Singer Kalyani Menon passed away at the age of 70. She was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Chennai for paralysis.
She has sung over 100 songs in Tamil and Malayalam movies. The songs with Yesudas in ‘Mangalam Nerunnu’, ‘Ritubheda Kalpana Charutha Nalikaya’ and other songs like ‘Pavanarachezhuthunnu’ from Vietnam Colony, ‘Jalasayyayil’ from My Mother’s Laptop, and ‘Ninakkum Nilavil’ from ‘Mullavalliyum Thenmavum’ were very popular.
Kalyanikutty, the only daughter of Balakrishna Menon and Rajamma from Ernakulam, walked into the world of music through the Kalalaya Youth Festival. She studied classical music under the guidance of MR Sivaraman Nair, and made her film debut by singing in 1973 Thoppil Bhasi’s movie ‘Abala’. The song Kannirin Mazhayathum’ composed by Baburaj for Ramu Kariat’s movie ‘Dweep’ (1977) gained attention.
While working in Chennai, she acted in Dhananjayan’s play ‘Magdalena Mariam’ as part of the celebrations at the Vallathol Center. She made her Tamil film debut with the song ‘Sevvaname Ponmeghame’ composed by Ilayaraja in Balaji’s ‘Nallatoru Kudumbam’ (1979). In the early 1980s, Kalyani sang in some of Balaji’s films.
The song ‘Theril Vanthal Devadai’ from the unreleased film ‘Mookkuthi Meengal’ and ‘Njan Iravil Ezhuthum Kavithai Muluthum’ from the film Shubha Muhurtham (1983) were super hits.
Since 1990s, she did several albums with AR Rahman. Kalyani also worked in Rahman’s ‘Vande Mataram’ album. She also sung the new version of Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s song ‘Eppo Varuvaro’ from Sreenivas’s album ‘Ussale’ alongside singer Unnikrishnan.
Director and cinematographer Rajeev Menon is her son. She also acted in Rajeev Menon’s movie ‘Kandukondein Kandukondein’. Aishwarya Rai played the role of a music teacher in this movie. Her last film is the 2018 superhit movie ’96’. She and singer Chinmayi sung the superhit song ‘Kathale Kathale’, composed by Govind Vasantha.