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Affectionately referred to as as ‘Balu’ in his pals’ 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 (four 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 pals’ 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 received the Guinness World Document for recording the best variety of songs by a singer.

He bagged six Nationwide Movie Awards for Finest Male Playback Singer for his songs in 4 completely different languages (Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi), in addition to 25 Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards for his work in Telugu cinema, aside from quite a few different state awards from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

As well as, he additionally garnered six Filmfare Awards. In 2012, he acquired the state NTR Nationwide Award for his contributions to Indian cinema. In 2016, he was honored with the Indian Movie Character of the Yr 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, though he recovered from COVID-19.


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 also 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 School of Engineering Anantapur with the intention of turning into an engineer. He discontinued his research early on account of typhoid, and joined as an Affiliate Member of the Establishment of Engineers, Chennai.

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

He was the chief of a light-weight music troupe composed of Anirutta (on the harmonium), Ilaiyaraaja (on guitar and afterward harmonium), Baskar (on percussion), and Gangai Amaran (on guitar). He was chosen as the most effective singer in a singing competitors which was judged by S. P. Kodandapani and Ghantasala. Usually visiting music composers looking for alternatives, his first audition music 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.

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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 primary non-Telugu music that he recorded simply eight days after his debut Telugu music was in Kannada in 1966 for the movie Nakkare Ade Swarga, starring Kannada comedy stalwart T. R. Narasimharaju.

He recorded his first Tamil music “Athaanodu Ippadi Irundhu Eththanai Naalaachu”, a duet with L.R. Eswari within the music path of M. S. Viswanathan for the movie Resort Ramba, which by no means received launched. Different 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 music with S. Janaki was “Pournami Nilavil Pani Vizhum Iravil” in Kannippenn. He was then launched to the Malayalam movie trade by G. Devarajan within the movie Kadalppalam.

He has the uncommon distinction of rendering essentially 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 eight 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 file.

He established a prolific profession. “There have been days once I used to file 15 to 20 songs, however just for Anand-Milind. And I’d take the final flight again to Chennai,” SPB stated.

Within the 1970s, he additionally labored with M. S. Viswanathan in Tamil films for actors similar 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 area. 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 taking part in in his concert events.

Worldwide recognition: 1980s

Balasubrahmanyam got here to worldwide prominence with the 1980 movie Sankarabharanam. The movie is taken into account to be among the finest movies ever to emerge from the Telugu movie trade. Directed by Ok. Vishwanath, the movie’s soundtrack was composed by Ok.V. Mahadevan, and led to a rise within the utilization of Karnatak music in Telugu cinema. Not a classically educated singer, he used a “movie music” aesthetic in recording the songs. Balasubrahmanyam acquired his first Nationwide Movie Award for Finest Male Playback Singer for his work. His first work in Hindi movies was within the following 12 months, in Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981), for which he acquired one other Nationwide Movie Award for Finest Male Playback Singer.

Balasubrahmanyam started to file extra songs in Tamil, particularly for Ilaiyaraaja with S.Janaki, the trio thought of to be extremely profitable within the Tamil movie trade from the late 1970s and all through the 1980s. The songs have been primarily based on classical music, similar to in Saagara Sangamam (1983), for which each Ilaiayaraaja and S.P.B received Nationwide Movie Awards, Swathi Muthyam (1986) and Rudraveena (1988) which once more received Nationwide 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 received a Filmfare Award for Finest Male Playback Singer for the music Dil Deewana. For a lot of the following decade, Balasubrahmanyam continued because the “romantic singing voice” on the soundtracks of Khan’s movies.

Notable amongst these was Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! which turned the all time highest-grossing Hindi movie, and Balasubrahmanyam’s duet with Lata Mangeshkar, “Didi Tera Devar Deewana”, was extremely popular. This solidified Balasubrahmanyam as one of many greatest playback singers in India. SPB was recognized as Salman Khan’s voice within the 90s, identical to Kishore Kumar turned Rajesh Khanna’s voice by way of the 70s.

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

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

Balasubramanyam’s affiliation with Hamsalekha started after the latter’s profitable enterprise Premaloka in Kannada. Balasubramanyam sung essentially the most songs for Hamsalekha in Kannada. He acquired his fourth Nationwide Movie Award for Finest Male Playback Singer for the music “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. Different common songs embody “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 virtually sang all songs within the musical love story Duet and “Thanga Thaamarai” from Minsara Kanavu which fetched him the sixth and newest of his Nationwide Movie Award for Finest Male Playback Singer until date.

Cementing his legacy: 2000s–2020

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

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



Voice appearing

Balasubrahmanyam by chance turned a dubbing artist with Ok. 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, Ok. 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 Finest 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.


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 crucial 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 trade engaged in a mass prayer through Zoom on 20 August and candlelight vigils have been held by followers outdoors the hospital.

On 7 September 2020, Balasubrahmanyam examined detrimental for the coronavirus, though he remained on a ventilator. His son stated 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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