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FeaturesCinema & TVRemembering SP Balasubrahmanyam on 75th birth anniversary

Remembering SP Balasubrahmanyam on 75th birth anniversary

Published: 4th Jun 2021 2:29 pm

Hyderabad: Legendary singer-composer SP Balasubrahmanyam would have turned 75, if the coronavirus infection hadn’t claimed his life last September. Nevertheless, the late Padma Vibhushan awardee has left behind a massive trove of timeless songs for his fans. And probably he will be the only man in the Indian film industry who sang more than 40,000 songs in 16 languages.

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When a young man named SP Balasubrahmanyam entered the studio to record his first song for Telugu film ‘Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna’ on December 15, 1966, little did anyone realise that the unassuming youngster would go on to become a legend in the Indian music industry.

Looking back at his five decade-long career — which includes stints as a producer, actor, and music director — he always said, it wasn’t something he planned, rather something that just happened.

His father wanted him to become an engineer. As he had a good voice, he started participating in music competitions. Singer S Janaki was the first to spot him and told him to pursue singing professionally. Initially, he approached music directors but nothing happened, it was no cakewalk for sure to the six-time National Award winner, as many music directors rejected him.

They felt his voice wouldn’t suit heroes of the day. The turning point came through a chance meeting with music director SP Kodandapani who heard him sing at the Madras Social Cultural Club, now Andhra Club. SPB always called Kodandapani his godfather and mentor. And then, this Ganagandharva didn’t have to look back. His insatiable curiosity to learn constantly kept him relevant for half-a-century, uninterrupted.

Lesser known is his incredible generosity to various causes. Through the SPB Fans Association, he has donated crores of rupees to many deserving entities, most recently helping migrant labourers and needy musicians during the pandemic.

SPB’s Telugu hits

  • Thaali Kattu Subhavela,Anthuleni Katha, 1976
  • Enneno Janmala Bandham, Pooja, 1975
  • Kondameedha Chandamama, Vetagadu, 1979
  • Chitram Bhalare Vichatram, Daana Veera Soora Karna, 1977
  • Sankara Nada Sareera Para, 1980
  • Aavesamtha Aalapaneley, Aalapana, 1985
  • Guvva Gorinka Tho, Khaidi 786, 1988
  • O Paapa Laali, Gitanjali, 1989
  • Abbani Theeyani Debba, Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari, 1990
  • Chali Champuthunna, Kshana-Kshnam, 1991
  • Hello Guru Prema Kosamero Jeevitam,Nirnayam, 1991
  • In an actor’s shoes
  • Pellante Noorella Panta
  • Muhammad Bin Tughluq
  • Pakkinti Ammayi
  • Malle Pandiri
  • Prema
  • Vivaaha Bhojanambu
  • Kallu
  • Chennapatnam Chinnollu
  • Premikudu
  • Pavithra Bandham

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