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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2,285 Blog Comments to “An endless feud between the fans of Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar..”

  1. sunil kumar says:

    The blank face of a heartbroken Kishore Kumar prior to Mohd. Rafi’s funeral explained Kishore’s innermost feelings for his more illustrious senior, who was much more to him than a rival or competitor. No wonder Kishore Kumar paid his richest tribute to Mohd. Rafi with his Bengali haunting number, Se Jano Ajo after his favourite singer’s death. No one knew better than Kishore Kumar that Mohd. Rafi had a range and versatility which he never possessed himself.

  2. Anand Shankar says:

    @ Mayank Jain

    Mayank you need to know more about Rafi Sahab and his singing. You have rated Kishore above on following criteria:

    varsatility- Rafi was much more varsatile than Kishore. Rafi much better than Kishore soft romantic, classical, qawwali, gazal, bhajan and patriotic songs. Kishore could not match Rafi so far voice modulation is concerned. Rafi was as good at low pitch as at high pitch.

    Feeling- no one could match Rafi in expressing the feeling of a song. Listen to some Rafi numbers like chal ud ja re panchhi, Din dhal jaaye, zindagi bhar nahi bhulegi wo barsat ki rat and tere bin suni nain humare before commenting on this.
    Play back voice- according to you Kishore could sing for any actor. But here also Rafi scores over him. Rafi sang for more actors than Kishore matching the style and voice of the actor. Listen to ‘sar jo tera chakraye’ that he sang for Joney Walker and ‘hum kale hain to kya hua’ that he sang for Mehmood. Rafi rendered his voice to many actors from Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Rajendra Kumar and Shammi Kapoor to Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna and Rishi Kapoor.
    X factor- Rafi ruled the industry for almost two decades. Most of the great music directors and actors of 50s and 60s prefered his voice.
    Throw- listen to songs like o duniya ke rakhwale, chahe mujhe koi zangli kahe, tere kuche pe tera diwana etc.
    Yoodle- we do not listen to a song to listen the yoodle.

  3. binu nair says:

    why are you ‘all’ wasting your precious time discussing already settled matters …..

    Pls stop fooling yourselves……

  4. sunil kumar says:

    jis kisi ne bhi 2246 last comment kiya hai usne apna naam kishore rakha hai. wakai mein aaj kishore Da ro raha hoga upar uski aatma tadap rahi hogi ek kishore naam wale ne Uske naam pe thuk diya hai. Jab tumhare paas jawab dene ko kuch nahin raha toh apni aukat pe utar aaye ho . Kta yahi bhasha hai kishore da Ki apne senior artist ke liye. Bahut ashobh niya , gandi aur gutter mein fekne layak. Kishore Da ko Hum kabhi is naam se nahin pukara yeh hamari shaleenta dikhlata hai kyonki hum Rafi ke fan hai aisa kuch bhi nahin karenge na kahenge jo unko dukhi kare ya ghatiya star ka ho. Yeh site ka jo administrator hai lagta hai woh bhi koi kishore hai jsko kuch bhi dikhta nahinki kya rakhna hai kya hatana hai . Kishore ke fan jo sacche fan unse umeed karta hun ki woh aage aake isko condemn karein . ya woh bhi aisi basha ka support karte hain kya.

  5. Mohammad Akhter says:

    I wonder if author of this article understands music at all!!!!

  6. Anand Shankar says:

    Only a fool can say that there is no feeling in in Rafi sahab’s voice. No one could exprees the feeling of a song the way Rafi sahab has done it. His voice touches our hearts. So far melody and ‘sur’ is concerned no singer could match him. Please listen to some Rafi numbers like, man tarpat, tu ganga ki mauj, khoya khoya chand, chal ud ja re panchi, husnwale tera jawab nahin, saathi na koi na koi manzil and din dhal jaye, before commenting on his abilities. Rafi was indeed a trained singer. But my point is that as thousands of singers are trained in classical music, can they become Rafi ? Manna da was better trained than Rafi sahab, but he could never beat Rafi in singing.

  7. raj says:

    pawan kumar rafi sahab was great, and he was the kishore guru.

  8. Sudhir Dwivedi says:

    @Pavan…R u mad or drunk ,do u have more knowledge about music as compared to Manna dey and Kishore da,if yes then you r right and Manna dey and kishore da has less knowledge as compared to you.
    Here Kishore da paying tribute to Rafi saheb

    Manna dey says “Rafi and I could sing everything, and he was such a gentleman. He was a better singer than me, and I will say this – that no one came even close to him! He deserved everything he got! We had a great understanding and it was never about one-upmanship, ” he recalls.

    Here is the link

  9. Mayank Jain says:

    Both Kishoreda and Rafisahab are music legendary of Indian Cinema. But as far as comparison is concerned I think Kishoreda has an edge over Rafi in the following areas :
    #Emotions & Feelings
    #Play Back Voice(Matching ability with stars e.g. Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh,Devanand,Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra, Mithun, Rishi Kapoor, Jeetendra etc.)
    See he has sung only one song for Dilipkumar but he has matched the voice so nicely with him in the song “Sala main to sahab ban gaya”. Many of Rafi’s songs couldn’t do this.
    #Voice Throw and Base

    To conclude Rafi may be better for technical reasons in some of the songs but for playback reasons Kishoreda was simply the best.

  10. ashish kapoor says:

    Dear All,
    It is the popularity of Rafi Sahab which has kept this site going till date. I request these so called Kishore da fans to concentrate on writing about their great singer rather than indulge in comparisons between the two.
    ashish Kapoor
    Rafi Foundation, Delhi

  11. bunty gandhi says:

    one of kishor fan here saying that rafi is not good for high pitch voices in song !! what a rubbish he is talking yaar. I have a great respect for kishore kumar.Rafi and kishore both are great and irreplaceable.But while you put one on higher seat dont insult another like saying that he is not good at certain things.Coz there are lot examples to challenge it like here for high pitches in rafi case listen unhe Qissa E Gham or o dunia ke rakhwale. The person who claims that on high piches rafi shouts will have to eat his words.Both were great.Rafi dominated kishor before 69 and kishor dominated rafi after it.

  12. sameen says:

    both were the gr8st singers plz dont spoil such beautiful article by your idiotic comments, rafi sahab had a soft voice while kishore da d sexiest voice ever same liek lata g and asha g, these 4 singers r just uncomparable

  13. NR says:

    It is inappropriate to draw comparisons between two great artists. Rafi is Rafi and Kishore is Kishore. Both had their own talent, style. Both of them have entertained crores of song lovers. Let us salute both of them, listen to their songs, enjoy, feel proud that they were born in our country and wish they would be reborn as Rafi and Kishore in our country.

  14. sreenivas says:

    I gone thru some of the coments , but all the singers r had their own voice culture , i hats off to them . but , S P Balasubramanyam southindian singer has multy voice culture , which no one has in India . he sings according to actors but the bad luck he borned in southindia . in my view no one is replaceable .

  15. Sandeep Tomar says:

    Dear KLF – ZTAS 77.
    mind your words… what you are saying to all the kishore da’s fans.. coming from cloud cuckoo land and blah blah…
    just think… apply some mind… just if kishore kumar were trained… what could he have done to other singers… there would not even be names to say…

  16. Sandeep Tomar says:

    Ya.. an endless feud…
    par thoda alag tarah se socho…
    how many TV shows are made on kishoe kumar and how many on rafi sahab. yes… i am a die hard fan of kishore kumar, but great respect for rafi sahab too. once someone on the recording sets, told kishore kumar that he has sung that song even better then rafi. and he got a slap in return. this proves how much kishore respect rafi sahab. back to the track… some facts… how many TV shows made on kishore.. i watched many.. one around 15-20 years back on my black and white television set. and still remember what asha bhonsle said about kishore… word to word.. “ek mohammad rafi hajar sal me ho sakta hai. ek lata 100 saal me ho sakti hai. par ek kishore kumar fir kabhi nahi ho sakta.”
    And i think Asha ji is not a small signature in music fraternity. If someone can remind me the name of that serial.. it used to be aired on sunday noon as far as i remember on doordarshan. and many legends were interviewed in that including manna day, lata ji herself and amit kumar and many more.
    other facts… there are songs.. which are sung by kishore as well as rafi sahab. and people know these songs by kishore kumar only. if you tell them its sung by rafi sahab, they will simply say you dont know, its kishore only. e.g. tum bin jaaun kaha and rote hue aate hain sab.
    apart from this, there are numerous examples where kishore has sung for the lead actor and rafi sahab for side hero.
    lastly, i just want to add that, kishore kumar was not only a singer. saying him a singer is cutting so much from his talent. he was a writer, actor, director, producer and so much more. and a music composer.. just see if any of his composition is in anyway less then any other composer.
    Kishore was a singer by chance. Saying him a singer is insulting him. so he is beyond any comparison.

  17. krishna says:


    Are you mad or what.. Kishore songs are good but you dare not to compare him with Rafi saab. Whenever somebody asks fans of Kishore kumar whether he sung a Qawalli, you come up with that Joota tera waada. Kishore could never sing in classical. There is no doubt Kishore was a great singer but a song like Parda hain Parda, O priya etc., could have never been possible by Kishore. You listen to the tribute of Kishoreda to Rafisaab and the song Manre tu kahe na dheer dhare. I appreciate it but the way he has sung.. ah its a crap… just listen to it and come back.. Dont compare Rafisaab with Kishore kumar who could sing only in octave 3-3.5.. Kishore does not have range. All his songs are similar… Can somebody without knowing the sequence of the Kati Patang song “Ye jo muhabat hain” and judges that to be a song of a drunkard. I bet it cannot be.. Dont compare. Rafi saab is apple and Kishore is Banana. Enjoy them as a fruit salad.. Dont compare apple and Banana…

  18. alefilyas says:

    all over …. rafi great than kishore ! music director ki vajah se kishor chal gaya ! geetkaar ke shabd ke kaaran kishore chal gaya ! not a any kind of flexibility in kishore voice !

  19. Romina says:

    Only technicality doesn’t matter. The song should touch your heart , in other words it should have that feel.
    So its always not necessary that if you are technically right then only u sing well. Its something eternal & Kishore sang something which touch our hearts even today.

  20. Riz says:

    I m from pakistan and a big big fan of kishore kumar,,,, its vain to compare the two coz un doubtly rafi was king even i lv kishore,,,, rafi was technically sound, well there is a specialization associated with the singers, some can sing classical ,, some can ghazals some can luv songs but that man gave so many hits in evry field of classical semi classical, ghazals, even qawalis, kishore fansss u all r maddddd ishore da is not even near a rafi sahib, he was kinggg,,,, just listen his song,,, tu he woh haseen hai ,,, o mannnn hee wil stun you,,, kishore got a same pitch of voice. although i m a bigest fannn of kishore da but when it comes to rafi,,,, i cnt even think to compare kishore with rafi sahib

  21. Madhavan says:

    Is there really a need to criticize one great artist, in order to to appreciate another? Can we all not accept and celebrate both KK & MR for their own distinct individual genius?
    We Indian’s should learn to be proud of every streak of greatness that we have. By condeming one while appreciating another – we endup tarnishing our own collective pride.

  22. Firoz (Kuwait) says:


  23. Firoz (Kuwait) says:

    ghantasala is like GHANTA in front of Rafi sahab nothing more, if no one believes than ask ghantasala to sing o duniya ke rakhwale in the same peach and level, you will see if ghantasala even reach III level without coughing…people here can bullshit anything without having any knowledge of singing, ask ghantasala to sing any qawwalli he will cough, ask him to sing bhajan you will get result infront of your eyes, ghantasala / Kishore kumar is BULBS and RAFI SAHAB is SUN.

  24. Firoz (Kuwait) says:

    for years, the media without knowing inner details projected mohd. rafi and kishore kumar as arch rivals. competitors they were but never rivals. in fact, when mohd. rafi sang man mora bawra and ajeeb dastan hai yeh meri for kishore kumar, the multi-dimensional kumar could not and did not protest. though he was the hero in both ragini and shararat, rafi sang for kishore under the baton of o.p nayar and shanker jaikishan, very effectively creating musical history.

    the two came together for the first time to sing for bhagam bhag and then it was the lilting, tum bin jayun kahan in pyar ka mausam, tuned by the versatile r.d. burman. no comparisons can be made between the two singing the same number as kishore’s one was pathos oriented and rafi’s romantic.

    in the 70s, both sang woh din ke baat in jungle mein mangal and yadon ki baraat each composed by shanker jaikishan and r.d. burman. as kishore kumar set the nation literally dancing to his zindagi ek safar in andaz, rafi proved a perfect foil for him with the sad antara of the same song, hanste gate. madan mohan composed the unique yun na sharma with kishore kumar at his romantic best and mohd. rafi rendering the tragic portion, are hansne wale.

    the 70s had kishore kumar ruling the roost with the maximum number of hits tuned by s.d. burman, r.d. burman, laxmikant pyarelal and kalyanji anandji. yet, rafi held his own with his inimitable tum jo mil gaye ho, tera bindiya re with lata mangeshkar and undoubtedly aye mere man though his tonal quality had received a back seat due to a throat infection.

    r.d. burman, who was mainly instrumental in creating the kishore kumar wave, had to lean on mohd. rafi for his super hits chand mera dil, kya hua tera wada and yamma yamma. these songs signaled rafi’s glorious comeback in the late 70s after a brief lull earlier. even later composers like rajesh roshan and bappi lahiri could think of no one else except for rafi to render, dil ki kali, are re re aisa tarana and saathi re gam nahin karna. kishore was always with them but some songs could never be thought of without the inimitable mohd. rafi.

    the blank face of a heartbroken kishore kumar prior to mohd. rafi’s funeral explained kishore’s innermost feelings for his more illustrious senior, who was much more to him than a rival or competitor. no wonder kishore kumar paid his richest tribute to mohd. rafi with his bengali haunting number, se jano ajo after his favourite singer’s death. no one knew better than kishore kumar that mohd. rafi had a range and versatility which he never possessed himself.

  25. Firoz says:

    Mohammad Rafi Saab is best and kishore kumar stand no were around him, can anyone find any single bhajan of kishore kumar ?

    RAFI SAAB is Legend. Kishore Kumar Admits 100s of time that comparing him with rafi sahab is same like comparing Sun(Rafi sahab) with Bulb (KK)

    Rafi Sahab, you are the legend of the legends, your voice is a gift of God, a singer like u born once only…u r uncomparable, untouchable, no one can reach to your level in singing…No one can, you are master of all..May your soul rest in are still ruling in our heart..

  26. Music Lover says:

    Please throw this ghantasala crap out of this debate. If you don’t like Rafi it’s fine but at least don’t bring ghantasala type of things here to compare the great maestro! Hatred pulls you people to such an extreme that you insult your own legend. I am biggest fan of both Kishore and Rafi. Both had different flavours, great range and equally comfortable at high notes. Ask your ghantasala can he sing a high pitch plus technical song like: “barbad e muhabbat ki dua sath liye jaa” It was a quality of Kishore and Rafi alone who were melodeous, they could sing at all subtak. Their voices were soft and touching at low notes. Ask your ghantasala if he could sing a song like: O maajhi re of kishore Kumar. Please never insult your heros. If u wish to see greatness and natural talent of Rafi, just surf his live singing with Naushad on youtube (black & white) and see how he sings comfortablly and effortlessly far from mic the high pitch songs like o duniya k rakhwale and meri kahani bhoolne wale..

  27. Mayank says:

    Dear Friends,
    I feel very pity about those who don’t know about the greatness and singing of one of the greatest maestros of India. Those foolish persons who don’t know single A B C D of singing talk nonsense about rafi sahab. Rafi sahab was one of the greatest singers in India ever born and will always remain in the heart of many Indians. His songs have no comparison, l m not comparing with Kishore Kumar because l myself can sing Kishore Kumar songs with great ease, but singing Rafi Sahab song is a great challenge and if even one sings, he can’t even touch him, we r just specks of dust in front of Rafi Sahab singing. No way No Comparison for Rafi Sahab, he is the only God of Singing only God. Thank u Rafi Sahab Thank u very Much for coming on this earth and giving us joy and ur beautiful voice full of nectar, thank u very much. We can’t forgive u never never never never never…………..

  28. Ahamed Kutty says:

    rafi saab is far ahead of kisore da.that is why this site is
    in a “full stop” stage since 01.12.2011 and whatever these
    people are dreaming will be a dream only.

  29. JJ says:

    I will start by saying that music is the winner. There are many great songs from the past that take us to cloud 9.

    Kishore Kumar was a genius and Rafi was even better.

    The quality that embodies Rafi’s voice is “divine intervention”. It is a voice that makes one think of GOD Himself. His ability to sing with a divine quality is unparelled. Perhaps Rafi was a Gandharva sent to the earth by GOD himself.

    And Kishore Kumar is the greatest all rounder of Indian music ever and the greatest ever singer after Rafi.

    I am ready to put any singer from any state in the Indian sub continent below Kishore with the exception of only Rafi.

  30. Sanjay Singh says:

    As Far As Classical Trainning is concerned, Even with Classical Trainning Kishore Da Would Still have Finished a distant Second Or even Worse ‘couse U need Talend For even Trainning . If u don’t have Good Voice No Amount Of Trainning Will Make You a good singer ,In Rafi’s Case He Had The Best Voice of Them all.

  31. sunil Singh says:

    As Manna Dey Said in an interveiw On Coffee House Classic A FM Radio Programme, that There were two Catogaries of Singer-One Categories Had Rafi, another Catogaries Had Rest Of The singer Of that Era Including Kishore, Lata, Mukesh Manna Dey Himself Asha etc. manna Dey Further Stated Rafi Was Best Among all of us ,Most Talented , Most Varsatile The greatest Singer of them All, and he deserved Every accolade That Came His way.

  32. Dev Ashis says:

    Rafi sahab is the father of indian music. He is the legend of all legends. The most melodious,beautiful , cute,sweet and heroic voice in the world.Kishore is no where to him.

  33. abcd says:

    Kishore is the best singer in the WORLD.That’s it !

  34. Ravindra Singh says:

    kishore kumar had a nature voice and rafi is a trained singer without training i think rafi sb could not reached as kishore da reached without kishore da is best singer he sang mostly classical songs

  35. Anand Shankar, Patna says:

    Rafi had the most melodious voice. He was a versatile singer. He could sing all types of songs- Classical, Ghazal, Bhajan, Qawali etc. His singing skills was unparalleled. People noticed him first time in 1947 for the song yahan badla wafa ka…in the film Jugnu and he became popular after singing suhani rat dhal chuki…for the film Dulari in 1949. But after Baiju Bawra in 1952, there was no looking back in his career. He ruled playback singing fot next 18 years. He has rendered his voice to all actors from Dilip Kumar to Rishi Kapoor. He has the most numbers of hit songs. It is very difficult to write about his all hit numbers, but some of his real gems are- Man tarpat hari darshan ko aaj, O dur ke musafir, Chal ud ja re pancchi, Kah do koi na kare yahan pyar, Husnwale tera jawab nahin, Sathi na koi manjil, Ehsan tera hoga mujhpe, Madhuban me radhika, Kitna hai tum se pyar, Fir miloge kabhi, Mai to tere haseen Khayalon me, Diwana huwa badal, Tumhare pyar me ham, Ai husn jara jag tujhe, Tere mere sapne, Chhu lene do najuk hoto ko and ye duniya ye mehfil. We still enjoy Rafi Sahab’s songs. Kishore, though a good singer was way behind Rafi. Most of the great music directors like Naushad, Shankar Jaikishan, SD Barman, Madan Mohan, OP Nayyar and Lakshmikant Pyarelal preferred Rafi. Both Rafi and Kshore started their career in 40s, but Kishore became popular only in 70s. Infact Kishore had to wait for RD Barman and Rajesh Khanna to become popular.

  36. Babu says:

    first of all I want to say that if rafi ji’s fans say that they dont like kishore da and if kishore da’s fan say that they dont like rafi shaab then in both cases it means tht they are being hypocrate by reffering themselves as music lovers…
    kishore da is my God but tht dosent mean tht I dont love rafi shaab’s voice..
    I respect him equally..
    Kishore da once said way back in 70’s or 80’s not sure that ” as because we (kishore da n rafi shaab) can sing all types of songs according to the demands of comming generation, we r active in the industry till now but singers like mannay dey didn’t adapt new styles n so he is not so active now”
    So I want to convey that there is no point of arguing for the place 1 because they both have created by two places of nos. 1….
    So those who love both the eyes of music film industry are the true music lovers.

  37. shashank says:

    Freinds ,first of all I want to say that if rafi ji’s fans say that they dont like kishore da and if kishore da’s fan say that they dont like rafi shaab then in both cases it means tht they are being hypocrate by reffering themselves as music lovers…
    kishore da is my God but tht dosent mean tht I dont love rafi shaab’s voice..
    I respect him equally..
    Kishore da once said way back in 70’s or 80’s not sure that ” as because we (kishore da n rafi shaab) can sing all types of songs according to the demands of comming generation, we r active in the industry till now but singers like mannay dey didn’t adapt new styles n so he is not so active now”
    So I want to convey that there is no point of arguing for the place 1 because they both have created by two places of nos. 1….
    So those who love both the eyes of music film industry are the true music lovers.

  38. this comparision is uncalled for because rafi will always always be much much better than not only kishore but all singers of past , present and future..” na bhoote na bhavishyate ..” as said in sanskrit .. rafi’s supremacy, as accepted by kishore himself, is universal truth..close this discussion once for all today itself……….!

  39. i agree that rafi is no match for kishore..!!in fact this comparision is uncalled for because rafi will always always be much much better than not only kishore but all singers of past , present and future..” na bhoote na bhavishyate ..” as said in sanskrit .. rafi’s supremacy, as accepted by kishore himself, is universal truth..close this discussion once for all today itself……….!

  40. sukhvinder says:


  41. Saurabh says:

    Great music directors of the golden era like naushad,roshan,madan mohan,op nayyar never considered kishore for their compositions(barring a few exceptions).Just listen to some of the gems that Rafi has sung for Dev Anand(we keep hearing that Dev Anand’s favourite singer was Kishore) like Din Dhal Jaye,Tere Mere Sapne & Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya from Guide, Aise to naa dekho,kahin bekayal hokar from teen deviyan,songs from Kala Bazaar,Kal Pani,Tere Ghar Ke Saamne etc.(all composed by the great SD Burman), one can understand that whenever there was a classical based song and needed sensitive rendering, S.D. insisted on the vocals of Rafi. It was only during the post Aradhana period,because of the Kishore Kumar-Rajesh Khanna wave followed by the era of action films that Kishore was elevated to the numero uno position. Though both were at the top during two different periods,look the the difficulty level of the songs sung by Rafi.He could sing any type of song be it a patriotic song, a ghazal,a bhajan,a qawwali, any raga based song and could hit the higher notes better than any singer.With Kishore rise in the seventy’s, the variety of songs(particularly ghazals and qawwalis) reduced may be because of the decline of Urdu influence in films or may be simply the rise in number of action films. Even R.D. had to switch to Rafi for Hai Agar Dushman(Hum Kisise Kam Nahin).Remember what magic Rafi created with Laxmikant Pyarelal’s qawwali in Amar Akbar Anthony.
    In a nutshell, Rafi was a far better singer than Kishore.I feel Rafi was the number 1 male playback singer in the history of playback singing.

  42. पवन किशोर says:

    Rafi is far away from kishore kumar saab. There is no modulation in the voice of rafi while kishore kumar modulates his voice where necessity. जो लोग किशोर कुमार जी के गीतों को अच्छा नहीं बताते और रफी की तारीफ करते हैं, कभी संगीत का सच्चा आनंद नहीं ले सकते। रफी किशोर कुमार जी से कोसों पीछे है।

  43. पवन किशोर says:

    किशोर कुमार दुनिया के किसी भी गायक से ज्यादा उर्जायुक्त व सबसे अच्छे गायक हैं।

  44. sarfaraz says:

    dear friends behave ur self like a judge n do not bring religion to compare fragnanace of two different flowers, pls have a look here.
    1.rafi was trained, kishore was not,but in todays world of music trained are awarded untrained are slowly dropped.example shreya won sa re ga ma…n now she is a playback singer.sonu nigam n udit are trained n over took kumar shanu.
    2.rafi had played backed for kishore, n check that its lik kishore singing.
    example, mann mora bawra, apni adat hai…etc
    3.kishore himself admits rafi was superior than him
    example kishore shielded rafi wen jagjit commented on rafi.
    4.rafi was highly classical with highest pitch than harmonium ,kishore avoided such songs.example hathi mere saathi sad song very high pitch al songs kishore sang except this.
    5.rafi sab never paid attention for money, kishore did,example some music directors alleged he left studio with no info.
    6.rafi was completely family man,though islam permit he never married amny,but kishore married many as u al know.example u al know.
    7.rafi never attended parties, kishore enjoyed all parts of parties.
    8.rafi ruled till last day of death almost 40 years, kishore just ruled last 15 years.
    9.rafi sab sang for all budget films,kisore never.check official site.
    10.70% of indians voted rafi d best,19%kishore,c star dust singer of millenium.
    11.all music directors used rafi n his range,only RD prefeered kisore even his father used rafi.
    12.rafi did yoodling in 1950s first of all,c you tube,kishore copied it.
    13.rafi voice suited for young hero, kisore sang for father n grandfather specially,ex tum bin jao kahan.
    14.rafi s voice had 100 sur as said by lata, not kishore.
    15.rafi struggled as chorus n gained name on own,kisore used his brother ashok as step n later RD.
    16.rafi sang bhajan for hindus which are famous till date,kisore sang bhajan but hindus themselves dont prefer,ex sukh ke sab saathi, badi der mein ghantala, man tarpat hari…etc
    17.rafi is famous in telugue as in hindi,but is famous only in hindi song never in telugue.
    18.telugue heros credit rafi for they successs,single telugue hero do not speak of kishore.ex NT rama rao.
    19.rafi inspired singer lik sonu,udit, who r ruling bollywud since they enterd,singers lik babul supriyo,kumar sanu who adored kishore ruled part time n dissapeared.
    20.rafi sang all varieties of songs, kishore is famous only for happy n fast trac songs.
    21.singer like manna day,lata,asha say..rafi was and is ONE,no top singer of that time say kishore was so.
    22.rafi voice softened n sweeted tear by year,ex dard e dil,kishore voice got hard n rough b4 his detah, ex sagar kinare dil yeh pukare.
    23.rafi never belived in royalty or any form of extra money,but kisore n lata did for which lata admits later stage n apologised rafi.
    24.lata is ONE i bollywud,she herself tell its my gud luck that i sang with rafi highest no of songs as music directers felt both had gud chemistry,not as kishore voice,ex listen to the song is mood pe aate hai kuch sust kadam….kishore sang lik grand pa. 1979 kishore sang highest no of songs, but rafi bagged the year award for the song..kya huwa tera waada.
    26.wen indira gandhi called kishore to sing at her party,kishore denied for which his songs wer bannned on AIR. temporary.
    27.non of rafi relatives back him.kishore was back by his two brothers who wer heroes at that time.
    28.rafi lata s devotional song brought tear in eyes of prime minister jawahar lal nehru n other,but kishore had no such credit.
    29.rafi never commited sur mistake,kishore did as lata admits that kishore had no classical knowledge n cant sing in that style.
    30.todays singer like shaan declare rafi as king.
    31.kishore song are easy to sing so many sing it in parties, but rare songs of rafi.
    32.rafi voice stands same even in concerts,pls practically c how u feel kishore.
    ……………..n many more in next comment
    so frnds rafi is ONE ,
    kisore is NEXT.

  45. vinod says:

    I request everyone please not to compare these legends as everyone has their own taste. Let me clarify that there is no doubt that kishor , rafi and mukesh , lata , aasha manna dey were great singers but people should know that many great people like RD burman , SD burman , anand bakshi , kalyanji anandji , bappi lahiri , rajesh roshan ,lata mangeshkar , aasha bhosle , laxmikant pyarelal , dev anand , rajesh khanna , amitabh , jeetendra and many more have said that kishore was the best creation of god and whose voice resembles that of mother nature. They also said that kishor can sing rafis or mukeshs songs but its not true vice versa. Even a research in 80`s has found that kishores voice had some amazing sweetness and rare to find.
    But guys i have equal respect for all the legends.

  46. pk says:


  47. KLF - ZTAS 77 says:

    @ Raj 2166

    I need to correct some very incorrect false statements made by the above person on Rafi Sahab.

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

    How can you say and believe this?? Rafi’s voice up to his death was purely intact !! Just listen to his voice in “Yamma Yamma” How fresh & vibrant he sounded. Even RD Burman complimented on Rafi’s performance on that song that he (RD) should have able to have sung like that !!! So what does that tell everyone !!! Rafi’s performance on “john jani janardhan” was simply superb !!! I could name so many other songs of 70’s & 80’s where Rafi’s voice was as fresh & crisp as ever !!! Oh yes another rage of superhit, “Dard-e-Dil” from Karz.

    As a matter of fact it was Kishore’s voice that deteriorated in his last few years. Just compare Kishore’s voice from early to mid 80’s in comparison to Kishore’s voice up to 70’s (especially early 70’s) His voice sounded really good and vibrant compared to his last few years where he sounded much more coarse and more deeper. Its evident for anyone to hear for themselves! Just listen to one of Kishore’s live performances in the early 70’s compared to one of his live performances towards the mid 80’s. There is a vast comparision in vocal clarity! As for Rafi just watch and listen to one of his live performances in 1979 (see on You Tube) the evidence speaks for itself !!!!

    Quote ” rafi had importance in mid- 50′s to mid 60′s roughly around 13 years, kishore had importance from 1969 to 1987 almost 2 decades”

    You need to go back and do your homework my friend. Actual facts is that Rafi sahab peaked from around 1953 to 1970 (Rafi was still very much on the scene even when Kishore da emerged on the scene in 1969) Yes its fact that Kishore/RD/Rajesh Khanna team shined Kishore da to leading level from 1970 onwards to 1976/77 until where Rafi once again peaked again to his comeback phase to rival with Kishore da to the point where in 79/80 Rafi slightly peaked further by rendering more hits than Kishore da. At the time of Rafi’s death in 1980, the most popular radio chart listing at that time had more Rafi songs in the top 20 than Kishore.

    So after Rafi’s death there was no major competition for Kishore da until his death in 1987. Lets not forget with no reflection on Kishore da himself, music in the 80’s was the worst era. Even I remember a UK radio interview in 1986 where Kishore da stated himself how musical trends had deteriorated at that time. Remember how he wanted to retire from the music scene to go back to his native home town.

    So the peak figures mentioned by Raj was 100% not correct at all !!!!!
    Rafi Sahab’s peaked figures was approx 17yrs initially plus the 3yrs of his comeback phase (in rival with Kishore) until his death in 1980 which equates to 20yrs.

    Kishore’s peak figures equates to approx 18yrs from 1969/70 to 1987.

    Quote “rafi was a trained singer than kishore, so without much training kishore has achieved what others could not achieve. Rafi, without training could never have achieved what kishore has achieved in hindi film playback singing”

    I’ve read so many similar comments like the above statement. Look its quite simple if one can understand !!! With a doubt Kishore da was a brilliant singer BUT he was still limited to what he could only sing in regards to his comfort zone! Why did he not venture into being classically trained as to enhance his singing range? Rafi sahab was not a 100% classically trained singer but he did have some formal classical training, but the fact is Rafi sahab did venture into more different type of singing styles than Kishore da or anyone else for that matter. He sang in more langauges! He sang with more different music directors! As a muslim he sang Hindu devotional songs brilliantly !!! Even RD Burman went to Rafi Sahab to render some superhit Qawwali’s over Kishore da. Rafi won a filmfare award and national award for a RD composition in 1978 for “Kya Hua Tera Vada”, Kishore never achieved this with an RD compostion.

    So I urge for people like our friend Raj, not to give out blunt false statements and be honest with yourselves. Kishore da was a fantastic respected singer as well as being one of the most talented all round entertainers of all time !!! But Rafi Sahab did venture his singing range further than any other singer of his time. (Why cannot people accept this fact?) Lastly even Kishore da stated at the time of Rafi’s death that he himself was limited compared to Rafi Sahab and furthermore he was a great fan of Rafi Sahab !!!! This is man himself talking so what does that tell you ???

  48. Sanjay says:

    There is a difference between Creativity & Talent… Kishore had both.
    No wonder he ventured into all the aspects. Acting, Directing, Composing etc. etc….
    Can the rafi fans give me any two qualities of Md Rafi other than singing.

    Md. Rafi was a great singer. I don’t deny that .. a talented singer infact. But ultimately Kishore is more versatile and creative.. Has any rafi’s fans heard Tikadam Baazi of kishore kumar… listen to that.

  49. Sanjay says:

    If kishore kumar sang today.. his voice would match all the heroes of today also.. but when ever you hear md rafi you feel some 40 + is singing. Kishore had youth in his voice. Even today in all FM stations Kishore is more popular than rafi. If rafi’s fans don’t believe they should start listening to radio.

  50. Barry says:

    I read all comments & feel that Kishore was indeed the best. Rafi’s fans or you can say Ruffians are not giving proper reasons to lose the arguement. Rafi was a lot lesser singer for sure, his fans are unable to throw sense in their arguements either. Just as Raaj Kumar didnt have any training before entering Cinema & was able to outclass Dilip Kumar both times, same is the case with Kishore outclassing well trained md.Rafi with natural talent.

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