Mohammed Rafi, playback singer 1924 1980

Mohammed Rafi was an Indian playback singer born on 24th December, 1924 near Amristar. He sang in many Indian languages and was a leading Bollywood playback singer in the 1950’s to 1970’s. At the age of 13 years, Rafi made his first public performance at a concert that featured the legendary K.L. Saigal.

He moved to Bombay in 1944 and worked with leading film producers and actors of the time like Abdul Rashid Kardar, Mehboob Khan among others. He married his cousin Bashira in 1945. Some of the movies he appeared in include Laila Majnu, Shajahan (1946), Anmol Ghadi (1946), Jugnu (1947) among others.

His working with Naushad made him famous in Bollywood. He sang 149 songs, 81 of which were for Naushad. Other famous composers worked with Rafi in the 1950’s and 1960’s. In 1960, he got his first Filmfare Award and the national Award in 1948. Rafi worked with Madan Mohan, a famous composer, and together they produced many hits.

He was awarded the Padma Sri by the Indian government in 1965. From 1971 to 1976, Rafi was a little quite although he made several hits. In mid 1970’s he made a comeback and won awards in 1974 and 1977. Major hits in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s include Apnapan (1978), Dostana (1980), Naseeb (1981), and Shaan (1980) among others.

On 31st July, 1980, Rafi died after suffering a heart attack. He had four sons, three daughters and 18 grandchildren.