Blessed with a distinct and evocative voice, Mohammed Rafi’s songs resonate with millions, four decades after he bid adieu to the world. Born in Amritsar, Rafi was only 7 when he learnt Hindustani classical music and at 13 made his playback singing debut. Renowned for his ability to mould his voice, the legendary singer crooned for scores of actors. In his illustrious career, he sung more than 5000 songs in many languages. From his soulful and passionate rendition to the qawwalis and ghazals to peppy songs, Rafi was the master of all, exploring every genre of music under the sky.
As we celebrate Rafi’s 96th birth anniversary, here is a playlist of his timeless tracks.
Kya Hua Tera Wada
Rafi won a National Award for rendering this his most recognisable song. The music scored by the legendary RD Burman and Rafi’s powerful voice makes this number a memorable one. The movie was Hum Kisise Kum Naheen which was musical hit.
Teri Bindiya Re
This song from the 1973 film Abhimaan is sung by Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar. The lyrics penned by Majrooh Sultanpuri is a reminder of a sweeter and subtler romance. The song filmed on Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan is as pleasing as ever.
Yeh Chand Sa Roshan Chehra
Yeh Chand Sa Roshan Chehra from Kashmir Ki Kali has Shammi Kapoor and Sharmila Tagore. Many of Shammi’s popular songs were sung by Rafi and this beautiful song was probably the most popular. Set in the picturesque setting of the heavenly Dal Lake, the soothing song is also a nostalgic composition.
Badan Pe Sitare Lapete Huye
The foot-tapping number Badan Pe Sitare Lapete Huye from the film Prince had to appear on this list. Rafi’s voice is in ideal and effortless sync with Shammi Kapoor’s antics. Vyjayanthimala was also part of this iconic hit.
Deewana Hua Badal
The charming duet of Rafi and Asha Bhonsle gently uplifted this melody. Rafi’s voice feels magical as it emerges from the stunning backdrop of the scenic Kashmir setting. The lyrics of this classic Bollywood romantic number was written by S.H. Bihari and composed by O. P. Nayyar.