SP Balasubrahmanyam passes away: A playlist of the legendary singer's most memorable songs across languages
A Guinness World Record holder for recording the highest number of songs (over 40,000), SP Balasubrahmanyam garnered six National Awards for Best Male Playback Singer for his songs in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi.
Legendary singer SP Balasubrahmanyam has passed away at the age of 74.
The singer, who was admitted to Chennai’s MGM hospital after being diagnosed with mild symptoms of coronavirus, had to be shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on 13 August as his condition deteriorated.
As a Guinness World Record holder for recording the highest number of songs (over 40,000), to say that the singer's repertoire of work is vast would be a gross understatement. Balasubrahmanyam has predominantly worked in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam languages and has also been conferred on six National Film Awards for Best Male Playback Singer for his songs in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada in Hindi. He was also a recipient of the coveted Padma Shri (2001) and Padma Bhushan (2011) from the Government of India. Besides this, he also won numerous Filmfare and state awards over the years.
(Also read on Firstpost — SP Balasubrahmanyam's greatest hits: For 50 years now, SPB has ruled South Indian film music)
Here's remembering the iconic singer through his memorable songs in films.
'Nilaave Vaa Sellathey Vaa'
'Nilaave Vaa Sellathey,' written by lyricist Vaali and directed by Ilaiyaraaja, is featured in Mani Ratnam's 1986 film, Mouna Raagam. The romantic number was sung by Balasubrahmanyam, and till date remains one of his most memorable love songs.
'Ilaiya Nilaa Pozhikirathe'
Yet-another number composed by veteran music director Ilaiyaraaja, the song from Mohan's critically acclaimed Tamil drama Payanangal Mudivathillai, went onto become a huge hit. The tune from the song was later used in the Hindi number 'Neele Neele Ambar Par,' sung by Kishore Kumar.
'Kannal Pesum Penne'
Mozhi, the musical love story featuring Prithviraj, Prakash Raj, and Jyotika had many'a melodious songs, but Balasubrahmanyam's craft came forth in the 'Kannal Pesum Penne' track. Music director Vidyasagar was hailed for his exceptional work with the film's soundtrack.
'Kannal Pesum Penne' is a romantic number that only enhances the poignant love story angle between a deaf and mute girl and a musician.
Some of Salman Khan's biggest hit songs have been sung by Balasubrahmanyam, but the one that has almost become synonymous to Khan's romantic hero image is 'Dil Deewana,' from Sooraj Barjatya's blockbuster Maine Pyar Kiya. Lata Mangeshkar and Balasubrahmanyam's complementing voices, Dev Kohli's poetry and Ram Laxman's music turned the song into a benchmark for romantic songs.
AR Rahman's debut soundtrack was celebrated for reasons more than one. The multilingual album features seven tracks in Tamil and Hindi, and six tracks in Malayalam, Telugu, Marathi and five tracks in the instrumental adaptation album. The title track was sung by Balasubrahmanyam in Tamil— 'Kaadhal Rojave,' Hindi — 'Roja Jaaneman' and in Telugu — 'Na Cheli Rojave,' and imbued every version with intense passion and pain.
The song that earned Balasubrahmanyam his first National Award was 'Omkaara Naadaanusandhanam' from the Telugu musical drama Shankarabharanam. The Carnatic-heavy music was composed by KV Mahadevan. While M Balamuralikrishna was the original choice for the male playback singer, the music director insisted Balasubrahmanyam lend his voice to his compositions.
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