Mohammad Rafi (December 24, 1924 – July 31, 1980) was an Indian recording artist who is considered by many to be one of the greatest Indian playback singers of all time in Hindi Film Industry. In his lifetime, he was awarded the National Film Award, Best National Singer Award and six Filmfare Awards. In 1967, he was honoured with the Padma Shri award by the Government of India. In 2000, the Stardust magazine named him the "Best Singer of the Millenium". His singing career spanned about 35 years, and he is noted for his ability to sing songs of different moods and varieties: his songs ranged from classical numbers to patriotic songs, sad lamentations to highly romantic numbers, qawwalis to ghazals and bhajans. He is best known for romantic and duet songs and, as a playback singer, his ability to mould his voice to the persona of the actor lip-synching the song.
Rafi is primarily noted for his songs in Hindi-Urdu, over which he had a strong command. He also sang in other Indian languages including Konkani, Bhojpuri, Oriya, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Sindhi, Kannada, Gujarati, Telugu, Maghi, Maithili and Assamese. He also recorded a few songs in English, Persian, Spanish and Dutch. From available figures, Rafi sang 4,516 Hindi film songs, 112 non-Hindi film songs, and 328 private (non-film) songs from 1945 to 1980.