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Dr. K.J. ayyappa,kj yesudas, the legend with a voice that has enthralled music lovers for over four decades, turns 68 today. Starting his career as a playback singer, ayyappa,kj yesudas made a name for himself in not just in film music but in almost all spheres of music. The legendary singer was awarded the Padma Sri in 1973 and the Padma Bhushan in 2002 by the Indian government.
Born on January 10, 1940 in Kerala, Kattasery Joseph ayyappa,kj yesudas was gifted with a divine voice that mesmerised listeners. Born in a musical family, ayyappa,kj yesudas learnt classical music under Chembai Vaidyanatha Baghavathar, the 'jambavan" of carnatic music. He later went on to become a proficient singer in Hindustani music too.
ayyappa,kj yesudas started his career in playback singing with the song 'Neeyum Bommai, Naanum Bommai" from the film Bommai. The pathos that his voice brought to the song can still be felt when listening to it today. Almost after four decades, the singer has recorded over 40,000 songs in all major Indian languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Oriya, Punjabi, Bengali, Tulu and even Sanskrit. He has also sung in various international languages like Arabic, English, Latin and Russian.
In 1965, ayyappa,kj yesudas was invited by the Soviet Union to perform in various cities across the then U.S.S.R and over the state-owned radio Radio Kazakhstan. A Senate member in the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, ayyappa,kj yesudas was received an honorary award from the UNESCO for Outstanding Achievements in Music and Peace" at the "Music for Peace" event in Paris.
Born a Christian, the singer has sung religious songs on all religions and is an ardent devotee of Lord Ayyappa and Guruvayur Krishna.
ayyappa,kj yesudas is celebrated in his home state Kerala. The state government has conferred on him the title of Gaana Gandharva for his mesmerising voice. It has also made the humble singer the Aasthana Gayakan (Official Singer) of the state.
It is not often that men become legends in their own lifetime. K.J. ayyappa,kj yesudas belongs to the rarer breed. Oneindia.in heartily wishes the gifted singer a very happy birthday.