Songs With A Difference – When The Singers Give A Cameo Performance

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Routine life or the monotony of the routine life sometimes becomes predictable and boring. One feels a need for a holiday or a get together or a day spend with friend. Everyone needs a change from the monotony. It not only makes the mind fresh but it relaxes and rejuvenates us bringing back the lost energy. All things around us need some change sometime somewhere. Be it food, clothing, place, atmosphere. Because sometimes it is the change that we need to make things worthwhile or make progress. The field of entertainment is vast and hence it has to keep on evolving with new ideas and new thoughts. Sometimes a surprise in the monotony cheers us and brings happiness. Changes in the field of music is also important. For one cannot go on listening to same structure of songs over and over. Some major, some minor changes here and there in a song delights the listeners. In Hindi film music genre these experiments have been carried out extensively by all the major music directors. I’ve been trying to classify those songs under the heading Songs With A Difference, which are different from the regular style of the popular music. Here is another category which will interest our readers. Songs where the singers have done a cameo performance. A category where the other singer might not be given the credit for the records in that particular song.
Example – If an entire song has been rendered by Asha Bhonsle and Mohammed Rafi gets to sing only a few words, unintelligible or he might be just humming throughout the song instead of a the mukhda and the anatara of a usual duet. I’ve already written one such article about the cameos by the singers here. Let us make a list of such songs where one of the singers is just humming or saying just a few unintelligible words in between. Duets with a difference.

1. Pyaase Nain (1954) – Lyrics by Waheed Qureshi and composed by S K Pal, this duet has Asha Bhonsle and Talat Mahmood where Talat sings the entire songs while Asha just hums along.

2. House No. 44 (1955) – Under the baton of S D Burman, the duet is rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar, where Hemant Kumar hums throughout the song.

3. Inspector (1956) – Composed by Hemant Kumar, rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and Hemant Kumar, where again Hemant Kumar hums throughout the song.

4. Chori Chori (1956) – A lilting melody by Shankar Jaikishan, rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and chorus by Manna Dey.

5. Paying Guest (1957) – Composed by S D Burman and rendered by Asha Bhonsle and Kishore Kumar, here Asha gets to hum for Nutan.

6. Sone Ki Chidiya (1958) – Talat Mahmood sings for himself while Asha hums for Nutan again under the baton of O P Nayyar.

7. Bindiya (1960) – Picturised on Padmini and Balraj Sahni, rendered by Mukesh and humming by Usha Khanna while it is composed by Iqbal Qureshi.

8. Maya (1961) – A beautiful composition by Salil Chowdhury, rendered by Dwijen Mukherjee and the background choir is by Lata Mangeshkar.

9. Leader (1964) – Here Mohammed Rafi gets to sing only the aalaps while the rest of the song is by Lata Mangeshkar, composed by Naushad.

10. Pyar Kiye Jaa (1966) – Under the baton of composer duo Laxmikant Pyarelal, Lata Mangeshkar sings while Mahendra Kapoor gets the humming part.

11. Johny Mera Naam (1971) – Composed by the duo Kalyanji Anandji, Kishore Kumar sings for Dev Anand and Usha Khanna hums for Hema Malini.

12. Veer Zara (2005) – Music by late Madan Mohan recreated by his son Sanjeev Kohli, rendered by Sonu Nigam and humming by Lata Mangeshkar.

Avid music lover and Dev Anand fan


  1. Yogesh

    August 14, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Nice compilation!

    One more such song is “na tum hume jaano” (male version) from Baat Ek Raat Ki, wherein Hemantda has sung the full song, while Sumanji sings an aalap between the two antaraas..

    One more song thay comes to my mind is “ye mausam beega bheega hai” from Dharti, which does not strictly fit innthis category, but wherein Lataji sings just the mukhda at the beginning and thereafter a taan followed by the mukhda at the end of each antaraa, while Rafi sahab sings all the antaraas..


    August 18, 2018 at 10:12 pm

    The write up is really innovative and thought provoking.Kind attention to sl.
    no 9 Leader song where duet is sung by Rafi and Asha Bhosle and not by Lataji..I request correction.thnks.

    • Deepa

      August 23, 2018 at 12:19 pm

      Will do the needful.Thank you for correcting.

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