Tuesday, October 4, 2022

A void difficult to fill

Legendary playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, SPB as he was fondly called by his fans, had left a great void in the Indian music world which is difficult to fill. Sripathi Panditharadhyula Balasubrahmanyam, born 74 years ago at Nellore, a coastal town in Andhra Pradesh, was considered a genius who possessed all the good qualities needed for a great singer and a fine human being. He was creative, adaptive and productive. His power of retention and grasping was phenomenal. Polite and unassuming to a fault, SPB was known as a person with friendly nature and amicable countenance. He made his singing debut with Maryada Ramanna, a Telugu film, in 1966 and had been singing for about five decades in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and eleven more Indian languages. He rendered more than 40 thousand songs (41,230 to be exact). It is a world record. No other singer had held the stage so long and rendered so many songs. The film industry all over the country mourned the passing of the singer-actor-music director who breathed his last in the afternoon of Friday. Telugu people have a particular attachment to him because of a programme in EVT titled ‘Paadutaa tiyagaa,’ which has been mesmerizing the lovers of film music for decades. He had become a household name since the children were encouraged to learn music and exhibit their talents under his guidance. The proud parents feel indebted to him. They treated him as a family member. A consummate actor, his role in ‘Mithunam,’ directed by actor Tanikella Bharani, based on a story by renowned write Srirama, is memorable. The social media has been full of SPB’s songs, interviews and pourings of heart by fans. Friends like Keeravani have expressed their sorrow through lyrics. No singer had evoked such a strong sympathy and sorrow. No wonder that he was one of the top trending searches on Google on Friday and Saturday. PSB should not have visited Hyderabad recently to do a recording programme as that proved to be a fatal decision. He will be missed by legions of his fans and well-wishers. They will take quite some time to recover from the shock. His songs will keep entertaining the people as long as the ‘word’ lives and the languages thrive.

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor

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