Mohammed Rafi Filmography & Biography

Mohammed Rafi Filmography & Biography


  • Name: Mohammed Rafi
  • Date of Birth: December 24, 1924
  • Place of Birth: Kotla Sultan Singh village, Punjab, Indian
  • Education: Greenway Public School, Dilshad Garden.
  • Spouse: Bashira Bau, Bilquis Rafi
  • Profession: Singer
  • Parents: Hajji Ali Mohammad and Allahrakhi Bai
  • Children: Shaheed, Parveen, Hamid, Khalid, Nasreen
  • Occupation: Playback Singer, Recording Artist
  • Religion: Islam
  • Start of Playback Singing Career: 1944
  • Total number of songs (approx): 7,500
  • Death: July 32, 1980


One of the largest breeding singers born in India, Mohammed Rafi considers nothing less than a genius for various musical styles. This great singer had a perfect blend of melody, emotion and energy, resulting in thousands of sad songs. Classical songs or bent Bawara Bawara Ki Kali songs Kashmir, Mohammed Rafi gave Every song to treatment it deserved. His contribution to the Hindu film industry was fantastic, and perhaps not a singer so far captured Mohamed Rafi’s heart of fans. Rafi was known for his versatility he gave his voice of songs ranging from classic songs of patriotic song, sad, romantic songs, bhajans and Ghazals to qawwali. For nearly twenty years, Rafi is the most sought after singer in the Indian film industry. In his rich career he received six Filmfare and received the National Film Award once. In addition to Hindi, she sang in many Indian languages, including Konkani, Bhojpuri, Bengali, Hate, Punjabi, Marathi, Sindhi, Telugu, Kannada, Maithili, Gujarati and Urdu Magahi. In addition to the Indian languages, she gave her a melodic song in English, Arabic, Persian, Queens, Creole and Dutch language.


Mohammed Rafi moved to Bombay in 1944. He was introduced to several producers and directors through friend Tanvir Naqvi. He finally got his big break and recorded his first song ‘Ai Dil Ho Kaabu Mein’ for the film Gaon KI Gori in 1944, although the movie released a year later. Meanwhile, Mohammed Rafi started singing for top music directors like Naushad and Shyam Sunder. His work with Naushad continued through the 1950s and 1960s. Together they worked in films like Pehle Aap (1944), Anmol Ghadi (1946), Shahjahan (1946), Dulari (1949),Deedar (1951), Deewana (1952) and UranKhatola (1955).Rafi saab catapulted into stardom after his work in the film Baiju Bawra under the directon of Naushaad. The semi-classical bhajan ‘Man Tarpat Hain Hari Darshan Ko Aaj’ from the film showed the world Mohammed Rafi’s caliber as a singer. The two collaborated for another magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam in 1960.

Rafi saab became the voice behind leading actor Dev Anand all through the 1950s. He did Dev Anandji’s playback for films like Kaala Paani (1958), Bambai Ka Babu (1960), Nau Do Gyarah (1957), Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) and Guide (1965). At the same time he worked on the musical creations of Sachin Dev Burman. The Dev-Rafi-Burman trio gave the Hindi film industry some truly unforgettable songs like ‘Diwana Hua Badal’, ‘Dilka Bhanwar Kare Pukar’, ‘Achhaji main hari’ with Asha Bhosle and ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’. Mohammed Rafi and S.D. Burman created magic over and over all through the 50s, 60s and 70s. Burman used Rafi saab’s voice for almost all of his leading men including Dev Anand, Guru Dutt, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan. Rafi Saab’s voice serenaded the country with romantic numbers like ‘Teri Bindiya Re’ and ‘Gun Guna Rahe Hai’.

Rafi worked with legendary music director O. P. Nayyar on several occasions and Mr. Nayyar went on record saying that without Mohammed Rafi he would not have reached the pinnacle of success. He paired the voices of Mohammed Rafi and Asha Bhonsle for multiple successful projects like NayaDaur (1957), Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1964) and Kashmir Ki Kali (1964). Songs like ‘Ude Jab Jab Zulfein Teri’, ‘Tumsa Nahin Dekha’ and ‘Deewana Hua Badal’ made permanent place in the hearts of Indian audience.


Awards & Achievements

  • The Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India in 1967 for his contributions to the world of Indian cinema.
  • He won the National Film Award for the song ‘Kya Hua Tera Wada’ in the year 1977.

Super-successful collaboration Mohammed Rafi forged was with music director duo Shankar-Jaikishan. Three of Mohammed Rafi’s six Filmfare awards for Playback Singer came from their collaboration – ‘Teri Pyari Pyar iSurat Ho’ from the film Sasural (1961), ‘Baharo Phool Barsao’ from the film Sooraj (1966) and’ Dil Ke Jharokhe Mein’ from the film Bhrahmachari (1968). Another successful music director duo Laxmikant Pyarelal produced great work with Mohammed Rafi. Their association started with the film Parashmani in 1963, and continued through glorious projects like Dosti (1964), Mere Humdum Mere Dost (1968), Khilona (1970) and Anari (1975). Together they recorded 369 songs, which was the highest number of songs Rafi Saab recorded for a music director. They produced wonderful songs like ‘Na Ja Kahinab Na Ja’, ‘Patthar K Sanam’, ‘Yeh Reshmi Zulfein’, ‘Koi Nazrana Lekar Aya Hu’ and ‘Aye Din Bahar Ke’. Raafi Saab won the Filmfare Award in 1964 for the song ‘Chahoonga Main Tujhe Saanjh Savere’ from the film Dosti.

Awards And Honors

Rafi Saab’s illustrious musical career was honored with numerous national and international awards throughout the years. He received 21 Filmfare Awards nominations for playback singing out of which he won 6 times. He also won a National Film Award in 1977. He also bagged the Bengali Film Journalists’ Awards thrice in 1957, 1965 and 1966. He was honoured with the Padma Shri award by the Government of India in 1967.


Mohammed Rafi died of a massive heart attack on July 31, 1980 at 10:25 PM at his residence at Rafi Mansion, Bandra. His funeral procession was joined by 10,000 mourning fans who accompanied him till the Juhu Muslim Cemetery where his mortal remains were laid to rest.  A two-day public holiday was announced by the Government of India in his honor.


Author: raagmp3

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