Veteran singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, also known as SPB or Balu, is widely regarded as the greatest singer of the subcontinent, having lent his voice to over 40,000 songs, for which he also holds the Guinness World Record.
He is one of the few playback singers to have sung in multiple languages, including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada. Due to his contribution to Indian music and especially the cinema industries including Bollywood, he received multiple awards including the Filmfare.
He was also graced with the Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shree award by the Government of India.
His recent demise has been a blow to the music and cinema industry, leaving a void in the cultural world. Condolence and tributes poured from all sections.
Lata Mangeshkar who has sung innumerable duets with Balasubrahmanyam recounts in their duet ‘Hum bane tum bane ek duuje ke liye’, “Bala ji had to say, ‘I don’t what you say’ to my Hindi singing”. She says his singing was so beautiful that he could add playfulness and even profundity to those simple words.
Kamal Haasan, in his tribute, remarks that Bala Ji was a man of a humble demeanour. He says, “... he was a very educated singer, well-read and well-mannered man. When he finished his 30,000 songs, I wanted to talk about it and he told me not to and said it will look like he is showing off.” He adds that to him, ‘Tere Mere Beech Mein’ will remain the best song that Bala Ji sang for him.
Balasubrahmanyam also sang blockbuster songs for Bollywood celebrities like Salman Khan through the 90’s. Some of the hits were ‘Mere rang mein rangne wali’ from Maine Pyar Kiya (1989) and ‘Sathiya tune kya kiya’ from Love (1991).
This legendary national singer will remain alive in the hearts of the generations to come through his melodious songs of love and tragedy.
You can listen to a few of his popular tracks here
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