Mahendra Kapoor was a playback singer in 1960’s, and he became popular for singing songs for music composers like O P Nayyar and Ravi. He was inspired by singers like Mohammed Rafi and even Mohammed Rafi congratulated him many times for the quality of his voice; Rafi found Mahendra’s voice a bit classical. Overall, the singer has sung 2,500 songs in various Indian languages. He was noticed for singing in every movie of B.R.Chopra and their association continued till the release of NIkkah.

The singer shot to fame and popularity with songs such as 'Chalo Ek Baar Phir Se Ajnabi Ban Jayen Hum Dono' (Gumrah), and 'Neele Gagan Ke Tale' (Hamraaz). He made his debut in playback singing in V. Shantaram's Navrang in 1958, singing Aadha Hai Chandrama Raat Aadhi, under the musical direction of C. Ramchandra. He was noticed through this song, and he was the voice of many of the movies of Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Manoj Kumar. Manoj Kumar replaced Talat Mehmood and had given consideration for Mahendra Kapoor in his films like ‘Purab Aur Paschim’, ‘Upkar’, ‘ Kranti’, ‘Roti Kapada Aur Makaan’ and ‘Shor’.

Mahendra also sang a duet with Mohammed Rafi for Dilip Kumar’s ‘Aadmi’(1967). The song was ‘Kaisi Haseen Aaj Baharon Ki Rat’ picturised on Dilip Kumar and Manoj Kumar. He received National Award for best male playback singer for Manoj Kumar’s film ‘Upkar’. The song ‘"Mere Desh Ki Dharti’ was composed by Kalyanji Anandji and had Mahendra singing for it.
Mahendra also sang a famous duet with Lata Mangeshkar for ‘Jiske Sapne Hame Roj Aate Rahe’ which was composed by Kalyanji Anandji. Some of his notable songs are ‘Neele Gagan Ke Tale" (Hamraaz), "Chalo Ek Baar" (Gumrah) and "Kisi Pathar Ki Moorat Se"(Hamraaz). He also sang for Laxmikant Pyarelal, Ravindra Jain, R.D. Burman, etc. The singer also sang for Marathi movies and was considered the ghost voice for Dada Kondke.

Mahendra was born on 9 January 1934 in Punjab. He came to Bombay after he had won the Metro Murphy All-India singing competition. Here he got a break to sing in movies. Although he was inspired by Mohammed Rafi, he created a style of his own in playback singing. This talented singer had a classical training from various classical singers such as Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan and Pt.Tulsidaas Sharma to name a few. Mahendra was the recipient of Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1972. The singer was married and had a son Rohan Kapoor, who is a singer and actor. The singer passed away on 27 September 2008 in Mumbai.

Mohammed Rafi Hindi Actor

Mohammed Rafi

Mohammed Rafi is a renowned Indian playback singer who dominated Bollywood for over three decades where no singer could equal his mighty classical voice or even come closer to him in his voice quality; that was appreciated across the globe. He was at the height of his career when actors like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, and Raj Kapoor ruled the industry. He was the most sought after singer in the film industry as he gave his vocal for actors like Dev Anand, Raj Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Sunil Dutt, Dharmendra, and Jeetendra. Although he did playback for actors like Pradeep Kumar, Bharat Bhushan and a comedian like Johnny Walker or Mehmood, his tonal quality suited even Guru Dutt too. That is why Guru Dutt often repeated Mohammed Rafi in his films.   Rafi is indeed one of the versatile playback singers that the country has produced so far. No singer even now can draw any parallel to his style of singing; He was equally eased in singing qawwalis, ghazals, romantic, bhajans, patriotic, classical or sad numbers. He has received six Filmfare Awards and one National Film Award. He was honored with Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1967. Rafi was born on 24 December 1924 in Punjab. He moved to Mumbai to establish himself as a singer in 1944. After partition, he decided to stay in Mumbai. He was given a chance to sing in a chorus in his early career days. But it was Naushad who noticed his voice quality and gave him maximum melodious compositions. Thus in his early career, he got associated with music composer Naushad and later in late 1950’s and 1960’s he worked with other composers like S.D. Burman, Ravi, Madan Mohan, Shankar Jaikishan, and O.P.Nayyar. After Naushad, it was in every composition of O.P.Nayyar that the singer had given maximum hits.  It is indeed difficult to trace the best songs of Rafi. Rafi has sung maximum songs for Laxmikant-Pyarelal and maximum duet songs with Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, and Manna Dey. If S.D. Burman used Rafi’s voice for Guru Dutt and Dev Anand, Naushad allowed the singer to sing for actors like Dilip Kumar and Bharat Bhushan. In association with Shankar Jaikishen, Rafi gave maximum solo hits that were featured on Rajendra Kumar or Shammi Kapoor. Music composers allowed his voice to get suitable for actors like Raj Kumar and Sunil Dutt.  Rafi has sung a patriotic song ‘"Kar Chale Hum Fida" for music composer Madan Mohan, which is played even today on Independence Day or Republic Day function in India.  Rafi’s career graph declined when R.D. Burman allowed Kishore Kumar to sing for Rajesh Khanna. However, filmmakers like Nasir Hussain and Manmohan Desai took keen interest to retain Mohammed Rafi’s voice in films they chose to direct. If Rajesh Khanna had opted for Kishore Kumar, Dharmendra had considered only Rafi’s voice in many of his films. Rafi had influenced many singers like Mahendra Kapoor and Sonu Nigam in playback singing. Rafi also sang with contemporary singers like Kishore Kumar and Mahendra Kapoor.  Rafi has sung over 28,000 songs in 11 Indian languages between 1944 and April 1980. The singer passed away on 31 July 1980. Even today, no singer in India had been able to fill the vacant space that he had left.  

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Aarti Mukherji

Aarti Mukherji is a noted female playback singer who dominated the Bengali cinema for quite some time. She was the most sought after playback singer in Bengali movies along with other playback singers like Asha Bhosle, Geeta Dutt, and Lata Mangeshkar. But she received national fame only after getting a chance to sing in films like Geet Gata Chal, under Ravindra Jain. She also sang for other movies like ‘Tapasya’, that was featured on Raakhee Gulzar, which was another composition from Ravindra Jain. In this film, she got a chance to sing a Hindi song with Kishore Kumar. The song, ‘Do Panchhi Do Tinke’, was another popular song from the singer. Her duet song, ‘Shyam Teri Bansi Pukare’, with Jaspal Singh, was extremely popular, and her solo numbers like ‘Kar Gaya Kanha’ and ‘Main Wohi Darpan Wohi’ were extremely popular in Binaca Geetmala (a contest then played on All India Radio).  Aarti is well trained in Indian classical music and entered playback singing through a musical contest called "Metro-Murphy Contest", where music directors like Anil Biswas, Naushad, Vasant Desai and C. Ramchandra judged her. This singer always dreamt of going to Mumbai and becoming another Lata Mangeshkar. She got an opportunity to participate in the musical contest when she was just 14 years old. In 1955, she even participated in the “All India Music Talent Programme" to fulfill her dream.  Aarti got her first break in 1958 when Hemant Kumar chose her to sing for a film called ‘Sahara’ (1958), starring Meena Kumari. She also sang for another one of Meena Kumari’s film called Do Dil Char Rahen (1959), but luck did not make it possible for her to become a successful playback singer at a tender age. So she diverted her attention to the Bengali film industry and got her first break while singing in the film, ‘Kanna', which released in 1962. Soon, she became a renowned playback singer providing screen voices for heroines like Suchitra Sen, Aparna Sen, Sharmila Tagore, Madhavi Mukherjee, and Tanuja. She replaced the famous singer Sandhya Mukherjee for actresses like Tanuja and Suchitra Sen, and won many awards from the Bengali film industry.  Aarti was the only singer who reigned the Bengali film industry along with Asha Bhosle then. She has sung many film songs with Manna Dey, Kishore Kumar, and Hemant Kumar. This singer has even given her vocal for private albums and has sung songs in many regional languages too. She was born in 1943 in Calcutta.

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Aarti Mukherji Hindi Actress