Google on Sunday celebrated legendary singer Mohammed Rafi’s 93rd birthday with a doodle. Rafi Sahab, as he was popularly known as, has sung nearly 5,000 songs across genres and languages. In a career spanning over 40 years, he has sung bhajans and qawwalis to romantic ballads and rock and roll.
He made his debut as a playback singer in Lahore with a duet Soniye Nee, Heeriye Nee for the Punjabi film Gul Baloch in 1941. He moved to Mumbai in 1944. He won his first Filmfare award in 1960 for the title track of Guru Dutt’s comeback film Chaudhvi ka Chand. Later, he went on to win five more Filmfare awards.
In 1967, he was honoured by the government with the Padma Shri award. In 1977, Rafi won the National Award for the song Kya Hua Tera Wada. Among his other popular songs are Mere Mehboob Tujhe (Mere Mehboob), Chahunga Main Tujhe (Dosti) and Baharo Phool Barsao (Suraj), among others. He worked extensively with musicians like SD Burman, Shankar-Jaikishan, Madan Mohan and OP Nayyar.
He was born on 24th December, 1924, in Kotla Sultan Singh, a village near present-day Majitha in Amritsar district of Punjab. His brother got him trained under Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan despite opposition from their family.
He died on July 31, 1980, after a heart attack. His burial was attended by more than 10,000 people and the he government had announced a two-day public holiday in his honour.
Sunday’s doodle has been created by Mumbai-based illustrator Sajid Shaikh. It shows Mohammed Rafi in a studio, and features actors who he had lent his voice to.