Monday, November 30, 2020
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Telugu cinema’s golden voice goes silent

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S P Balasubrahmanyam, the multifaceted music artiste, leaves behind an unparalleled legacy that features a goldmine of Telugu songs

The information of the passing away of legendary playback singer, music director, voice-over artist and actor S P Balasubrahmanyam is akin to a private loss for many people, music lovers. SPB as he’s fondly recognized, leaves behind an unparalleled legacy of greater than 40,000 songs in 16 languages. There’s an SPB music for each temper, in each in style Indian language, and one holds on to these music reminiscences no matter whether or not one grew up within the 1970s, 80s, 90s or 2000s.

Very few artistes have the power to chop throughout generations and maintain them in thrall. One assumed, nearly impossibly, that SPB could be amongst us without end, like the favored Telugu singing competitors Padutha Theeyaga he started presenting in 1996 on ETV. The music expertise hunt present has continued to remain robust, clocking in additional than 1000 episodes to this point.

Telugu cinema mourns SPB’s demise

  • The Telugu movie trade collectively mourned the passing away of singer-actor S P Balasubrahmanyam, recalling the legacy he leaves behind and his humble persona that they may fondly bear in mind.
  • Actor Chiranjeevi referred to as it the darkest day for the world of music: “I owe my success greatly to Balu garu’s voice, through the numerous and memorable songs he had sung for me. When the world of music wondered who would succeed the legendary Ghantasala garu, there came one of the brightest stars of the galaxy in the form of Shri SPB,” he said.
  • Actor Venkatesh recalled working with SPB in movies akin to Prema and Pavithra Bandam and provided his condolences to the household. Nagarjuna tweeted, “As the memories of conversations with Balu garu come flooding back, so do the tears,” and recalled getting a name from SPB after the latter watched Annamayya, and added that the singer was an integral a part of his life.
  • Condolence messages poured in from actors Mahesh Babu, NTR, Nani, Varun Tej and a number of other administrators, producers, music composers and singers who had been praying for SPB’s well being over the previous couple of weeks.

For these of us who’ve lived in numerous States and been uncovered to cinema and music in numerous languages, it’s the sheer number of SPB’s gold customary singing that stands out.

Born in Nellore on June 4, 1946, Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam debuted as a playback singer with the Telugu movie Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna (1966), with music composed by his mentor S P Kodandapani. The preliminary years noticed each S P Kodandapani and Ok V Mahadevan take the younger singer beneath their wings.

SPB established himself because the voice for the soft-romantic numbers that features all the brand new heroes. His rendition of ‘Ye Divilo Virisina Parijathamo, from Kanne Vayasu (1973) in his boyish husky voice brought him instant popularity. A few of his other numbers that were loved across generations were ‘Kanula Mundu Neevunte’ and ‘Charana Kinkinulu…’ from Chelleli Kapuram (1971), ‘Ide Paata, Prati chota’ from Puttinillu Mettinillu (1973) and ‘Mallelu Poose, Vennela Kaase’ from Intinti Ramayanam (1979). SPB’s ‘Krushi Vunte Manushulu Rushulautaru’ from Adavi Ramudu (1977) and ‘Vandanam Abhivandanam’ from Premabhishekam ( 1981) for NTR and ANR respectively stay just a few of the very best he had sung for the thespians.

His was a voice that carried the melody even because it took on the persona of the actor he was singing for; he had the power to sound completely different for various actors, even when he sang for 2 actors in the identical music. His unbelievable voice vary and high quality by no means dimmed over the a long time.

National recognition

SPB progressively grew in prominence in Telugu, Tamil and Kannada movie music, and the second of reckoning got here with director Ok Viswanath’s Sankarabharanam (1980) a challenge he was initially reluctant to take up as he was not educated in Carnatic classical music. Once in, he introduced in his nuances, submitting himself to the calls for of the classical tunes composed by Ok V Mahadevan. Sankarabharanam fetched SPB his first National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer. Many national-level recognitions adopted in his illustrious profession.

The 1980s are harking back to unforgettable music in Ok Viswanath movies, notably Sagara Sangamam and Swati Mutyam. SPB and Ilaiyaraaja would go on to forged a collective spell over listeners. ‘Thakita Thadimi’ from Sagara Sangamam, ‘Manasu Palike’ and ‘Suvvi Suvvi’ from Swathi Muthyam will stay among the many all-time favourites in Telugu movie music. Who can overlook ‘Taralirada’ and ‘Nammaku Nammaku’ from Ok Balachander’s Rudraveena?

Incidentally, Sagara Sangamam and Rudraveena fetched SPB National Awards.

File photograph of S P Balasubrahmanyam and Ilaiyaraaja at a live performance in 2019
| Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

In the meantime, the SPB-Ok Balachander-Ilaiyaraaja and SPB-Ilaiyaraaja-Mani Ratnam combos that labored magic in Tamil cinema additionally resonated in Telugu as effectively. Memories of the late 80s and would additionally embrace SPB’s honey-laced voice crooning for Salman Khan in Maine Pyar Kiya, and he would comply with it up with Hum Aapke Hain Kaun within the 90s.

Prema, Pavithra Bandham, Annamayya, Tholi Prema… the prolific nature of SPB’s singing would make it unimaginable to do justice in these pages by recalling all his in style songs.There wasn’t a style that was untouched by SPB. Remember the foot-tapping ‘Bangaru Kodipetta’ from Gharana Mogudu?

SPB seamlessly lower throughout generations of composers, and embraced the brand new wave of music ushered in by A R Rahman within the 1990s, starting with Roja. The haunting romance pathos ‘Naa Cheli Rojave’ was the start of a brand new singer-composer hit mixture.

Romancing the digicam

A multifaceted artiste who switched between languages and genres with ease, SPB was a grasp actor behind the microphone, lending depth to each emotion the actors needed to painting on display. There have been temporary roles peppered by means of his profession within the 1970s and 80s, and it took the novel method of the newer crop of administrators to indicate him in a brand new mild. Director Vasanth introduced him as because the unconventional hero within the Tamil movie Keladi Kanmani (O Papa Lali in Telugu), a narrative that revolved round SPB and Radhika as a mature couple discovering love.

Shankar’s Premikudu (dubbed from Kadhalan in Tamil) noticed SPB play a enjoyable father character to Prabhudeva, and the duo gave us the joyous music and dance quantity ‘Andamaina Premarani’. SPB sang alongside Udit Narayan, and as Prabhudeva’s dance steps made everybody cease of their tracks and gawk, SPB matched it along with his allure and good choreography that hardly required him to maneuver his ft!

Tanikella Bharani and SPB while filming ‘Midhunam’

Tanikella Bharani and SPB whereas filming ‘Midhunam’  

More lately, SPB and Lakshmi charmed their option to the audiences’ coronary heart by means of director Tanikella Bharani’s Midhunam, a movie that celebrated rising outdated collectively in love.

SPB’s work as a dubbing artist is equally memorable. He lent his voice in Telugu movies for actors Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Salman Khan, Girish Karnad, amongst many others. He was additionally the Telugu voice for Ben Kingsley in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi.

SPB’s music and affable humility touched hearts and we will maintain on to these reminiscences, immersing ourselves within the impeccable music he leaves behind.

In the primary week of August, when SPB posted an Instagram video from a non-public hospital in Chennai, declaring that he had delicate COVID-19 signs and that he might be again quickly, neither he nor us knew what was in retailer. How we want the pandemic hadn’t taken away the unparalleled singer from us. Rest in peace, Balu sir.

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