Hyderabad: Legendary singer S P Balasubramaniam was on Monday posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award of the country after Bharat Ratna.
Veteran playback singer Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, or simply K S Chithra, has been conferred the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award of the country.
The names from Indian cinema to have been named as Padma Shri recipients include Malayalam lyricist Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri, Gujarati film stars Maheshbhai and Nareshbhai Kanodia (posthumously) and singer Bombay Jayashri Ramnath.
Popularly known as SPB, celebrated singer Balasubramaniam died on September 25, 2020 at a Chennai hospital due to COVID-19 complications at the age of 74. His career spanned five decades in the film and stage music world with hits in 16 languages, many in Tamil and his mother tongue Telugu.
Since his singing debut in 1966 with the Telugu film “Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna”, Balasubrahmaniam has bagged multiple National Awards and recorded over 40,000 songs in 16 Indian languages.
The singer went on to become the on-screen voice of superstars Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Salman Khan in several films.
Another stalwart in the world of Indian music, Chithra has recorded more than 25,000 songs in various Indian languages, including Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, and Urdu, as well as foreign languages such as Malay, Latin, Arabic, Sinhalese, English and French.
She has largely sung duet songs with fellow singers Balasubrahmanyam and Rajesh Krishnan, and collaborated with music composer AR Rahman on several hits like “Rukkumani Rukkumani”, “Kehna Hee Kya”, “Kulu Kulu”, “Yaaro Sunlo Zara”, among others.
As a lyricist in Malayalam cinema, Namboothiri made his debut with the hit song “Devadundubhi Sandralayam” in 1986 romance drama “Ennennum Kannettante”, directed by Fazil. He has since penned over 300 songs.
A multi-hyphenate, Namboothiri later expanded as an actor, music composer, poet, and screenwriter. Veteran Gujarati film star-turned-politician Naresh Kanodia was another cine star the country lost last year due to coronavirus. He died on October 26, 2020 — two days after his elder brother and Gujarati singer Mahesh Kanodia’s death after prolonged illness.
The Kanodia brothers were popular Gujarati film personalities and performed together in a number of stage shows in India and abroad. Ramnath, popularly known as Bombay Jayashri, has sung in multiple languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi movies.
One of her most memorable hits include “Zara Zara Behakta Hain” (the Hindi version of “Vaseegara”) in the movie “Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein” and she collaborated with composer Mychael Danna on “Pi’s Lullaby” from the film adaptation of Yann Martel’s book “Life of Pi” in 2012, starring late Irrfan Khan and Suraj Sharma.
The Union Home Ministry said the President has approved conferment of 119 Padma awards — seven Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 102 Padma Shri — to eminent personalities across fields of art, literature and education, medicine, trade and industry, sports, public affairs, social work and science and engineering have been recognised.
Twenty-nine women are among the Padma awardees and the list also includes 10 persons from the category of foreigners, NRI, PIO AND OCI and one transgender.
Sixteen people have been given the award posthumously.
The Padma awards are announced annually on the eve of Republic Day.
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