Shahid Rafi on Lata Mangeshkar: Nobody has the guts to stand up against her!

Shahid Rafi on Lata Mangeshkar: Nobody has the guts to stand up against her!

Mohammed Rafi’s son strongly refutes veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar’s story about his father’s apology letter to her, and threatens to take legal action against her

Shahid Rafi is an angry man. His fury is directed at Lata Mangeshkar, who recently claimed that Shahid’s father Mohammed Rafi wrote her a letter of apology, making up with her after a fight the two singers had many years ago. Rafi and Lata refused to work with each other after that skirmish, until – Lata claims – he wrote a letter to her saying sorry. But Shahid insists that nothing like that ever happened. He says, “From 1961-67, my father was a star playback singer. All top heroes wanted him to sing for them. So there is no question of my father apologising to Lata Mangeshkar. My dad has no competition. It was Lata who was insecure. I will consult my lawyers and take legal action in eight to 10 days.”

But he adds that if Lata sends him an apology, he will hold off on speaking to lawyers about the matter. “If she can produce the letter that my father wrote to her, I will issue a written apology.”

However, there is also some hurt that colours his words. “Why has she raised the topic after 15 years, when there is nobody to defend either Rafi saab or Jaikishen saab (of music director duo Shankar-Jaikishen)? It hurts when she makes such comments. Both Rafi and Lata are legends, but even Lataji‘s fans have been hurt by such statements by her.”

Shahid has even tried to speak to the singer about this whole issue. But “Lataji never takes our calls. Sometimes she’s in the bathroom, sometimes she’s busy….”

He is not alone in the fight he reveals, though he is not willing to say who is on his side. “I have full support from the industry, but I cannot take names. Nobody has the guts to stand up against Lataji. She’s a great singer, but I can’t say the same thing about her as a person. I feel she needs publicity because she has fewer fans now.”

This whole war of words is getting acrimonious indeed. Will either side give in gracefully and end the bitter impasse before it snowballs into something unstoppable? We certainly hope so!Subscribe to me on YouTube


  • jasbir singh

    i think lata pagal ho gayi hai. actually aaj ki date mein usko koi bhi poouch nahi raha hai….jab ke mohameed rafi afterdeath of 32 yrs is still popular………. she is always jealeous……because female singer tu lata se bhi behtar ho sakti thee…per rafi jaisa koi male singer kabhi bhi doobara janam nahi le sakta…………….rafi was great still he is great…………rafi sirf mahan singer he nahi ,, mahan insaan bhi thea,,,,,,,,,,,,lata is gud singer but not gud human being………………….so lata ji aapko is umar mein yeh baten shoba nahi deti……….

    • savi

      u r also tlkin lyk rafi ji’s son. i don’t think she needs 2 do nythng for publicity. bollywaood r still eager 2 sign her as a singer in their films bt she has refused doin so long tym bk jst 2 gve chance 2 new talents. i m not degaradin rafi ji bt thn dont do that wid lata ji too. she is bharat ratna n doesnt need 2 explain nythng.she had d talent thats y she was there 4 such a long tym.no1 cn challenge her talent.may b u dont listn 2 hr bt evn thn rafi’s most duets songs were hit coz of her company only!u cnt deny facts!!!!

      • monu

        All hail king rafi :) the singer rocked 50 yrs a go ..rocked 30 years ago now to …and will rock till eternity ..what voice .And ,he is above such stupid feuds.

        • khursheed

          There is no comptetion between Rafi and Lata as Rafi was uncomparable and Lata is only a good female singer.No one can compare Rafi.Ultimate form of music is Rafi.

          • zamir

            Lata is not a singer , i think if he dont recognise the Rafi’s singing which is uncomparable.Rafi;s all songs are famous till now whereas Lata only 5 to 10 songs are famous.
            Lata is jealous. Tell her to listen sihrdi wale aya hun tere dar pe sawali , which will never die till humanity .

          • Jumbu

            A vast majority of the people living on our planet earth believe it God and pray to God. We are talking of all Gods: Allah, Jesus, Ram, Krishna, Shiva, etc., There is a general belief among people that God hears our voice, God can see us, we can feel God’s presence, some people claim that they have seen God. I often ask people, have you heard God’s voice? How does it sound? Is it female voice or male voice? I don’t get any concrete response. Then when I hear Rafi Sahab’s voice, I get convinced that this is precisely God’s voice. Close your eyes and listen to Rafi Sahab’s devotional songs. He has sung songs on Ram, Krishna, Sai Baba, Devi Ma, Allah, etc., If you’re truly spiritual, you will be convinced that Rafi Sahab’s voice is indeed God’s voice. He took birth only to sing, and in a flash he left all of us.

            Now tell me how could Rafi Sahab agree to collecting royalty. His voice is priceless. How could one put a price tag on God’s voice. All about God is free.

          • savi

            u r right!!hw cn ny1 compare a male n female singer?? as far as lata ji’s talent is concerned, d history tells it itself.
            lataji was d sole best female singer at that time while rafiji had many big competitors like kishore da, mannadey ji, mukesh ji , mahendra kapoor ji etc.then y would she feel insecure? if rafiji was able 2 create a niche 4 himself due 2 his sheer talent n ability then same is true about lata ji also.
            dunno but nowadays it has become a fashion 2 question ability of well established people who have proved themselves over n over again.
            no1 was asked 2 sign lataji 4 one’s song at gun point, but they did coz they needed her! they could have also followed o.p. naiyyer sahab’s footsteps who didn’t make lata sing any of his songs. still it doesn’t make any difference 2 d stature of any 1 of them.
            in this male dominated world, people always find it easy 2 question d success n talent of a single lady n if they feel defeated, they start making personal attacks.during her long career span, many people have accused her of being jealous but she always took all d criticism with dignity n silence.does it means that any 1 can cm n insult her any time 2 get publicity?
            if she had said somethng abt rafi ji it means she must have been there n seen that. i guess she knows him professionally better than his son mr. shahid rafi. right!its d same lata ji who could not sleep 4 days after rafi ji’s sad demise n had 2 take sedatives n injections 2 come out of shock n get sm could she malign his image??
            last but not d matter what her critics say, her supporters will keep loving her for being humble, composed n sweet.long live lata ji!
            i think she was right when she said..”agale janam mohe bitiya na kijo..!” sigh!

      • ayub

        i think u are denying the fact that the songs like tum mujhe yu bhola na paoge, aji humse bachkar kaha jaeiaga, teri ankho k siva and many more are the songs sung by by both of them individually but the reports are clear that Rafi Sahabs song flew up to popularity….

        • shankar

          I can say Rafi is better than Latha. To justify this statement please listen the solo songs which both have sung separately and Rafi version of singing has become more popular . I give you some examples:

          1. mere meheboob tujhe meri mohabat ki kasam
          2. dil jona kehe saka hori raazedil
          3. tum mujhe yun bhulana paaoge
          4. o mere shahe khuba o meri jaane janaana
          5 wadiyan mera daaman raasthe meri baahen
          6 teri aakhon kesiva duniyan me rakha kya hai

          some more are there but not in memory.

          dear SAVI I think you will agree with me. Quarreling is latha’s “born gift”

          • Nasir Shahid

            Lata greatest female singer. Agreed. But not the greatest overal singer. That accolade goes to Rafi Saheb only, along with one of the best human you can find. That is shared by every colleague he has worked with. Rafi Saab helped the greats like RD Burman and Kishore Kumar to get into limelight. On the other hand Lataji didn’t even support her sister Ashaji when she had her trouble time with her first marriage and early struggle with her singing career. Ashaji rose into prominence with her own efforts. Whenever both sisters sung duets Ashaji was the better singer. Even Rafi Saab had provided that apology letter, it is from the greatness of a man that he was. That creates a bigger respect for RIP Rafi Saab, the greates singer to grace this earth. If you don’t agree then hear Magarita of Elvis (so called king) and Kaun Hai Jo Sapno Mein Aaya. You will agree.

        • Aron

          Ayub, I really hope you are not blinded by love for Rafi saab’s religion!

  • pantalu

    In the world of music, this rivalry is not good. Singing is talent from the Gods. If people are fighting for royalty they are basically singing for money and this is not good. THERE SHOULD NOT BE ANY COMPROMISE ON QUALITY. Probably the greatest singer of all times is Yesudas who would have made Hindi music lovers go mad after him. Look at what politics usually does. This singer, in my opinion, has not been able to give his best to bollywood. Who are the losers ? – The music lovers of this country. If it is 20 percent politics in other countries, it is 75 percent politics in India. This is cheap attitude of our people and inability to face fair competition. They want to win somehow no matter what path needs to be taken. But such wins are short term and cannot help them take long strides.

    • Prabhat

      Who Yesudas?????

      • savi

        “gori tera gaon bada pyara..”, “aaj se pehale aaj se jyada khusi aaj tak nahin mili..” , “chand jaise mukhde pe bindiya sitara..” fame singer! yes he was good singer bt his voice suited 2 folk n specific kind of music!

      • Kamarudin

        Prabhat, really shameful!!! Yesudas is the one and only singer to win 7 national awards !!! He is in the industry for 50 year with his crown. Still he admires Rafi Sahib as his “MAHA GURU”.

    • savi

      yes !there is throat cut competition bt in d long race only d fittest n best survived!

  • Merwan Irani

    Sad That an established singer like Lataji has made comments on the spat with Rafi saahab 32 yrs after his death I

  • savi

    as far as royalty issue is concerned, i feel she was right in supporting it.many singers thank her 4 this step which gave them their right. after all they r also humans n need 2 lead a decent life.

  • neeraj anand

    lata is talking nonsense

  • neeraj anand

    after the feud composers replaced lata by other female singers in duets of films brahmachari,raajkumarand jeene ki raah, while rafi s position would be intact.if lata would be more indespensible than rafi then rafi would have been replaced with another male singers.the feud did not affect rafi but only lata.hence lata was more in need of tendering an apology to rafi.whether she apologised to rafi or not should be the topic of discussion.

  • ayub

    Lata has proved that she has talent for earning money not for entertainment…….and Rafi Sahab proved that he used his talent for his fans not for money…..!

  • c.s iyer

    we are with you.Don’t worry. in my opinion the old lady
    neither great singer nor perfect singer. after all she is popular singer. we can find thousand Latas in streets but not a single Rafi & Shamshad begaum.Her sibbling also behaved like her in respect of OP sabb.The sisters in their eighties better confine them self to their homes and sing bhajans if at all they want to sing. Let them learn lesson from legends like Shamshad Begaum, Manna da,Pran saab & Dilip Saab.

  • Mishaikh

    1.Check who sung maximum duets during that stand off ,was it Rafisaab with other females or Lata with Mahendra Kapoor considering that he would have been the next best choice for MDs preferring Rafisaab.
    2.Was the letter in Urdu/Hindi/Marathi?

    • prateek

      rafi saab & his family have always shown an exemplary forbearance by tolerating the humiliation of the greatest singer of this earth of all times.even before lata mangeshkar was awarded the Bharat Ratna,it should have been conferred on md rafi.rafi’s voice an extraordinary creation of the Almighty is unparalleled in this world.If any voice deserves comparison to rafi’s then it is undoubtedly lata’s.but lata had some limitations both as a singer & playback singer.but rafi had no limitation.for quawwali numbers composers used to spurn lata for Asha Bhosle,but Rafi’s position was intact for all sorts of songs ranging from quawwalis & ghazals to bhajans,pathetic to hilarious,patriotic to romantic

  • anto

    Ha..Ha..ha..Yesudas!!!…you mean that bearded singer who sings every song like a sad song..Common get a life dude…He is good in singing only in malayalam because every song feels like sad which can be used in situations where somebody dies. That’s why he got only very few songs in other languages. The best opportunity for him to become No.1 other than his mother tongue was in tamil when T.M. Soundarajan was ageing in mid 70s and M.G.R was supporting this fellow mallu. But even then he couldn’t do that mainly because of his lack of versatility and the rise of versatile singer S.P.Balasubramanaim. As far as Hindi films are concerned he stood no chance against Kishore Kumar. He can best become another Mukesh. But that was not possible because the kind of immortal hits Mukesh has given.

    • Arun

      Your prejudice just stares at me from your writing. Yesudas is a great singer. You heard just one or two songs and let your prejudice and ego decide for you. Patehtic!

  • Hemant Naik

    Lata is old now. Lets forgive her. It has pained everyone when she tried to belittle the great soul Late Mohammad Rafi. It was one-upmanship on her part, which is a flaw in her personality. It also smacks of arrogance. There is already a deep pain in the hearts of Rafi fans all over the world that he truly deserved a Bharat Ratna and not a mere Padmashree. It is only shows a moral bankruptcy on Govt’s part. Rafi could sing in all 3 octaves and he could pitch his voice much deeper than Lata. Unlike Lata, he could sing all types of songs. How could she looked down to a person, who was pious, noble and an extremely good human being.

    • srelesh

      Well said friend.. could not agree more.

  • savi

    lata ji has agn proved her greatness by not replying 2 his absurd remarks!

  • Punit Choubey

    i think in bollywood world, no any singer can compare himself or herself with late md. rafi. in their contraversy, rafi sahab refused to take royalty, not, every body think very clearly that who is right human being and who respect more the soul of singing. i was also a fan of lata but not now after hearing her version about legend rafi (sat suro ke malik), who is not now before us to defend himself. lata may be a good singer but not a human being as rafi

  • tinku

    thik kaha punit ji aapne, lata ji ki soch is umar me bhi itni gandi hai, socha ke tajjub hota hai, mujhe lagta hai lata ji ko abhi bhi royalty chahiye, are rafi sahab ko to upar wale ka dusra rup kaha jata hai, kisi ne lata ke bare me aisa kaha hai kya,are lata ji sharam karo rafi sahab ke gujarne ke 32 sal bad unke bare me aisa kahna aap kya kisi insan ko sobha nahi deta, apne life me aap hi single aisi singer ya aurat mili hai jo rafi sahab ke bare me aisa kaha hai, aapko log ek ache singer ke rup me jante hoge par rafi sahab ki log puja krte hai, aap jaisi awaj wali saikdo raste me mil sakti hai, par rafi sahab jaisa fankar sadiyo me ek bar janam leta hai.

    • Chandramohan

      One small correction. There will be no singer or person like Rafi Sahab born again. Sadiyo mein bhi nehe.

    • plnsramacharyulu

      there was no necessity for rafisab to ask lataji sorry.itis pinchingand
      s not good on her paart to say like this after raafisabs is ld pinching many rafis favourites andlatas.bharatratna awardee should not say like that.

  • dhiraj baliyase

    in the royalty issue both the singers had their own perfect views.lata wanted rafi’s help as she felt if they joined hands the producers could not say – no.lata was once told by rafi during a recording that he gave aziz nazan rs 500/- , a hefty amount then,to help him out of his dire financial straits.lata averred if a singer’s position can be so pathetic he must get royalty.rafi’s point on the other hand was that the moment the singer sings a song he is paid and after that he is not entitled to any royalty or can he claim it on a song’s success,when he does not compensate for its any possible failure?both raised points right in their own ways.lata,i admit had a better and singer-friendly.but rafi was well within his right to think on his own.when lata could not convince rafi she refused to sing with him .rafi also reciprocated by saying he was not willing to sing with her either.rafi was not an egoist but in lata ‘s matter he was.if it had been usha mangeshkar,rafi would have initiated the patch-up.but he would never approached lata for one.he would die but he would not.lataji put an end to your fabricated story.

  • chinnu

    on the issue of royalty,rafi and lata fought with each other.what is most noticable is that lata fought to take money while rafi foight not to take money.then who is greater?

  • shireesh

    manna de openly admits that he has been rafi s fan and that he has always learnt from rafi s exemplary gaayaki.such a confession by that manna de who had first refused to sing “ek chatur nar” with kishore for ‘padosan ‘as it would show his voice being defeated by kishore’s.manna de could not swallow that he would play a second fiddle to kishore even in a fictitious scene in the film.and that manna da always admitted that rafi was superior to him and he he learnt from his singing.according to him,the modulation and throw of rafi’s voice is impossible to be emulated by any other singing artist.manna once said that if a list of the greatest singers be made, then the first ten rungs would be reserved for rafi and from 11 th all other singers’ counting would start.

  • Ajinkya

    Rafi Sahab bahut hi bade singer hai.
    Lata di ki comparision unake sath nahi ho sakti. Are bahi lata ne khud Rafi ji se gana gana sikha hai.
    Rafi ek bahut hi ache insan the.
    Lata ji ne ye kam acha nahi kiya. Aapne music ke god ko challenge kiya hai.
    main maratha hun phir bhi lata ko aaj se like nahi karuna.
    Main Md Rafi ka chahata hun.

  • Prasad

    lata didi and rafi saab are great in their own respect. These controversies are just made to attract people. I mean lata didi is a genuine person who will not hype things. She knows better what happened than Rafi Saa’bs son who must be a kid then. Both of them are legends. Don’t spoil the legacy of these great singers. Both are unique in their own respect. Rafi saab’s son is just keen to make an issue. No one can get even close to lata didi. So many singers are trying for decades. Just leave them aside. We are just too timid to comment on these great singers. The giants of Indian music are our pride. Please respect them and don’t spoil the legacy.

    • Arun

      All these people have their ego. It is told that Lata ji never let any one else come up. Yesudas could not shine because of her ego. Wonder what the truth is!

  • Bashirahmed.

    latamangeshkar bilkul zooth bol rahi hai, shahid rafi jaldse jald kanooni karwai karani chahiye, jabtak vo letter saare duniya me base rafisahab ke chahanewalo ke samane ana chahiye tab jakar doodh ka doodh pani ka pani ho jayega.

  • Vijayv

    Lataji is good singer,we admit….BUT Rafi Sahab …is unmatchable Lataji can be born again in next 100 yrs but Rafi sahab jaisa insaan 1000 sadi main 1 Bar aata hai….From this stage I convey my message to her that at least now lataji…please stop this type of politices and admit that rafi sahab is great..apne suron ko dusre k dil main pahuchane k liye dil ka saaf hona bahut zaruri hai….man jitna saaf hoga awaz ki gaharai utni hi hogi….
    10000 saa roti hai nargisi apni benoori par…
    tab jake hota hai chaman main didawar aisa….aap ko bhagwan ka shukra guzar hona chahiye…Rafi saahab ne aap k sath gaya….