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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I am a steady listener of Hindi film songs for the last fifty years and strongly feel that Rafi is far better than any other singers. I do like Kishore , Mukesh, Talat, Mannadey, but Rafi is above all others.
Seems like this post hasn’t been active for years. I have been following this thread for last few days.
I was born in late 80’s and grown up in 90’s. Sanu was a hot topic in the 90’s and I enjoyed his songs, but then something was missing. My uncle a great KK fan, suggested I start listening to KK and started listening to him. I covered his songs from 50’s to 80’s and mighty impressed and proudly declared him as the best playback singer in the world. Songs of Amar Prem, Mere Apne (Koi Hota), Kati Patang, Mili, etc were some of my favourites. Then my father recommended, that I should listen to Rafi as we always debated who is the better singer. And boy, I am grateful to my father for the best advice he gave me in life and till date, when I hear Rafi Sahab especially from 50’s to late 60’s, I ask myself, how can a human have a voice like this. It seems unreal for anyone to sing with epitome of perfection with equal emotion. It just takes me to a different world. It is very true that post 70, KK dominated the charts, but the quality of music had already deteriorated during that time. Earlier MDs & Singers made the movie already a big hit before it hit the theatres but post 70, it was Actors who made the movie hit and this trend sadly is still there in Bollywood as you can see even a garbage song picturised on Khans become a massive hit, and I think the trend started from Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh, etc. Also, the trend of cinema was changing from romantic hero to angry young man and action and KK’s voice had more manliness and force. However, this doesn’t mean KK was a better singer than Rafi Sahab. I am also a huge fan of KK, but when it comes to the best singer, I rate Rafi Sahab above everyone else, including international stars. I urge to KK fans, the only reason you might have doubt with regards to Rafi Sahab being the greatest is you haven’t heard all his songs, hence I start by giving 3 of my favourites and you to judge yourself, how can a human being sing with such divinity and have so much emotion. The experience is simply soul stirring and I bet no classical singer, playback singer, international singer can sing like this.
1. Subah Na Aayi
3. Apni Aankhon Me Basakar. This is from the 70’s. You can see, it is on an unknown actor, hence didn’t hit the charts. As stated the trend was shifting to songs becoming hit depending on who is the actor and singer and MD’s were secondary. Do you see any difference in Rafi Sahab’s melody and perfection as it was in 50’s and 60’s. No!. And this proves that it was the quality of music, cinema that deteriorated not Rafi Sahab’s voice
‘Kishore da great’ was the greatest is the greatest and will remain the greatest forever. ‘Kishore the great’ was not just a singer so rafi’s blind fans please keep silent as rafi was not even 2 percent of ‘Kishore the great’ when it comes to talent. He was singer, actor, music director, lyricist, director, producer, writer all in one. ‘Kishore the great’ was greatest alrounder. In talent he had no one to compare with in the whole universe. Rafi is nothing in front of kishore da great. Lataji se bhi patli awaz lekar gangu teli raja bhoj se muqabla karne chala. Mard ki awaz hain kishore the great.
Dear fans and readers,
Rafi’s voice lacks versatility. His voice is same for all heroes and for all situations as pointed out by many musicians. Further, he does not have a manly voice like Kishore in hindi. Moreover, his voice is not suitable for all rasas and ragas. For instance, in hindi, for tragedy songs Mukesh is the best. For devotional songs, Mannaday or Mahendra Kapoor is the best. Therefore, at the maximum, rafi can be rated as one of the best hindi male singers and not the best singer of all in hindi language only and not in the country because there are better singers than him in south indian languages which unfortunately do not have as much market, coverage and size of fans in the country as hindi language.
ridiculous to compare kk with rafi saab, rafi was and always will be the best,even mukesh talat and mahendra better then kk
Did any of the repective singers state they were beter than either? They had hugh respect for each other. On their day they were both good, each had their own unique style.
Let us remember for what they were. They were both great men who have entertained us all.
Shri Abraham S ji please try to realize the mesmerizing, hypnotic divine voice Md Rafi sahab had, just Kishore sahab did not possess that. Md Rafi sahabka’ ennunciation’ ‘throw’ our unka voiceka divine ‘weeping’ Kishoreji mein naheen tha, every music lover should feel and understand this. Md Rafi ka awaj ka MADHURATA AUR RONA, THESE TWO THINGS WERE SIMULTANEOUSLY WERE MISSING ( I dont mean totally missing but were lesser ) in KK’s voice. Mr Kutty has given some exemplary illustrations in data to prove this simple point, but let us not be deliberately blinkered and beyond redemption, Md Rafi’s greatness can only be comparable to the divine voice of Lataji only.
Please see this chart and decide who is better for yourself – Be unbiased! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202803975409195&set=a.2780535001272.2114507.1495104257&type=1&theater
KK was just an okay singer. Rafi was lightyears ahead of KK. To compare KK with Rafi is an utter foolishness. Sajjad Hussain rightly called him “Shor Kumar”. That indeed sums up Ki(shor)e as a singer.
JKP Sahai is so bereft of musical senses, that to call him a duffer about music, will not reveal the horrible ignorance, which he conceives is a bliss for him. How Kishore kumar can be more versatile than Md Rafi, when firstly, he did not know classical singing, 2ndly Md Rafi was far superior to him in terms of Romantic songs, thirdly, Kishoreji might have had a great depth in his voice, but compared to Md Rafi’s mesmerizing divine timbre he lages far behind Md Rafi. And how does the question of Muslim community occurs at all? By invoking these communal allusion he really has proved himself to be a downright duffer, who is bereft of an iota of musical sense.
Thanks to Ahamed kuttiji, for providing some very very important information, which were known to me personally, but music lovers may not be aware of the present feel of Indian music lovers. I admire kuttijis knowledge, depth and information about the subject
Even Lataji admitted in Hindusthan Times in 2009 that Md Rafi was the greatest singer amongst all of them, she said terms of voice timbre and upper octave range, not only he supassed Asha, kishoreda and Maanna Dey, he excelled me too, anybody can verify my statement if one wants to. All music directors of his time except RD Burman rated Md Rafi to be far superior, if compared to Kishore kumar. Even todays best singer like Sonu Nigam and Shreya ghosal too, considers Md Rafi sahab and Lataji to be the greatest, far ahead of Kishore kumar. Youtube after the advent of globalizatyion has exposed everybodies voice all over India, so there is no doubt about Md Rafi sahab’s superiority
There is no comparison between Rafi and KK.
Rafi Ji is the greatest singer of all time.May be kk has more hits but when I listen Rafi ji songs. It always touch my heart.
Does not matter what “as usual” the “One more voting had been completed” says:
With all due respect to the great Rafi,
**** KISHORE KUMAR remains the best ***
Rafi, and many others were brilliant, unfortunately, for Kishore “brilliant” also falls well short of his genius….
Rafi was a great singer, Kishore was a phenomenon…
Rafi entertained, Kishore transformed-transported and enthralled….
Irrespective of the greatness of Rafi’s /other singers “flexibility-versatility” abilities, the golden SPIRIT OF KISHORE’S VOICE – the power in it, the energy to lift the spirits of the audience into another dimension remains UNMATCHED.
Kishore had a special gift from GOD ALMIGHTY, this is the only way an untrained man could be the best – Thank God for Kishore. If I had to choose only one singer I could have access to, it would be Kishore though my early exposure was to Rafi & others.
There are some Rafi songs which are top class, only Rafi could have done it – so also with Kishore and there are also some not so interesting songs by Kishore (IMHO) BUTTT **** KISHORE KUMAR remains the best ***
Maybe someday someone will conduct surveys (not rigged by a community) on the most loved singer / singer with greatest impact and (though I do not much care for surveys) I suspect it will be Kishore.
Ultimately, in spite of all the wooshy wish-fulness of Rafi supporters, the reality is that **** KISHORE KUMAR remains the best ***
and will remain better than all to the date of this post, who knows about tomorrow….
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
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.)
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”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
“rafi’s voice lost its sheen in 70′s whereas, kishore even in late stage of his life it was good to hear”…
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.
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.
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
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.
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)
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.
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
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.
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.
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 !!