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S.P. Balasubrahmanyam: The end of an era

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Affectionately referred to as as ‘Balu’ in his associates’ circle, SPB made his singing debut in 1966, and went on to sing over 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages

Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam (4 June 1946 – 25 September 2020), additionally known as S. P. Balu or SPB, was an Indian musician, playback singer, music director, actor, dubbing artist and movie producer who labored predominantly in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam.

Affectionately referred to as as ‘Balu’ in his associates’ circle, SPB made his singing debut in 1966 with the Telugu film Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna, and went on to sing over 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages together with Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi.

 

He additionally gained the Guinness World Record for recording the best quantity of songs by a singer.

He bagged six National Film Awards for Best Male Playback Singer for his songs in 4 totally different languages (Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi), in addition to 25 Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards for his work in Telugu cinema, other than quite a few different state awards from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

In addition, he additionally garnered six Filmfare Awards. In 2012, he acquired the state NTR National Award for his contributions to Indian cinema. In 2016, he was honored with the Indian Film Personality of the Year consisting of a Silver Peacock Medal.

He was a recipient of civilian awards Padma Shri (2001) and Padma Bhushan (2011). On September 25, 2020, he died in MGM Hospital due respiration difficulties, regardless that he recovered from COVID-19.

Early life

SPB was born in Nellore right into a Telugu household. His father, late S. P. Sambamurthy, was a Harikatha artist who had additionally acted in performs. His mom was Sakunthalamma. He has two brothers and 5 sisters, together with singer S. P. Sailaja. His son is S. P. Charan who can be a well-liked south Indian singer, actor and a producer.

Balasubrahmanyam developed an curiosity in music at an early age, studied notations and discovered music. He enrolled at JNTU College of Engineering Anantapur with the intention of changing into an engineer. He discontinued his research early because of typhoid, and joined as an Associate Member of the Institution of Engineers, Chennai.

He continued to pursue music throughout his engineering research and gained awards at singing competitions. In 1964, he gained the primary prize in a music competitors for beginner singers organised by the Madras-based Telugu Cultural Organisation.

He was the chief of a lightweight music troupe composed of Anirutta (on the harmonium), Ilaiyaraaja (on guitar and in a while harmonium), Baskar (on percussion), and Gangai Amaran (on guitar). He was chosen as the very best singer in a singing competitors which was judged by S. P. Kodandapani and Ghantasala. Often visiting music composers in search of alternatives, his first audition track was “Nilave Ennidam Nerungadhe”. It was rendered by veteran playback singer P. B. Srinivas, who used to write down and provides him multi-lingual verses in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Sanskrit, English and Urdu.

Singing profession

Beginnings: 1960s–1970

Balasubrahmanyam made his debut as a playback singer on December 15, 1966 with Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna, a Telugu movie scored by his mentor, S. P. Kodandapani.The first non-Telugu track that he recorded simply eight days after his debut Telugu track was in Kannada in 1966 for the movie Nakkare Ade Swarga, starring Kannada comedy stalwart T. R. Narasimharaju.

He recorded his first Tamil track “Athaanodu Ippadi Irundhu Eththanai Naalaachu”, a duet with L.R. Eswari within the music route of M. S. Viswanathan for the movie Hotel Ramba, which by no means obtained launched. Other early songs he sang have been duets with P. Susheela, “Iyarkai Ennum Ilaya Kanni” within the 1969 movie Shanti Nilayam, starring Gemini Ganesh, and “Aayiram Nilavae Vaa” for MGR in Adimaippenn. His first track with S. Janaki was “Pournami Nilavil Pani Vizhum Iravil” in Kannippenn. He was then launched to the Malayalam movie business by G. Devarajan within the movie Kadalppalam.

He has the uncommon distinction of rendering probably the most songs in a single day by any singer. He recorded 21 songs in Kannada for the composer Upendra Kumar in Bengaluru from 9 am to 9 pm on 8 February, 1981. Futhermore, he additionally recorded 19 songs in Tamil and 16 songs in Hindi in a day, which is a notable achievement and a report.

He established a prolific profession. “There were days when I used to record 15 to 20 songs, but only for Anand-Milind. And I would take the last flight back to Chennai,” SPB mentioned.

In the 1970s, he additionally labored with M. S. Viswanathan in Tamil motion pictures for actors comparable to M. G. Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan. He recorded duets with P. Susheela, S. Janaki, Vani Jayaram and L. R. Eswari. Balasubrahmanyam’s affiliation with Ilaiyaraaja started even earlier than Ilaiyaraaja got here to the cine discipline. In these days, SPB used to sing in cities and villages throughout south India and Ilaiyaraaja, then an unknown harmonium and guitar participant accompanied SPB by enjoying in his concert events.

International recognition: 1980s

Balasubrahmanyam got here to worldwide prominence with the 1980 movie Sankarabharanam. The movie is taken into account to be one of the very best movies ever to emerge from the Telugu movie business. Directed by Okay. Vishwanath, the movie’s soundtrack was composed by Okay.V. Mahadevan, and led to an enhance within the utilization of Karnatak music in Telugu cinema. Not a classically educated singer, he used a “film music” aesthetic in recording the songs. Balasubrahmanyam acquired his first National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for his work. His first work in Hindi movies was within the following yr, in Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981), for which he acquired one other National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer.

Balasubrahmanyam started to report extra songs in Tamil, particularly for Ilaiyaraaja with S.Janaki, the trio thought-about to be extremely profitable within the Tamil movie business from the late 1970s and all through the 1980s. The songs have been based mostly on classical music, comparable to in Saagara Sangamam (1983), for which each Ilaiayaraaja and S.P.B gained National Film Awards, Swathi Muthyam (1986) and Rudraveena (1988) which once more gained National Awards for Ilaiyaraaja and Balasubrahmanyam.

In 1989, Balasubrahmanyam was the playback singer for actor Salman Khan within the blockbuster Maine Pyar Kiya. The soundtrack for the movie was very profitable and he gained a Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the track Dil Deewana. For a lot of the subsequent decade, Balasubrahmanyam continued because the “romantic singing voice” on the soundtracks of Khan’s movies.

Notable amongst these was Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! which grew to become the all time highest-grossing Hindi movie, and Balasubrahmanyam’s duet with Lata Mangeshkar, “Didi Tera Devar Deewana”, was very fashionable. This solidified Balasubrahmanyam as one of the most important playback singers in India. SPB was recognized as Salman Khan’s voice within the 90s, similar to Kishore Kumar grew to become Rajesh Khanna’s voice by means of the 70s.

Association with different composers, together with A.R. Rahman: 1990s

In the 1990s, he labored with composers comparable to Vidyasagar, M. M. Keeravani, S. A. Rajkumar and Deva amongst others, however his affiliation with A.R.Rahman turned out be a serious success.

Balasubramanyam’s affiliation with Hamsalekha started after the latter’s profitable enterprise Premaloka in Kannada. Balasubramanyam sung probably the most songs for Hamsalekha in Kannada. He acquired his fourth National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the track “Umandu Ghumandu” from the Kannada movie Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi (1995), which was a Hindustani classical music-based composition by Hamsalekha.

Balasubrahmanyam recorded three songs for A. R. Rahman in his debut movie Roja. He started a very long time affiliation with Rahman since then. Other standard songs embrace “July Maadham” from Pudhiya Mugam, which additionally marked the debut of singer Anupama, “Mannoothu Manthayilae” from Kizhakku Cheemayile which was a people quantity and he nearly sang all songs within the musical love story Duet and “Thanga Thaamarai” from Minsara Kanavu which fetched him the sixth and newest of his National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer until date.

Cementing his legacy: 2000s–2020

In 2013, Balasubrahmanyam recorded the title track for Chennai Express, singing for the lead actor Shahrukh Khan, below the music route of Vishal-Shekhar. He returned to Hindi movie music after being away from it for 15 years.

In May 2020, SPB crooned a track on humanity titled “Bharath Bhoomi” which was composed by Ilaiyaraaja as a tribute to the folks comparable to police, military, medical doctors, nurses and janitors who’ve been considerably working amid COVID-19 pandemic. The video track was formally unveiled by Ilaiyaraaja by means of his official YouTube account on 30 May 2020 in each Tamil and Hindi languages.

 

 

Voice performing

Balasubrahmanyam unintentionally grew to become a dubbing artist with Okay. Balachander’s movie Manmadha Leela, the dubbed Telugu model of Manmadha Leelai, offering a voice-over for Kamal Haasan.

He has additionally offered voice-overs for varied different artists, together with Rajinikanth, Vishnuvardhan, Salman Khan, Okay. Bhagyaraj, Mohan, Anil Kapoor, Girish Karnad, Gemini Ganesan, Arjun Sarja, Nagesh, Karthik, and Raghuvaran in varied languages.

He was assigned because the default dubbing artist for Kamal Haasan in Telugu-dubbed variations of Tamil movies. For the Telugu model of Dasavathaaram, he gave voice to seven characters (together with the feminine character) out of ten characters performed by Kamal Haasan. He was awarded the Nandi Award for Best Male Dubbing Artist for the movies Annamayya and Sri Sai Mahima. He dubbed for Nandamuri Balakrishna for the Tamil model of the film Sri Rama Rajyam in 2012. He additionally dubbed for Ben Kingsley within the Telugu-dubbed model of Gandhi.

Death

On August 5 2020, Balasubrahmanyam examined constructive for COVID-19 and was admitted to MGM Healthcare in Chennai. Subsequently, his well being deteriorated and he was shifted to the intensive care unit in a essential state. He required a ventilator and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) help.

His son Charan offered updates through social media to followers, whereas members of the Tamil movie business engaged in a mass prayer through Zoom on 20 August and candlelight vigils have been held by followers exterior the hospital.

On 7 September 2020, Balasubrahmanyam examined detrimental for the coronavirus, though he remained on a ventilator. His son mentioned SPB was responsive and watching tennis and cricket matches on his iPad. He died on September 25 after a month-long hospitalisation.



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