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Shabbir Kumar

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Biography

Shabbir Kumar started his music career with the stage show Ek Shaam Rafi Ke Naam, a tribute to Mohammed Rafi. Shabbir claims that when he attended Rafi’s funeral in 1980, his watch fell into Rafi’s open grave. He interpreted the incident as a divine message that he was to be Rafi’s successor. [1]

Music director Usha Khanna gave Shabbir Kumar a break in the film Tajurba (1981). Shabbir got a major break, when the director Manmohan Desai, who was looking for a Rafi substitute, noticed him recommended him to music director duo Laxmikant-Pyarelal (L-P). Within a few days, L-P gave Shabbir Kumar songs in the film Coolie, which was released in 1983. Shabbir’s first released film with L-P was Main Intequam Loonga.

Shabbir Kumar was first noted for a duet with Lata Mangeshkar, Shaam Hai Ye Kuch Khoyi Khoyi from Prem Tapasya (1983). Music director Anu Malik got him to sing for Rajeev kapoor in his debut film Ek Jaan Hain Hum (1983). Shabbir Kumar was acknowledged as a leading playback singer with the film Betaab. Music director Rahul Dev Burman got him to sing all the five songs for Sunny Deol. Also, in 1983, Coolie was released, in which L-P had given him all the seven songs, six for Amitabh Bachchan, and one for Rishi Kapoor.

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