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TM Soundararajan's last rites performed

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TM Soundararajan's last rites performed
Veteran singer TM Soundararajan passed away on Saturday (May 26) at his residence following a brief illness. His last rites were performed by his family on Sunday. His son lit the funeral pyre amid chanting of mantras during the last rites performed at a burial ground in Mylapore, Chennai.

Hundreds of fans have thronged the house of the 91-year-old singer after they heard the death news to pay their last respects. Notable personalities like Vani Jayaram, Mano, Surendhar, Shylaja, music director Illayaraja, Deva, actor Vadivelu, actor-directors K Bhagyaraj, T Rajendar, DMK leaders MK Stalin and Azhagiri were among those who paid their last respects.

Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and DMK president M Karunanidhi condoled TMS' death.

The 91 year-old singer, who was the numero uno choice of Tamil cinema icons MG Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan, was not keeping well for sometime and had recently undergone treatment for breathlessness. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Often hailed as the 'Uncrowned King' of Tamil cinema, TMS, as Soundararajan was fondly addressed, had rendered over 5,000 cinema and devotional songs and had been awarded various honours including the Padmashri and the state government's 'Kalaimamani'. A highly respected singer hailing from Madurai, Soundarajan had last sung in the theme song of the World Classical Tamil Conference in 2010, composed by AR Rahman.

TMS was also known for his soul-stirring devotional songs, especially on Lord Muruga, with his most famous 'Ullam uruguthayya' (The heart melts) instantly evoking devotion even today. He had also starred in some films. But Soundararajan dominated the playback scene for nearly four decades in which he almost sang for all leading heroes of Tamil cinema.

Voice modulation was his forte, allowing the veteran to sing for more than one person in a particular song in films such as Bama Vijayam, making him an instant household name among fans. His memorable numbers - 'Unnai Arinthal' (Vettaikaran), 'Avalukkena' (Server Sundaram), 'Malarnthum Malaratha' (Paasamalar) - were among thousands of songs he had recorded for a number of Tamil cinema heroes.

He made most of the challenging songs sound easy with his fine pronunciation of the language. Besides cinema, Soundararajan's devotional numbers were equally popular with his 'Ullam Uruguthayya' on Lord Muruga turning out to be the stand-out number.

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