The Mohammed Rafi award, instituted by Spandan Arts, a NGO headed by Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar, was bestowed upon singer Udit Narayan and musician Usha Khanna at a programme in Mumbai on Saturday.
Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who was the chief guest, presented the awards to the duo and termed Rafi as a legendary singer.
“Singer Rafi sahab was not only a legendary singer in himself, but he made many actors legendary by his unsubstitutable voice,” said Pradhan.
Terming Rafi as “one-time born” singer, Narayan said, “We can get lessons from Rafi sahab. But we can never become Rafi. He has become immortal.”
During the programme, Narayan sang the first song which he had sung with Rafi in 1980.
Acknowledging Rafi’s “outstanding contribution” to Hindi film music, Khanna said his songs would continue to give tremendous joy and listening pleasure for generations to come.