KJ Yesudas completes 50 years of singing as playback singer. Yesudas sang his first film song on November 14, 1961, by rendering four lines from a verse of saint-reformer Sreenarayana Guru to which music was set by the late MB Sreenivas for Malayalam film Kalppadukal. Now 71, Yesudas has since then rose to become one of the country's most-heard singers whose mellifluous voice made hundreds of songs ever-haunting.
Besides singing in his mother tongue Malayalam, Yesudas has sung in Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Odiya, Marathi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tulu and foreign languages like Malay, Russian, Arabic, Latin and English. According to music critics, Yesudas stands out on account of rare quality of his voice, dedication and hard work. He has shown great talent to modulate his voice to express minute nunances of sentiments and has great versatility to sing all types of songs - romantic, philosophic and humourous.
Yesudas has also partnered with three generations of female singers, many of them top-notch artists like P Suseela, S Janaki, P Leela, Vani Jayaram, Chithra and Sujatha. His talent has been tapped by leading music directors like G Devarajan, MS Baburaj, K Raghavan, MS Viswanathan and MK Arjun. He has bagged national award for the best male playback singer seven times and state awards for the best playback singer more than 30 times in various languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Bengali.