Decades ago Bollywood saw two of its greatest singers Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar clash and refuse to sing with one another.
Just days before her 83rd birthday, singer Lata Mangeshkar has ignited the old feud by stating that it was she who refused to sing with Rafi Saab and not other way round. Widely acknowledged as nightingale of India, Lata said that she only appeased after Rafi Saab wrote a written apology to her.
This statement of her has infuriated many of Rafi Saab’s fans and outraged Mohammed Rafi’s son Shahid Rafi. Shahid Rafi has in fact threatened legal action again Lata Mangeshkar if she doesn’t apologize in 10 days.
“My father was national property. I am hurt and so are his fans. His fan following is much bigger than any other artist. If she can prove that my father had written an apology letter to her, then I am ready to apologize. But the main thing is that she should come forward and produce that letter. All I want is that the truth should come out,” said Shahid Rafi at a press conference.
Shahid said that this was a cheap publicity stunt by the legendary singer, who he feels is very insecure.
“I think this is a publicity stunt as she is insecure with the huge fan following my father has, even after his death,” he said.
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Lata Mangeshkar stated that she and Rafi saab fought over royalties and that when he proclaimed he would not sing with her at a meeting attended by other singers, she retaliated by saying that it was she who would not sing with him.
The singer added that the cold war ended between them only when composer Jaikishen made Rafi Saab write a written apology to her.
“I got the letter and ended the cold war. But whenever I'd see him, the hurt would return,” Lataji said.
But Shahid Rafi refuses the existence of any such letter.
“If that is the case, let her show the letter. My father passed away about 25 years ago, and now she is talking about this letter? People keep valuable documents for even fifty years. Why hasn't she retained the paper which would give her dignity?” he said.
Rafi Saab and Lataji had sung many duets together and few of their songs like Chalo Dildar Chalo, Dil Pukare, and Teri Bindiya Re remain few of Bollywood’s most memorable songs.