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The legendary playback singer and composer-actor-producer, SP Balasubrahmanyam has passed in a Chennai hospital 25th September 2020, following a spirited fight from the COVID-19 disease. Even though the artiste was performing well in the first phase serious complications developed afterwards and he had been set to the ventilator and ECMO (Extra-corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) support. His illness became extremely crucial in the previous two days, and eventually the audio legend had to contribute in. Born to a Telugu household in Tamil Nadu in 1946 and raised largely in Andhra Pradesh, SP Balasubrahmanyam, known as’SPB’ or’Balu’, revealed his lively interest in music from a young age, and over recent years began singing in various regional competitions winning prizes all of the time. He also made his debut as a playback singer for a Telugu film in 1966 in which the music score was performed by his music coach SP Kodandopani. Within days he left his Kannada playback singing introduction and forayed to the Tamil films in 1969, then to the Malayalam film industry in exactly the exact same calendar year. SPB’s famous and magnificent musical journey started: his getting the voice of the legendary actors of Southern India such as Gemini Ganesan, MG Ramchandran (MGR), NT Rama Rao (NTR), Shivaji Ganesan and also to Kamal Hassan for whom he staged Hindi movies also, Rajnikant then into the heroes of Bollywood, by Salman Khan into Shahrukh Khan.Balasubrahmanyam attained international fame by singing to the memorable Telugu film Sankarabharanam in 1980, led by K Vishwanath. Balu wasn’t educated in classical music, especially the Carnatic design; but he made history by adapting his singing ambience to match the personality of a classical music protagonist from the film. The very next year, that’s 1981, he shot the Hindi film industry, Bollywood, by storm: singing lilting amounts for Kamal Hassan from the super-hit film’Ek Duuje Ke Liye’, a picture of a first Telugu movie, where he captured his second National Award as the top male playback singer in Hindi. In a career of more than five years SPB staged 40,000 songs in 16 Indian languages. He’d won 6 National Awards for his playback in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi; won 6 Filmfare awards for southern areas; he had been conferred Padma Shri at 2001 and Padma Bhushan at 2011; he had been honoured with the’Indian Film Character of the Year’ at 2016; and many other state awards out of his four southern countries. To get a character of his prestige the list of domestic awards appeared to be lower in amounts that is largely because of how the’national’ Hindi movie business or Bollywood enjoyed much greater reach, visibility, popularity and patronage throughout the country, and so, many legendary greats of southern India needed to stay content largely with state recognition.SP Balasubrahmanyam is possibly the only Indian playback singer to have appreciated five-decade long fame with no plateau with fan following across India and the world no matter the language obstacles. His greatness was in his superbly melodious yet manly voicehis immense art of unprocessed modulationshis inborn capability to play-act together with the essential feelings and his inherent talent to accommodate his singing style as matches the characters/heroes of films across five primary and many different languages, such as the mythical Mohammad Rafi did thus inherently in the forties until his passing in 1980. Incidentally, Rafi was his version singer and a true genius during his career, enjoying the Hindi film-song pub consistently. Maybe, because of this that he thrived in Bollywood for more than other southern-region singers such as Yesudas and Vani Jayram. Obviously, he also did possess hiatus of approximately 15 years in Bollywood, coming back just in 2013 to sing Shahrukh Khan from the super-hit film Chennai Express. On the other hand, the excellent artiste maintained on singing-composing in southern languages until his final days.We salute the excellent musician and mourn his tragic death, with the entire country as condolence messages are pouring in from movie personalities, leaders, politicians, stalwarts in most of the specialist fields and his countless fans. Aside from his singing Balu has ever been adored by all because of his simplicity, his adorable interactions with the general public, his communicating via the media and his glowing jovial nature.


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