SPB: Finally, the silencing of a magical, melodious voice


NEWS BALASUBRAHMANYAM

KS Shankar/New Delhi

NEW DELHI: SP Balasubrahmanyam, popularly known in music circles as SPB, was not simply a playback singer but also actor, music director and film producer in his various avataars in the film world. While regaling his audience with great skills, he was also the ‘voice over’ of popular heroes of southern movie world, spanning Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, as also Hindi. His voice went silent this evening, with his demise in Chennai at the age of 74.

Sadly, SPB fell victim to the Covid-19 pandemic, which attacked his lungs; and the weeks-long treatment at a private hospital in Chennai did not help him recover. He is survived by wife Savitri, son SP Charan – a movie producer and playback singer– and daughter Pallavi.

Balu’s career spans five decades, during which he sang over 40,000 songs in 16 languages. His songs voiced the aspirations and emotions of generations of music lovers and others, as he sang for actors ranging from such notables as MGR, Rajinikanth, Shivaji Ganesan, Kamal Haasan and Salman Khan. He was a phenomenon in the music world. As son Charan said while confirming the sad demise, “SPB belongs to everyone”.

The gifted musician, who sang one of the popular duets with P. Susheela, “Aayiaram Nilevae Vaa” (Come thousand moons) for MG Ramachandran (MGR) in the Tamil movie Adimai Penn, did not look back. He reached for the stars, perhaps to sing for the gods. Notably, SPB sang several moon songs.

The 1980’s hugely successful epic film, Sankarabharanam, dubbed into many languages, catapulted him into the level of a great singer. Honoured with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards in 2001 and 2011 respectively, SPB won six National Film Awards for the best male playback singer, besides several other state honours.

Born to SP Sambamurthy, a Harikatha artist and Sakunthalamma in Nellore district’s Konettammpadi, now in Andhra Pradesh, on June 4, 1946, Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam began taking interest in music at a young age. His younger sister P. Sailaja was also a playback singer. As a student, while pursuing his engineering course, Balu used to participate in singing competitions and won prizes.

“At one such competition, popular playback singer S. Janaki, while giving me the prize, sowed the seeds of singing for films in me by saying that I can shine in the cine world. She encouraged me by saying that she too was not a trained singer,” SPB had reminisced at a media meet.

Encouraged by the good words, he started visiting music directors seeking an opportunity to become a movie playback singer. Without any formal training in music, he emerged as one of the most-versatile singers.. A humble musician, SPB recorded his first song composed by music director and his mentor SP Kodandapani for the Telugu movie ‘Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna’. Nearly a week after his debut, he recorded his first Kannada song for the movie Nakkare Ade Swarga in 1967. Soon he got busy with Telugu movie songs.

SPB got his first National Film Award for Best Male Playback singer. It was in 1981that he made his debut in the Hindi movie world, singing for Kamal Haasan in “Ek Duuje Ke Liye” and went on to sing in movies like “Maine Pyar Kiya”, “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” etc.

SPB had also dubbed for several leading artists in Tamil and Telugu movies. For Kamal Haasan he was the default voice in Telugu movies. He had dubbed for Ben Kingsley in the Telugu dubbing of English movie Gandhi. 

A popular voice-over artist, he had dubbed for Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth when their films were dubbed into Telugu. Some of his award-winning songs are from films such as Ek Duuje Ke Liye, Sankarabharanam, Sagara Sangamam, Swati Mutyam, Maine Pyar Kiya, Duet, Minsara Kanavu and Roja. –IHN-NN

INDIA HERE AND NOW 

www.indiahereandnow. email:indianow999@gmail.com

SPB: Finally, the silencing of a magical, melodious voice


NEWS BALASUBRAHMANYAM

KS Shankar/New Delhi

NEW DELHI: SP Balasubrahmanyam, popularly known in music circles as SPB, was not simply a playback singer but also actor, music director and film producer in his various avataars in the film world. While regaling his audience with great skills, he was also the ‘voice over’ of popular heroes of southern movie world, spanning Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, as also Hindi. His voice went silent this evening, with his demise in Chennai at the age of 74.

Sadly, SPB fell victim to the Covid-19 pandemic, which attacked his lungs; and the weeks-long treatment at a private hospital in Chennai did not help him recover. He is survived by wife Savitri, son SP Charan – a movie producer and playback singer– and daughter Pallavi.

Balu’s career spans five decades, during which he sang over 40,000 songs in 16 languages. His songs voiced the aspirations and emotions of generations of music lovers and others, as he sang for actors ranging from such notables as MGR, Rajinikanth, Shivaji Ganesan, Kamal Haasan and Salman Khan. He was a phenomenon in the music world. As son Charan said while confirming the sad demise, “SPB belongs to everyone”.

The gifted musician, who sang one of the popular duets with P. Susheela, “Aayiaram Nilevae Vaa” (Come thousand moons) for MG Ramachandran (MGR) in the Tamil movie Adimai Penn, did not look back. He reached for the stars, perhaps to sing for the gods. Notably, SPB sang several moon songs.

The 1980’s hugely successful epic film, Sankarabharanam, dubbed into many languages, catapulted him into the level of a great singer. Honoured with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards in 2001 and 2011 respectively, SPB won six National Film Awards for the best male playback singer, besides several other state honours.

Born to SP Sambamurthy, a Harikatha artist and Sakunthalamma in Nellore district’s Konettammpadi, now in Andhra Pradesh, on June 4, 1946, Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam began taking interest in music at a young age. His younger sister P. Sailaja was also a playback singer. As a student, while pursuing his engineering course, Balu used to participate in singing competitions and won prizes.

“At one such competition, popular playback singer S. Janaki, while giving me the prize, sowed the seeds of singing for films in me by saying that I can shine in the cine world. She encouraged me by saying that she too was not a trained singer,” SPB had reminisced at a media meet.

Encouraged by the good words, he started visiting music directors seeking an opportunity to become a movie playback singer. Without any formal training in music, he emerged as one of the most-versatile singers.. A humble musician, SPB recorded his first song composed by music director and his mentor SP Kodandapani for the Telugu movie ‘Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna’. Nearly a week after his debut, he recorded his first Kannada song for the movie Nakkare Ade Swarga in 1967. Soon he got busy with Telugu movie songs.

SPB got his first National Film Award for Best Male Playback singer. It was in 1981that he made his debut in the Hindi movie world, singing for Kamal Haasan in “Ek Duuje Ke Liye” and went on to sing in movies like “Maine Pyar Kiya”, “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” etc.

SPB had also dubbed for several leading artists in Tamil and Telugu movies. For Kamal Haasan he was the default voice in Telugu movies. He had dubbed for Ben Kingsley in the Telugu dubbing of English movie Gandhi. 

A popular voice-over artist, he had dubbed for Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth when their films were dubbed into Telugu. Some of his award-winning songs are from films such as Ek Duuje Ke Liye, Sankarabharanam, Sagara Sangamam, Swati Mutyam, Maine Pyar Kiya, Duet, Minsara Kanavu and Roja. –IHN-NN

INDIA HERE AND NOW 

www.indiahereandnow. email:indianow999@gmail.com

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