The golden era of Bollywood comprised of music full of nostalgic tunes and ageless songs that were like the pristine pleasures of life.

International Men’s day is aimed at highlighting those men who make a positive difference in the world. Therefore, we look back at the melodious past and seek to bring you the top male playback singers who inspired the generations of music lovers and enthusiasts. Saregama Carvaan has a vintage collection of high-quality old Bollywood songs. You can listen to 5000 pre-loaded songs with Carvaan Gold.

The legendary singers had a penchant for setting musical benchmarks with their mellifluous voice and sheer commitment towards their work. The phenomenal popularity of Hindi songs of the Bollywood’s golden era stands tall as the testimony to their exceeding talent. Another facet which is often overlooked is that singers used to sing with a live orchestra. Therefore, making a mistake was not an option, and music directors were perfectionists.


Mohammed Rafi

Rafi Sahab or Rafi Da, as he is fondly remembered was a great student of music. In his formative years, he was inspired by a wandering fakir in his village who sang soulful songs. Also, it was his determination to become a Bollywood playback singer that convinced his father to allow him to leave his native place and come to Mumbai. The rest is history. India got one of the most prolific male singers of the era.

To his name are some of the most memorable songs like Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe, Dil Ke Jharoke Mein, Ye Reshmi Zulfein, Khush Rahe Tu Sada, and many more. His magical voice enhanced the tunes and the timelessness of songs, almost filling our hearts with warmth and peace.

He inspired the modern sensational singing star like Sonu Nigam who won the Rafi competition at the age of 15.

He was also well known for qualities like discipline and professionalism, the likes of which can be imbibed by the upcoming singers today. A great role model indeed.


Kishore Kumar

One of the most versatile singers and multi-talented artist of Bollywood, Kishore Kumar, though debatable, was the most popular singing legend of the golden era. The yodeling style in Hindi songs was introduced and made popular by him. His record number of Filmfare awards for Best Male Playback Singer remains unbroken even today. The very fact that he was untrained makes it much more inspiring.

The highlight of his songs like Mere Mehboob Qayamat, Aanewala Pal, Kuchh To Log Kehenge, Chala Jaata Hun was that it captured the imagination and enraptured the hearts. Another outstanding characteristic of Kishore Kumar songs is that it appeals to the senses and sensibilities of the present generation even after three decades since his demise.



Winner of 4 Filmfare awards and a National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer, Mukesh was one of the finest singers of Bollywood industry with a melodious voice. Coming from a humble background, he started singing in his native village. Later, he came to Mumbai where the competition was too much.

He eventually became the voice of none other than superstar Raj Kapoor, the showman of Bollywood. Their combination gave several super hits such as Awaara Hun, Mera Joota Hai Japani, Bol Radha Bol, Dost Dost Na Raha. He also sang the evergreen romantic song ‘Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil’ which remains exuberant and appealing even now.

He was known as The Man with the Golden Voice recognized for the deep anguish and pain in his songs expressing heartbreaks and despair.    

Manna Dey

Manna Dey was a legend of Bollywood music industry in his own unique way. With classical training, quality voice, good range, and passion for music, he carved out a style of his own. He brought classical music and qawwali to the masses. ‘Ae Meri Zohra Jabeen’ being one of the most loved qawwalis in India film history.

Though music directors used other singers of that period more, Manna Dey sang some of the most memorable songs which people love listening to even today. The songs like Pyar Hua Ikrar Hua, Ae Bhai Zara Dekh Ke Chalo, Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi, Laga Chunari Mei Daag, Dharti Kahe Pukaar Ke, Zindagi Kaise Hai Paheli Hai, Yaari Hai Imaam Mera are super hits forever etched in the hearts.

Manna Dey was known for his camaraderie with his contemporaries like Rafi Da and Kishore Da. He used to lavishly praise the legends for their songs. It is indeed a good lesson to learn for the upcoming singers of the present generation.


The list of top male singers would be incomplete without mentioning names like Hemant Kumar, Jagjit Singh, southern singing stars like K. J. Yesudas, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam. All these legends had a distinct style and inspired the singers of today.


You can listen to super hit songs from the top Bollywood male playback singers in Carvaan Gold. The digital audio player consists of 5000 pre-loaded songs of all your favourite male singers.

This International Men’s Day, remember the melodious men who contributed so much and changed the musical scene of Bollywood with Saregama Carvaan.