Rafi’s biography sheds light on his fall out with Lata


Mohammed Rafi has been a veteran and legendary singer. He and Lata Mangeshkar were the choice of all music directors for duet songs. They have sung innumerable songs together and all of them had been hits of those times. However, the late singer, Mohammed Rafi’s recently released biography gives some insights into his life. It also states the reason due to which the two singers fell apart at one point in time.

It has been specified that it was the dissimilarities over the royalty payment on the duet songs that headed towards Lata Mangeshkar having a tiff with the late singer.

Yasmin Khalid Rafi, who is the daughter-in-law of Mohammed Rafi, has brought out many unfamiliar facts about the man who had been hailed to be the ultimate playback singer the Hindi Film Industry has ever had. All this and more has been let out in his biography “Mohammed Rafi: My Abba – A Memoir”. This book has been published by Tranquebar Press.

Yasmin writes, “In the beginning of 1960, there came a phase when Lata Mangeshkar fell out with Mohammed Rafi and stopped singing duets with him. They did not work together for two-three years. Lata sang with Mahendra Kapoor and Suman Kalyanpur sang with Rafi during this period.”

She added, “Their differences arose over the issue of royalty payments on the songs sung by them. Lata wanted to be paid royalty and raised the issue with the producers; she expected Rafi to support her point of view, which was in fact justified.”

When Lata was not lent support by Rafi, things turned sour between them. She also wrote, “But contrary to her expectations, Rafi took a different stand. He opined, 'When the producer pays the fee the singer demands for a song, thereafter the singer should not have a share in the royalty.' This was probably a hasty decision, taken without careful consideration.”

It has been revealed in the book that it was Jaikishen, the late music director, who finally made the two singers reconcile. The first duet that they sang after this incident was for the movie “Palkon ki chaaon Mein”.

Mohammed Rafi has had the chance of working with the best music directors of our country in his career of 35 years. He had been the first choice of music directors like Shankar- Jaikishen, S D Burman, O P Nayyar, and Laxmikant- Pyarelal.

It had been Naushad Ali- a musician- who once labeled him as our country’s Tansen.


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