Lalitha Chandran Age, Death, Family, Biography & More

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Death Date: 31/01/2023
Death Cause: Cancer
Age: 84 Years

Lalitha Chandran

Other nameC. Lalitha [1]The Hindu
Profession Carnatic Singer and vocalist
Famous forPerforming Carnatic music renditions as a duo with her elder sister Saroja
Physical Stats & More
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourSalt & Pepper
DebutMusical Performance- Mounaswamy Madam Temple, Ambattur, Chennai
Concert- The Music Academy in Chennai
Awards, Honours, Achievements • 1971- Sai Mamanigal Award by Ulaga Tamil Isai Mandram
• 1984- Suswara Sugalaya Sangeetha Award by Purandaradasa Thyagaraja Utsava Committee
• 1990- Ganakala Chakravarthi Award by Calcutta Fine Arts
• 1991- Gandharva Gana Jyothi Award by Sadguru Sandananda Swamigal, Puducottai
• 1991- Sangeetha Choodamani Award from the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha
• 1992- Kalaimamani Award for contribution to Carnatic music by the Government of Tamilnadu
• 1994- Sangeetha Kala Nipuna Award by Mylapore Fine Arts Club, Madras
• 1995- Tamil Kkalaivani Award by the Tamil Sangam, New York
• 1996- Sangeetha Kala Sagaram Award by the His Holiness Sri Sankaracharya Swamigal of Kamakoti Peetam, Kanchipuram
• 1996- Sangita Ratnakara Sri Chowdaiha Memorial Award by Academy of Music, Bangalore
• 1996- Sangeetha Kala Siromani Award by Nungambakkam Cultural Academy, Chennai
• 1997- Thenisai Kuyilgal Award by Pollachi Tamil Sangam
• 1997- Sangeetha Kala Sagaram Award by the Kalasagaram at Secunderabad
• 2004- Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by the Government of India
• 2006- Isai Peraringar Award by The Indian Fine Arts Society, Chennai
• 2010- Sangeetha Kalanidhi Award from the Madras Music Academy
• 2013- Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer Memorial Award
• 2018- S V Narayanaswamy Rao Award by the Sree Rama Seva Mandali, Bangalore
• 2019- MS Subbulakshmi Award by the Government of Tamil Nadu
• 2020- India's fourth highest civilian honour, Padma Shri, in the field of Arts
Personal Life
Date of Birth 26 August 1938 (Friday)
BirthplaceTrichur, Kerala, India
Date of Death31 January 2023
Place of DeathA private hospital in Chennai
Age (at the time of death) 84 Years
Death CauseCancer [2]The Times of India
Zodiac signVirgo
Nationality Indian
HometownTrichur, Kerala, India
SchoolSouth Indian Education Society High School, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra
College/University• Central College of Carnatic Music, Adyar, Chennai [3]The Hindu
• Delhi University, New Delhi
Education Qualification• Graduation by correspondence [4]News18
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Married
Husband/SpouseN. R. Chandran (advocate)
Lalitha Chandran with N. R. Chandran
ParentsFather- N. Chidambaram Iyer
Mother- Mukthambal
SiblingsSister(s)- 4
• C. Saroja (singer)
Lalitha Chandran (left) with her sister C. Saroja
• Sethu Mahadevan (singer)
• Name not known
• Name not known

Lalitha Chandran


Some Lesser Known Facts About Lalitha Chandran

  • Lalitha Chandran was an Indian singer famous for composing renditions in Carnatic music. On 31 January 2023, after battling cancer for a long period of time, she breathed her last at a private hospital in Chennai.
  • Lalitha was raised in Bombay by her parents as her father worked as an Electrical Engineer in the Western Railway.
  • During her school days, Lalitha was not inclined towards music and aspired to become an English professor. In an interview, Lalitha talked about how her sister Saroja manipulated her and developed her interest in music and said,

    I had no interest in pursuing music as a career. I wanted to be an English teacher. Saroja was the one who egged me on and brainwashed me with tales of how we could both become famous together. I owe my fame to her.”

  • In 1959, Lalitha received a scholarship from the Central College of Music, Madras, and received training from the principal of the college, Musiri Subramania Iyer.
  • Lalitha’s husband, N. R. Chandran, who belonged to the Pudukkottai district in Tamil Nadu, is a Senior Advocate of the High Court and former Advocate General of Tamil Nadu.
  • Lalitha received professional singing training from Carnatic musicians, H. A. S. Mani, Musiri Subramania Iyer and, T. K. Govinda Rao. After receiving Carnatic Music training, Lalitha, along with her sister, Saroja, shifted to Chennai from Mumbai.
  • In 1963, Lalitha and Saroja started performing together in several singing shows and programs. Initially, they started with light classical music and gradually they advanced to classical Carnatic music.
  • Lalitha, and her sister, Saroja are well-known by the name “Bombay Sisters.” The title originated when Mouna Swamigal of Buvaneshwari Math, Ambattur, blessed the duo after their performance and addressed them as “Bombai Sahodarigal” (Sahodarigal is a Tamil word, which means sibling). In an interview, Lalitha talked about how the name ‘Bombay Sisters’ originated and said,

    Two houses away, one of our neighbours, who thought we sang well, told our father to take us to Ambattur Mouna Swamigal of Buvaneshwari Math for Navarathri. After our performance, Swamigal wrote on a paper, ‘Bombai Sahodarigal, Ashirwatham panren’ and told us to be known by this name. It was a great blessing for us.”

  • In an interview, Lalitha stated that she was immensely inspired by Carnatic singers M. S. Subbulakshmi, D. K. Pattammal, and M. L. Vasanthakumari.
  • The Bombay sisters, Lalitha and Saroja, composed devotional songs and released albums in various languages like Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, and Marathi.
  • Some of Lalitha’s devotional songs in the Sanskrit languages include Sri Bilva Ashtothara Sathanamavali, Sri Lalitha Sahasranamam & Ashtothram, Sree Mahishasuramardini Sthothram, Sri Vishnu Padadi Kesantha Sthothram, Sri Bhubaneswari Suprabhatham And Ashtakam, and many more.
  • Lalitha rendered her voice to several Tamil devotional songs like Pallikkarannai Parasakthi, PoornayogaVibhavam, Sri Venkatesa Suprabhatham, Bhajagovindam & Mukundamala, Raghavendra Suprabhatham, and many more.
  • Lalitha voiced a few Kannada songs like Devi Geethanjali, Kailasagirivasa Sri Manjunatha, Venkateswara Suprabhatham, Gorahanahalli Mahalakshmi Suprabhatham, and Srinivasa Vaibhava.
  • The Bombay Sisters duo, Lalitha and Saroja, were the first women who were conferred with the title ‘Asthana Vidhushis’ for their contribution to the Carnatic music by the Kanchi Matha. (Asthana Vidushi is an honorary title granted to a musician or dancer in India). In an interview, Lalitha talked about being the first woman to receive the honorary title of ‘Asthana Vidhushi’ and said,

    We used to visit the Kanchi Math regularly. On one such occasion recently, Periyaval conferred on us the status of the Math’s ‘Asthana Vidhushis’. We are the first women artistes to receive this coveted honour. It is a blessing.”

  • Lalitha performed with her sister Saroja in several concerts and cultural shows in India and abroad like Washington, Dubai, Bahrain, The United States, Canada, Singapore, and Malaysia.

    Lalitha Chandran (third from left) and C. Saroja (fourth from left) performing at a cultural show

    Lalitha Chandran (third from left) and C. Saroja (fourth from left) performing at a cultural show

  • Together, Lalitha and Saroja lent their voice to only two Tamil films, Arunagirinathar (1964) and Yar Jambulingam (1972).
  • Lalitha and her sister, Saroja were offered to sing in the film industry individually, but they refused to sing separately as they wanted to stick together and perform as a duo only.
  • Lalitha promoted various aspiring singers in Carnatic music through her trust, Muktambaram Trust, which was named after her parents.
  • In an interview, Lalitha stated that her favourite raga was Prati Madhyama raga. (A raga is a melodic mode, which is used to improvise Indian classical music performances)
  • In an interview, Lalitha talked about one of the most memorable moments of her career and said,

    We were given Sangeeth Natak Akademi award by former President A P J Abdul Kalam. During the event, we got a half-an-hour slot to perform. Since Kalam used to write songs, we picked up one of his songs. During the kutcheri, when we announced that we were going to sing a song written by APJ, his face lit up and he came forward to listen carefully. It was a memorable moment for us.”

  • On 1 February 2023, Lalitha was cremated at Besant Nagar Crematorium in Chennai.