Singers other than Mohammad Rafi who sang for Shammi Kapoor


Sharada Iyer

The moment we think of Shammi Kapoor, a variety of songs flash across our mind with Rafi’s inimitable energetic vocals matching Shammi’s unique and exuberant dancing . So deep was Rafi Saab’s understanding of Shammi Kapoor’s personality that he would modify some parts of the song to add that crucial ‘X-factor’ in anticipation of Shammi Kapoor’s on-screen movements. The result was sheer magic…and over the years this magic has remained intact and has only added to the high recall value of Shammi’s songs. Indeed it is difficult to imagine the actor without the singer…

…and yet a careful observation brings to light the fact that not only have ten (10) other singers sung for Shammi Kapoor apart from Rafi, but he probably holds the record of having maximum number of singers-eleven(11)- who have ever sung for an actor in Hindi films!!!

On Shammi Kapoor’s birth anniversary today, here is a list of the 10 singers , apart from Rafi, who lent their voice to Shammi Kapoor on screen…No doubt they all tried to add their own kind of charm, yet they are not heard often when compiling a list of the popular songs of Shammi Kapoor ….


Film: Bluffmaster (1963)

This lovely song from the Manmohan Desai directed comic-caper Bluffmaster, had Saira Banu opposite Shammi Kapoor with Pran providing the interesting third angle of the triangle. In this song many of Shammi’s gestures remind one of elder brother Raj Kapoor… Wonder how their careers would have shaped had Rafi Saab sung for Raj Kapoor and Mukesh for Shammi Kapoor !!!

Film: Singapore (1960)

This title song is from the thriller Singapore and had Padmini as Shammi Kapoor’s heroine. Directed by Shakti Samantha this song has an uncanny similarity in picturization to the title song from An Evening in Paris directed by the same director but sung by Rafi for Shammi Kapoor… This film was one of the first full length feature films to be shot in Singapore.


Film: Boyfriend (1961)

Subir Sen’s voice sounded so much like Hemant Kumar’s that it was very difficult at times to actually tell the difference. He had popular songs like ’Main rangeela pyaar ka raahi…’ and’ Manzil wohi hai pyaar ki…’ to his credit.This song in the blog is taken from the film Boyfriend and had the lovely Madhubala opposite him. This film was a remake of the 1942 box-office super-hit Kismet starring Ashok Kumar but just could not whip up the magic of the original.


Film: Bluffmaster (1963)

This was a sad song picturized on Shammi Kapoor in the film Bluffmaster…


Film: Laila Majnu (1953)

This song is taken from one of Shammi Kapoor’s early films in the very first year of his career and had him play the eternal lover ‘Majnu’ opposite Nutan in the role of ‘Laila’.


Film: Vidhaata (1980)

Shammi Kapoor had once mentioned in an interview that though he and Kishore Kumar had been very good friends the latter never got an opportunity to sing for Shammi during his career as a hero. Only after Rafi passed away, Kishore Kumar sang this song from Vidhaata but by this time Shammi Kapoor had become a character actor…


Film: Vidhaata (1980)

In the same film, Suresh Wadekar also got to playback for Shammi Kapoor, who incidentally played the role of Dilip Kumar’s friend . While Shammi Kapoor was a staunch believer of destiny, Dilip Kumar believed in charting his own course instead of just leaving things to destiny. The song captured the essence of their friendly banter…


Film: Parvarish (1977)

In this Manmohan Desai directed film, Shammi Kapoor played father to Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna. As Kishore Kumar was the top singer of the time, he got to sing for the hero Amitabh Bachchan, Rafi sang for Vinod Khanna and youngster Shailendra Singh was the voice of Shammi Kapoor who was by then only a character actor…


Film: Zameer (1975)

This film had shades of the Dev Anand starrer Bambai Ka Babu wherein Amitabh Bachchan enters a rich household pretending to be Shammi Kapoor and Indrani Mukherjee’s long-lost son. The party thrown for the celebration had Shammi Kapoor lip-synching to Mahendra Kapoor’s robust vocals…


Compared to the other singers, Manna Dey sang quite a few songs for Shammi Kapoor depicting various moods like romance, fun, poignancy,etc.

Film:Ujala (1959)

Film: Jaane Anjaane (1971)


Film: Ujala (1959) 


Film: Bluffmaster (1963)

Shammi Kapoor was one of the few male actors who have had a female playback singer singing for them.  Here he dons a disguise to participate in a qawwaali contest against the heroine Saira Banu…



12 thoughts on “Singers other than Mohammad Rafi who sang for Shammi Kapoor

  1. This is probably the most unusual article I’ve ever read!!!! Subconscious brain only associates shammi with rafi ….and yet….I love the way your style of writing changes with the mood and content of the article. Great work! Will sit and listen to the songs aaraaam se!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I am not a big Shammi Kapoor fan, but I have been a fan of his swaggger and his songs. Until I read this piece, I wouldn’t have known of the 10 singers other than Mohd Rafi who sang for him.

    I wonder too, how their careers would have shaped had Rafi Saab sung for Raj Kapoor and Mukesh for Shammi Kapoor… Sharada, you’ve got a head that’s a fusion of a researcher’s brain and a creative mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on ashokbhatia and commented:
    When it comes to playback support, some actors-singers get typified. Some actors have a diversified back up from different singers.
    Fans of Shammi Kapoor would love this well-researched blog post!


  4. Mazaa aa gaya ….What a recap . I wonder what thought trains went through the director’s / music director’s mind when they switch from a popular voice combination to something new

    Liked by 1 person

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