Legendary playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam is no more

Legendary playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, 74, who was undergoing treatment for Covid passed away at a private hospital in Chennai on Friday.

SPB, as he is popularly known, was hospitalised in August at MGM Healthcare after testing positive for Covid-19. Although he recovered after the initial treatment, his condition worsened of late with doctors putting him on a ventilator support.

The hospital, in a health bulletin, stated: “In a further setback this morning, despite maximal life support measures and the best efforts of the clinical team, his condition deteriorated further and he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest. With profound grief, we regret to inform that he has passed away on September 25th at 13.04 hours.”

SPB made his singing debut in 1966 with Telugu movie Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna. He has sung over 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi. He was also a voice-over artist. He was the voice-over artist for actor Kamal Hassan, whenever the latter’s Tamil movies were dubbed in Telugu. Balasubrahmanyam also acted in a few movies.

Balasubrahmanyam sang thousands of songs in South Indian languages and in Hindi for five decades for generations of actors — from MGR, Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan, down to the stars of the present — and is the winner of six national awards. He also had won the hearts of several fans across the world for whom his songs have marked milestones.