Today is the 69th birthday of one of India's most recognized and celebrated playback singer of all time, SP Balasubrahmanyam.
We all know that S.P.B, as he is commonly known as, is a great singer, but did you know that he has a special ability to keep his voice young forever? Jokes apart, this article is about some of the most fascinating and unknown facts about the legendary singer.
To start off, S.P.B was born as Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam at Konetammapeta, Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh and has two brothers and five sisters, including singer S.P. Sailaja.
He was enrolled at JNTU College of Engineering, but discontinued his studies and later joined as an Associate Member of the Institution of Engineers in Chennai.
Balasubrahmanyam made his debut as a playback singer in 1966 with Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna, a Telugu film scored by his mentor, S. P. Kodandapani.
He recorded his first Tamil song "Eyarkai ennum illaya kanni" in the 1969 film Shanthi Nilaiyam starring Gemini Ganesan. He then went on to sing for M.G.R in the film Aadimai Penn which is a story in itself.
Continue to read the story in the slides below.
No Beginner's Luck?
After he was selected to sing 'Aayiram Nilavae Vaa' starring M.G.R and Jayalalitha, S.P.B suffered from typhoid just before the recording and hence couldn't lend his voice to the then Superstar, which disappointed him greatly.
When M.G.R Waited For S.P.B's Voice
But M.G.R, who was adamant in providing S.P.B with a chance, went to the extent of delaying the shoot and waited patiently for the singer to recover completely. Once S.P.B was able to sing, the song was recorded and then was shot at a famous palace in Jaipur.
Leading The Maestro
S.P.B was the leader of a light music troupe which had Ilaiyaraaja(on guitar and later on harmonium), Baskar (on percussion), and Gangai Amaran (on guitar). His association with Ilaiyaraaja started even before the two had made their respective movie debut.
The Song Machine
He has a rare distinction of rendering most number of songs in a single day by any singer. He has recorded 21 songs in Kannada for the composer Upendra Kumar in Bangalore from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm on February 8, 1981. He has also recorded 19 songs in Tamil, all in a day and also 16 songs in Hindi, which is a notable achievement and a record.
He holds the Guinness World Record for recording the highest number of songs, for any playback singer with over 40,000 numbers in various Indian languages. He also has 6 National Film Awards across four languages against his name.
When He Was Rejected
He was once rejected by a Hindi music composer, saying that South Indians cannot pronounce Hindi properly. He went on to win a National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for his first Hindi movie, Ek Duje Ke Liye. His association with Lata Mangeshkar for the song 'Didi Tera Devar Deewana' is remembered even today.
S.P.B The Actor
S.P.B has acted in 72 films in three different languages, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. He is probably the only Indian singer to have acted in so many films. He can also speak these three languages fluently, though his mother tongue is Telugu.
S.P.B The Music Director
He has worked as a music director in 46 films in four different languages which includes Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi. Some of his notable works as a music composer in Tamil includes Sigaram and Unnai Charanadaindhen.
S.P.B The Dubbing Artist
He is a professional dubbing artist and also a film producer. He has lent his voice for popular actors like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Girish Karnad, Gemini Ganesan, Arjun Sarja and many more.
His Stint With T.V
He is a famous TV personality as well. Having acted in two Tamil and a Telugu serial, S.P.B has also hosted number of music reality shows and has accepted the honour of being a judge in many famous shows in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.