The legendary singer, SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away today at 1.04 pm at a private hospital in Chennai. He was 74. The news was confirmed by his son SP Charan, who said that the late singer will live on in his songs.
The renowned singed was hospitalised on August 5 after testing positive for COVID-19. The singer had himself put out a statement confirming his test results. As per the hospital, the singer had tested negative in early September.
Though the singer’s condition was said to improving in the last couple of weeks, his condition worsened on September 23. On September 24, the MGM Healthcare Hospital in Chennai, where he was admitted, issued a medical bulletin stating that he is extremely critical and on maximal life support.
Tributes have poured in for the renowned singer from colleagues from the industry.
SP Balasubrahmanyam: His musical journey
- SP Balasubrahmanyam, popularly known as SP Balu or SPB, had made his singing début in 1966 with the Telugu movie Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna.
- He was a playback singer, musician, music director, actor, dubbing artist and film producer all in one. He worked predominantly in the Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam industry. He has also worked in Bollywood.
- He has recorded over 40,000 songs in almost 16 languages including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada. From MGR, Kamal Haasan, Rajnikanth to Salman Khan, SPB has sung songs for the biggest of stars.
- SPB holds the Guinness World Record for recording the highest number of songs by a singer with over 40,000 songs.
- His first non-Telugu song was in Kannada in 1966 for the film Nakkare Ade Swarga, eight days after his debut Telugu song.
- His first Tamil song was a duet with LR Eswari for the film Hotel Ramba, which never got released. The song was “Athaanodu Ippadi Irundhu Eththanai Naalaachu.”
- His entry into the Malayalam film industry was through the film Kadalppalam by G. Devarajan.
SP Balasubrahmanyam’s journey in Bollywood
- His first work in Hindi films was for Kamal Haasan’s film Ek Duuje Ke Liye in 1981, for which he received the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer
- The legendary singer also sang in Salman Khan starrer Bollywood blockbuster- Maine Pyar Kiya in 1989. The soundtrack for the film was very successful. SPB also sang on the soundtracks of many of Khan’s other films, the most notable one being Hum Aapke Hain Koun.
- Balasubrahmanyam’s duet with Lata Mangeshkar in “Didi Tera Devar Deewana ” song gained massive popularity among the audience. This solidified Balasubrahmanyam’s position as one of the biggest playback singers in India
- SP Balasubrahmanyam was in fact, identified as Salman Khan’s voice in the 90s just like Kishore Kumar became Rajesh Khanna’s voice through the 70s. Some of his best songs in Hindi cinema include popular Salman Khan songs such as Sathiya ye tune kya kiya, Yeh Raat aur Yeh Doorie, Pehla Pehla Pyar Hai, Dil Deewana, Mere Rang Main Rangne Wali, Aaya Mausam Dosti Ka, Kabhi Tu Chalia Lagta Hai, Aaja Shaam Hone Aayee and Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate.
- SP Balasubrahmanyam’s achievements were honoured with several recognitions including six National Film Awards for Best Male Playback Singer for his works in four different languages- Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi.
- He was also honoured with the Padma Shri in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2011, the fourth-highest and third-highest civilian awards respectively of the government of India.
- He was also honoured with the Filmfare Award and six Filmfare Awards South.