Home » Kishore diary » An endless feud between the fans of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar..

An endless feud between the fans of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar..

Mohammed Rafi was born at Kotla Sultan Singh, near Amritsar . Rafi displayed his talent for singing at the tender age of 13. The lure of movies beckoned him to Bombay in 1944. His first hit was the Tera Khilona Toota Balak from Anmol Ghadi in 1946. India lost this jewel on July 31, 1980. […]

Mohammed Rafi was born at Kotla Sultan Singh, near Amritsar . Rafi displayed his talent for singing at the tender age of 13. The lure of movies beckoned him to Bombay in 1944. His first hit was the Tera Khilona Toota Balak from Anmol Ghadi in 1946. India lost this jewel on July 31, 1980.

Abhas Kumar Ganguly, better known as Kishore Kumar was born on August 4, 1929 in Kandwa. Following the footsteps of his elder brother Ashok Kumar he too ventured into movies. But he soon realised that his heart was in singing. Under the patronage of RD Burman he soon flourished. He would at times compose and write songs himself. Sadly he passed away in October,1987.


The debate as to who was the greater singer carries on even today, even decades after their death. Both of them left an indelible mark in the world of Indian film music, a void that still cannot be filled today. No wonder that their fans are at constant feud with one another trying to prove that their hero was better.

It is a no secret that Mohammed Rafi was a trained classical singer and that Kishore Kumar had a natural talent. Hence Rafi’s fans feel that he was the more accomplished and skilful of the two. Kishoreda’s fans are of the opinion that though he may not have been trained, he had purity and sheer quality of voice. The fact that he wasn’t trained, and could still sing anything, both classical and non classical songs with equal magic rendered him more superior than Rafi.

Fans claim that Rafi was the most favoured singer for many veteran composers while Kishore Kumar was preferred by few and was a playback mainly for Dev Anand and later for Rajesh Khanna. Rafi on the other hand balanced his melodious voice for diverse stars like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Guru Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Shammi Kapoor.

In support of Rafi’s greatness, many of his fans say Rafi sang for Kishore Kumar in films that Kishore himself acted. They also draw the attention to Rafi’s song Darde Dil in Karz which was based on a single note and proved that he was indeed blessed with God-gifted melody. Mohammed Rafi’s fans also claim that Sonu Nigam and Udit Narayan who belong to the Rafi school are technically better than Kumar Sanu, Babul Supriyo etc.


On the other hand, Kishore Kumar’s fans remind people of songs which he sang by melodiously incorporating his inimitable yodelling. Those numbers are extremely popular even today. They further claim that in the 70′s and 80′s, it was he who sang for a number of heroes.

This debate can go on endlessly. However it must be stated that both were great singers of their times and each had his own distinctive style.

There was no feud between the two and the immense respect that Kishore Kumar had for Mohammed Rafi is clearly seen in the photo during Rafi’s funeral. A silent, sad and grief-struck Kishore in the newspapers portrayed very well that no one except him understood what an irreparable loss had taken place in Indian film music.

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2,271 Responses to “An endless feud between the fans of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar..”

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  1. 2251
    kaili Says:

    tum sabki naadani par hasi aati hai !! namkeen ko mithai se compare kar rahe ho!!

    and the fact is that both have sung peerless songs and useless numers too !! I like good songs of all the singers .. whether its KK , RAFI , Mukesh … or even MIKA SINGH ..because I like music !!

  2. 2252
    Kishorefan Says:

    2226-2228 firoz kuwait

    Please mind your words Mr. Firoz, what do you know about singers mentioned in your post. You are not eligible to ever touch sand touched by their feets.

    Regarding rafi fans crying in their forum regarding kishore kumar’s popularity, and rafi’s waning popularity, it is a normal phenomenon, given the popularity of kishore. Jealous rafi fans should shed their jealousy on kishore kumar and accept him as great. They should become pure hearted by removing jealousy from their hearts towards kishore kumar.

  3. 2253
    Ahamed Kutty Says:

    it is absurd to say kk is a versatile singer than rafi saab.
    the people who are with that should hear the duet song
    ‘salaami ishque meri jaa’ of kk with latji from the film
    ‘muqadar ka sikender’.lataji’s lines so beautiful but the
    way kk rendering his lines are horrible to hear.even his
    ardent fans will switch off the system.

    some people are dreaming to say kk is more popular
    than rafi saab.rafi saab had been chosen as the singer
    of the millennium.also the in the 50 greatest indians
    after gandhiji,rafi saab got the 12th position and kk
    on the 32th position.also in the “who popular” contest
    rafi saab got more than 1,80,000 votes compared to
    the less than 18,000 votes of kk.

  4. 2254
    sanjeev sharda Says:

    if you compare both rafi and kishore. then you find that rafi was technically sound in singing and kishore was in play bach singing. overall rendition of song of kishore was very good.look there are many song of rafi which is sung by sony nigam again but you don’t find any differences.but no one can create charisma of kishore song. even sonu nigam sung one of the kishore song in zee sa re ga ma pa but he was very poor.
    there are many songs which is sung by both male and female but kishore version is always good and more papular. like
    1. Tum bin jaoun kahan Kishore/ Rafi kishore version is more papular
    2 Mere naina sawan bhadon kishore/lata
    3 pholon ka taron ka sabka kahna kishore/lata
    4. tere bina zindagi se shikva nahin kishore/lata listen this song when kishore start singing and feel the range of antara he had sung you can clearly find out difference of lata and kishore
    5. zindagi ek safar hai suhan kishore/asha
    6. apne jeevan ki uljhan ko main kishore/lata listen this song feel kishore ki lay continue bani rahti hai

    technically expert na hotey hue bhi woh bahut great singer the that’s why i tell him better than rafi

  5. 2255
    zahid Says:

    Rafi become hit from 1952 to 1969 as no 1 singer and after kishore become no 1 singer from 1969 to 1977 and then both were no 1 singers till 1980. 1N 1980 rafi become again no 1 singer and after rafi death there was no competition for kishore it was natural that kishore become no 1 till 1986 and after that kishore’s carrier went down till 1987.it means rafi remain on no 1 singer in 18 years and kishore remain on no 1 singer in 14 years .it means rafi was better than kishore.

  6. 2256
    Sam Says:

    2252 Kishorefan

    Bhai g…aapke chillane se kuch nahi hone wala sacchai ko kabul kare.. firoz sahab ne kuch v galat nahi kaha hai…main v yahi manta hu k Rafi Sb (Sun) hai aur Kishore da (Bulb)

  7. 2257
    and Says:

    Rafi was no 1 singer between 1952 to 1969 and kishore from 1969 to 1977 and from 1977 both were hit singer up to 1980 and in 1980 rafi become no 1 singer and after rafi death kishore was no 1 singer upto 1986. It is clear rafi remain no 1 singer in maximum years than kishore kumar that is why rafi is best than kishore.

  8. 2258
    rajat Says:

    ITS HARD TO ACCEPT THE FACT. EMOTION IS SUCH A THING THAT SOMETIMES DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RIGHT OR WRONG.

    FANS ARE FULL OF EMOTIONS; HOWEVER AMONG THEME THERE ARE THOSE TOO WHO JUDGE THE RIGHT/WRONG. ONE MAY BE FOND OF A PERSON BUT HE SHOULD NOT BE HESITATING IN ACCEPTING WHO IS REALLY BETTER THAN HIS FAV ONE.

    I AM A BIG FAN OF IMRAN KHAN, BUT I HAVE NO HESITATION TO DECLARE KALLIS AS GREATER ALL-ROUNDER THAN IMRAN AND I ALSO LIKE KALLIS.

    THERE ARE SOME AFRIDI FANS WHO PUT AFRIDI OVER SACHIN. SACHIN IS A HARD-TRAINED BATSMAN AND MAY BE BETTER THAN AFRIDI?!

    RAFI WAS AND IS THE KING OF INDIAN MUSIC AND NOT EVEN MANNA DEY COULD MATCH HIM LET ALONE KISHORE. THE SEPARATION BETWEEN RAFI AND LATA ACTUALLY HELPED KISHORE TO BE THAT POPULAR AS HE GOT CHANCES TO SING WITH LATA. KISHORE WAS GOOD NO DOUBT, BUT COME ON… YOU MAY LIKE KISHORE MORE THAN RAFI BUT ACCEPT WHO IS REALLY BETTER, THAT CAN ONLY SHOW YOUR GREATNESS. BETTERKING MORE ON

  9. 2259
    RAJAT Says:

    TO DR. Kishorefan:

    POPULARITY IS NOT EVERYTHING. WHO WOULD SPEND HIS TIME LISTENING TO A GHAZAL? RAFI COULD EVEN SING GHAZALS IN A BETTER WAY THAN KISHORE (DONT KNOW KISHORE SANG ANY?). KALIIS IS NOT THAT POPULAR AS COMPARED TO GAYLE. BUT ULTIMATELY YOU RESPECT KALLIS FOR HIS COMPLETENESS. RAFI WAS JUST COMPLETE, KISHORE WAS NOT. I RESPECT KISHORE. I RESPECT RAFI AND I ACCEPT HIM AS THE SOLE COMPLETE SINGER TILL DATE.

  10. 2260
    rajat Says:

    “rafi’s voice lost its sheen in 70′s whereas, kishore even in late stage of his life it was good to hear”…

    DISAGREE

    IF YOU SAY THAT KISHORE WAS GOOD TO HEAR EVEN IN HIS LATE STAGE, THEN I DONT NEED TO WASTE TIME IN ARGUING IN THIS SILLY MATTER. KISHORE’S VOICE WAS SUCH THAT IT WAS NOT HERO LIKE. FOR EXAMPLE: SHAYAD MERI SHADI KA KHAYAL…SONG, IT SEEMED NOT HERO BUT HERO’S FATHER WANTED TO MARRY. KISHORE’S VOICE WAS NEVER GOOD TO HEAR IN THE LATER STAGE OF HIS CAREER.

  11. 2261
    M. A. Shehzad Says:

    Correction: KK flourished under S.D. Burman and not R.D. Burman (or put me wise.)
    Secondly, though I’m bigggg fan of KK, Rafi and him both are the legends and icons, I think any comparison would be unjust.

  12. 2262
    Ajit Singh Says:

    kishor can not be compared to anyone. he was a pure godgifted talent indeed his voic was a music initself, charisma of his voice was more infectious during 70′s and 80′s. what a rubbish that raffi is better than kishor. it is not fair to mke one as god and other a puppet only. And then say hindus are hostile judging talent.

  13. 2263
    Shikore Shumar Says:

    Hello friends. I am back on this blog after a year. I have been doing lots of research on who is a better singer and i have come to a conclusion after all the research I have done that KK is a better singer. At last I have completed my research and I am able to tell the entire world my conclusion that KK is a better singer than rafi. Wow this is great news for you all I am sure of this. Feedback please as soon as possible. Thanks in advance

  14. 2264
    J.K.P. SHAHI Says:

    I think Mohammed rafi and Kishore da,both are legends but rafi sahab is mainly a classical singer.So,i think KISHORE DA is better than Mohd.Rafi.Kishore kumar is more versatile than Rafi sahab.

  15. 2265
    J.K.P. SHAHI Says:

    It is universal truth that Kishore da had broken the magic of Rafi sahab’s voice during 70′s and 80′s.So, Rafi sahab’s fans put off your religious glasses and accept this bitter and universal truth that Kishore da is the best singer of india at any time.

  16. 2266
    J.K.P. SHAHI Says:

    Mr.zahid,there is not any matter of years in which both,Kishore da and Rafi sahab achieved and sustain no.1 position. The real matter is “VOICE”.You are presenting Rafi sahab as muslim singer and denying the universal truth.The universal truth is Kishore da is better and more versatile than Rafi sahab.Really,he is no.1 singer of INDIA at any time.

  17. 2267
    J.K.P. SHAHI Says:

    My father is one of the biggest fans of RAFI sahab and i am of Kishore da.But we never look Kishore da and Rafi sahab as Hindu or Muslim singer.But it has become the tendency of muslim listeners that they ignore the real fact and force on everyone to accept an assumption that Rafi sahab is best due to his belonging to muslim community.
    I think Kishore da and Rafi sahab,both are the shining stars of hindi film industry but Kishore da is better than any other singer in india.

  18. 2268
    Ahamed Kutty Says:

    Fans of KK are simply dreaming he is the number one.

    Please read the following facts:

    Rafi Saab has been selected as the “Singer of the Millennium”
    by scoring more than 70% votes a poll conducted by Hero
    Honda – Stardust.

    When the CNN-IBN poll conducted to select the “Greatest
    Indian after Gandhiji”, Rafi Saab was on 12th position
    and KK’s was on 32th position.

    On the occasion of celebrating 100 years of Indian Cinema
    CNN-IBN conducted a poll to select the best in each category
    like Best Actor etc.etc.Rafi Saab got maximum votes in male
    and female singer category.(the voting was like this:Rafi
    Saab 7666,Lata ji 6499,Sonu Nigham 5136, Shreya Goshal
    4668, Kishoreda 4416,Asha ji 1337

    Rafi Saab’s song Bahaarom phool barsaao has been selected
    as the best song of Hindi Cinema – a poll conducted by BBC-
    Asian Net Work.

    Rafi Saab has been selected the as the “Greatest voice of
    Hindi Cinema” – poll conducted by IBN

    There is nobody – male or female singer in India to replace him.
    He is not the cause of tragic end of any MD rather he is the cause
    of lively hood for so many including MDs

  19. 2269
    Ahamed Kutty Says:

    Dear Music lovers,
    Rafi Saab is the singer for all.He is not the singer for a particular
    community or language or nation.One of his fans in Kerala who
    is a Hindu want Rafi Saab’s song to be played during his funeral.
    In one of his Live Programmes in Calicut,Kerala the first song
    he had sung is “Madhubhan me Raadhika naachere.”After
    finishing the programme,press reporters asked him even though
    he is a Muslim why he selected this song as the first one which
    is related to GOD SRI KRISHNA.Rafi Saab replied that as an artist
    and a human being he should respect all religions and faith.

    Rafi Saab is related to all generations.He is the only singer who had
    sung for three generations.Pritviraaj Kapoor,Raj Kapoor and Rishi
    Kapoor.There is a song from the film “Inkaar” music given by
    Rajesh Roshan sung by Rafi Saab and whenever I hear this song
    I wish this song can be suitable for the fourth generation Ranveer
    Kapoor.The song is “Dhil ki kalee yu hi sadhaa”

  20. 2270
    mercy daven Says:

    So many people seem to want to compare their favorite singer with Rafi. That means only one thing. Rafi is the gold standard against which the fans want to measure their idols, be it Kishore kumar, Yesudas, Soundara rajan, Mukesh, Lata, Mannade, Soni Nigam or others. This is evident from the comments on YouTube. Rafi is unparalleled in many respects as a singer and as a person. Other singers can imitate Rafi and have done so over and over. Some of them even have managed to surpass him in some songs. But they all can have only one or two aspects of Rafi- not all. There is nobody who is so versatile and he stands alone in this respect. And that voice? It goes deep into your soul when he sings devotional, sad or romantic songs. The comparison as long as it doesn’t get nasty or takes on a communal tone is not a bad thing and it actually shows admiration in disguise for Rafi. Listen and you will find Rafi’s influence in the singing of those who became famous after him. One is not a true music enthusiast if one likes a song not for its quality but because the singer belongs to a particular region, religion etc. Another fact of life is we all tend to gravitate toward songs that we grew up hearing. So there is going to be a generational factor. All said, I feel bad for those who cannot enjoy the beautiful renditions by Rafi, be it funny, goofy songs, devotional or romantic songs and especially ghazals. You don’t need to understand the language to enjoy quality renditions. I hope people would like singers for their talent, not for what their given name tells about their religious origin. Ask yourself. Would do still like your favorite singer if he/she belongs to the ‘wrong’ community? Would you like others if they belonged to your preferred religion? Do some soul search and find out.
    Watch East west south north on you tube.
    (This is posted on both Kishore fans’ and Rafi fans’ websites.)

  21. 2271
    Ahamed Kutty Says:

    Dear Music Lovers,
    One more voting had been completed.It was to select the “Most
    Versatile Singer India Ever Produced” and as usual Rafi Saab
    come on top by securing 1,71,639 points followed by KK and
    Lataji 1,03,374 and 46,821 respectively.

    The voting had been conducted by The Ranking.com

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