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Thirty years on, Rafi remains a favourite among Indo-Canadians

india Updated: Aug 21, 2010 02:43 IST

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Mohammed Rafi, the legendary playback singer who gave Hindi cinema some unforgettable moments, was remembered on his 30th death anniversary by the Indo-Canadian community in Toronto.

"Rafi is indeed the best singer of all times. Today 30 years after his death, he lives on eternally. His songs today are just as popular as they were during his life time," Bhupinder, a singer, said on Friday while paying tribute at a function organised to commemorate the legend's death anniversary.

Rafi passed away on July 31, 1980, following a heart attack.

"Rafi had given expression to almost all the leading stars of the Bollywood and also the poets and composers of the Golden age," he said.

A versatile singer Rafi, who could render classical, rock and roll, indeed any kind of song with ease, he was Bollywood's favourite male voice through the 1950s and 1960s.

Mitali, another singer, said "Rafi is still alive in the hearts of millions of Indians living in the country and abroad with his 26000 songs."

Meanwhile, Rakesh Tiwari, a Journalist who promoted Hindi among Indo-Canadians, said "Rafi was not only India's greatest playback singer but also a wonderful person."

"Tu kahin aas paas hai dost (You are somewhere around, my friend) – the last song sung by Mohammed Rafi sums up what millions of Rafi's fans feel about the legendary playback singer even three decades after his death" he said.

As audience cheered Rafi's songs sung by Bhupinder and Mitali at the function, the spokesman of the organising committee Gurmeet Singh Saini said the legend was among those who were "most imitated" by the singers of Indian cinema.

Renowned singers like Mahendra Kapoor and KJ Yesudas have acknowledged that they were inspired by Rafi.