Mohammed Rafi (Hindi: मोहम्मद रफ़ी, Urdu: محمد رفیع; December 24, 1924 – July 31, 1980), was an Indian playback singer whose career spanned four decades. He won 5 National Awards and 6 Filmfare Awards. In 1967, he was honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government of India.
In a career spanning about 40 years, Rafi sang over 26,000 film songs. His songs ranged from classical numbers to patriotic songs, sad lamentations to highly romantic numbers, qawwalis to ghazals and bhajans, and from slow melancholic tunes to fast fun filled songs. He had a strong command of Hindi and Urdu and a powerful range that could accommodate this variety. He sang in many Indian languages including Hindi, Konkani, Urdu, Bhojpuri, Oriya, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Sindhi, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu, Maghi, Maithili and Assamese. He also recorded a few English, Persian, Spanish and Dutch songs.
An article in Times of India, published on July 24, 2010 sums up his voice as, "If there are 101 ways of saying "I love you" in a song, Mohammed Rafi knew them all. The awkwardness of puppy love, the friskiness of teen romance, the philosophy of unrequited love and the anguish of heartbreak - he could explore every crevice of ardour. It wasn't just love, his voice could capture the navras of life - a failed poet's melancholy, a fiery unionist's vim, a debt-ridden farmer's despair, really anybody at all.Rafi, whose career spanned nearly four decades, was a singer for every season and every reason."