Mohammed Rafi’s native village remembers the legend on death anniversary | music | Hindustan Times
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Mohammed Rafi’s native village remembers the legend on death anniversary

Rafi was born in Kotla Sultan Singh on December 24, 1924. Rafi started singing by imitating the chants by a fakir in his village.

music Updated: Jul 31, 2017 16:44 IST
Mohammed Rafi was a Punjabi by birth.
Mohammed Rafi was a Punjabi by birth.

Mohammed Rafi’s native village, Kotla Sultan Singh, paid homage to the legendary playback singer on his 37th death anniversary today. Scores of tribute poured in remembering the celebrated singer from across the village, which is located about 30km from Punjab’s Amritsar district.

Apart from annual singing competitions for children that are organised in the village, a small function took place honouring Rafi’s musical legacy. “Rafi sahab’s songs are as popular today as they were when he was alive,” said Rohan, one of the fans.

The singer was born in Kotla Sultan Singh on December 24, 1924. Rafi started singing by imitating the chants by a fakir in his village. But his first public performance came when he turned 13, when he sang a KL Saigal song in Lahore. In 1944, he moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in singing and made his playback singing debut in Gaon Ki Gori, which released next year. The singer later went on to lend his voice to Bollywood megastars including Amitabh Bachchan, Shammi Kapoor, Dharmendra, Dev Anand and Rishi Kapoor in his career as a successful playback artiste.

He has numerous hit songs to his credit including several duets with Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Working with music directors like O P Nayyar, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and R D Burman, Rafi delivered evergreen tracks, such as, Yeh duniya yeh mehfil, Chura liya hai tumne, O haseena, Tum jo mil gaye ho, Chaudhvin ka chand ho, Shirdi wale Sai baba and Aaj mausam bada beimaan hai.

He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1967.

Rafi died in Mumbai on July 31, 1980 from heart attack.