Emergence: 24 December 1924
Demise: 31 July 1980
Mohammed Rafi was an Indian film playback singer. He is considered as one of the greatest and most influential singers of the Indian subcontinent.
Rafi was notable for his versatility and range of voice; his songs varied from fast peppy numbers to patriotic songs, sad numbers to highly romantic songs, qawwalis to ghazals and bhajans to classical songs. He was known for his ability to mould his voice to the persona and style of the actor lip-syncing the song on screen in the movie.
He received four Filmfare Awards and one National Film Award. In 1967, he was honored with the Padma Shri award by the Government of India. In 2001, Rafi was honoured with the “Best Singer of the Millennium” title by Hero Honda and Stardust magazine. In 2013, Rafi was voted for the Greatest Voice in Hindi Cinema in the CNN-IBN’s poll.
He recorded songs for over a thousand Hindi films and sang songs in many Indian languages as well as foreign languages, though primarily in Hindi-Urdu and Punjabi, over which he had a strong command. He recorded as many as 7,405 songs in many languages. He sang in many Indian languages – Konkani, Assamese, Bhojpuri, Odia, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Sindhi, Kannada, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Magahi, Maithili, etc. Apart from Indian languages, he also sang songs in many foreign languages, including English, Farsi or Persian, Arabic, Sinhala, Creole and Dutch.