata argued with Rafi over a certain passage of the song. Rafi felt belittled, as music director Salil Chowdhury sided with Lata. The situation worsened when Lata declared that she would no longer sing with Rafi. Rafi stated that he was only so keen to sing with Lata as she was with him. The music director Jaikishan later negotiated a reconciliation between the two. In an interview given to The Times of India on 25 September 2012, Lata claimed to have received a written apology from Rafi. However, Shahid Rafi, Mohammad Rafi's son, rebuffs the claim, calling it an act to dishonour his father's reputation.
In a CNN-IBN survey in 2013, he was voted the greatest voice of Hindi Cinema.
Rafi was commemorated on his 93rd birth anniversary by Search Engine Google which showed a special doodle on its Indian home page for him on 24 December 2017.
Currently, Mohammed Rafi is 97 years, 11 months and 9 days old. Mohammed Rafi will celebrate 98th birthday on a Saturday 24th of December 2022.
Find out about Mohammed Rafi birthday activities in timeline view here.