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Vani Jayaram Biography

Vani Jayaram (Tamil: வாணி ஜெயராம்) is a prominent Indian female playback singer. She has sung songs in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi and Hindi. She has thrice won the National Film Awards for Best Female Playback Singer.

Vani Jayaram, one of the greatest singers of our times. She has rendered classical songs in Carnatic and Hindustani styles, ghazals, light and pop songs and some popular folk songs. She has sung songs in several Indian languages.

Personal life and background:

Vani Jayaram was born in Vellore in Tamil Nadu, in a family of musicians. Her mother is the disciple of Ranga Ramunaja Iyengar, a great veena exponent. Kadaloor Sreenivasa Iyengar, who taught Vani’s sister music, was fascinated by her observation and grasping power. He taught her a few Dikshitar kritis when she was hardly five. The fifth daughter in a family of six daughters and three sons, Vani always secretly yearned for a career in film playback singing. Considered to be a child prodigy, Vani Jayaram claims to have recognized the different ragas of Indian classical music before the age of five. Her voice was first heard on All India Radio, Madras, at the age of eight.
Vani Jayaram studied Carnatic music under the tutelage of Kadalur Srinivasa Iyengar, T. R. Balasubramanian and R. S. Mani. Her Hindustani light-classical music guru was Ustad Abdul Rahman Khan.
After her marriage to Jayaram she settled in Mumbai, a city where she realized her dream.


In 1971, she realized her childhood ambition of becoming a film playback singer when the veteran Hindi film music director, Vasant Desai chose her voice for the Hindi feature film Guddi. She recorded three songs for Guddi, Bol Re Papi Hara a song based on the Hindustani raga Miyan Malhar, instantly made her an household name of India. For that song she was awarded Tansen Samman (for best classical-based song in a Hindi film,) The Lions International Best Promising Singer, The All India Cine goers Association, and the All India Film-goers Association awards for the Best Playback Singer in 1971. She went on to sing a few songs each for music directors of Hindi cinema, including Chitragupt, Naushad (a classical song in Pakeezah and a duet with Asha Bhosle in Aaina), Madan Mohan (a duet with Kishore Kumar in the film Ek Mutthi Aasmaan), O.P. Nayyar (several songs from the film Khoon Ka Badla Khoon including duets with Mohammed Rafi and also with Uttara Kelkar and Pushpa Pagdhare), R.D. Burman (a duet with Mukesh in the film Chhalia), Kalyanji Anandji, Laxmikant Pyarelal, and Jaidev (a duet with Manna Dey in Parinay and a solo in Solwa Saawan). Her songs in the film Meera (1979), composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar (not to be confused with Meera (1945), starring M.S. Subbulakshmi), won her the Filmfare Award [3].Vani recorded her first Tamil song for the Tamil film Thaiyum Seiyum, for S.M. Subbaiah Naidu, in the year 1973.

Around 1974, she shifted her base to Chennai and soon was sought-after singer in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam cinema. Besides Hindi and Tamil, Vani Jayaram has recordings in other languages of India. These include some songs in Gujarati, Marathi, Marwari, Haryanvi, Bengali and Tulu, and a huge repertoire in Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Oriya. For her work in some of these languages, she has been awarded many prestigious awards, among them are: Best Female Playback Singer for states of Gujarat (1975), Tamil Nadu (1980) and Orissa (1984).

One of her most famous Marathi songs 'Runanubandhachya..' is a duet with the celebrated classical Hindustani singer Kumar Gandharva. This song was composed by Vani's mentor Vasant Desai for a Marathi drama "Dev Deenaghari Dhaavlaa". The lyrics of this song were written by Bal Kolhatkar.
She is also the youngest artiste to be awarded the Sangeet Peet Samman.
Tamil Best of 2017

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