Legendary Indian singer S P Balasubrahmanyam passes away at 74

Legendary Indian singer S P Balasubrahmanyam passes away at 74 - We The World
Image courtesy of @LahariMusic via Twitter

A legendary Indian singer, S P Balasubrahmanyam, passed away at 74 who held the Guinness world record for singing 40,000 songs in a career spanning over 50-years, after battling the novel coronavirus.

The famous singer passed away Friday at MGM Healthcare in Southern Indian state Chennai, where he was admitted earlier last month after testing positive for COVID-19.

“In a further setback this morning, despite maximal life support measures and the best efforts of the clinical team, his (Balasubrahmanyam’s) condition deteriorated further and he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest.

“With profound grief, we regret to inform that he passed away at 13.04 hours,” the hospital said in a statement.

As per PTI news agency, Balasubrahmanyam became critically sick on Thursday and breathed his last 1:04 PM on Friday from cardio-respiratory arrest. The singer had recovered from the virus although.

Balasubrahmanyam leaves behind not only record achievements through songs but millions of fans across the film and music industries in India.

Soon after the death of the singer was announced by his son filmmaker SP Charan tributes started to overflow social media.

From Bollywood actors, singers, music directors to people from every walks of life poured out their condolences to the tragic loss of the industry.

SP Balasubrahmanyam was one of the first singers to make a spot for himself in the highly-competitive Bollywood film Industry in India, while he hailed from the local South Indian film industry.

He was remarkable for becoming mainstream in India’s biggest commercial film Industry in Mumbai whose career had its roots in the Tamil and Telegu film industry.

From the not-so-extravagant roots, Balasubrahmanyam went to receive six national awards, Padmashree – India’s fourth-highest civilian award in 2001 and Padma Bhushan – India’s third-highest civilian award in 2011.

His breakthrough in Bollywood can be marked by the film Ek Duuje Ke Liye (We Are Made For Each Other) in 1981 which topped that years charts.

Despite his marked Tamil accent, he quickly became a household name in Bollywood and went on to sing for stars like Salman Khan among others.

At some points at the heights of career, his fame and demand among fans were such, love letters written in blood would fill the singer’s mailboxes, the BBC noted.

Pained to hear the news of SP Balasubrahmanyam’s demise, legendary playback singer Lata Mangeshkar wrote on Twitter in Hindi. What songs we’ve sung together, what shows we’ve done, all are flashing in my mind now, she wrote.

Music director A.R Rahman wrote ‘Devastated’ on Twitter, with an image of himself and the singer in a candid click. Rahman and Balasubrahmanyam worked together in the 1992 film Roja which was a massive hit for its songs.

“Thank you for the memories. Thank you for showing that a singer can be a fantastic singer, act, voice act, produce, compose & more. You lived and how! Your art will live for eons and I’ll always celebrate you,” Bollywood singer Chinmayi Sripaada tweeted.

“With the unfortunate demise of Shri SP Balasubrahmanyam, our cultural world is a lot poorer. A household name across India, his melodious voice and music enthralled audiences for decades. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” PM Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter.

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