S. P. Balasubrahmanyam Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Death Date: 25/09/2020
Age: 74 Years
Wife: Savithri

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

Full NameSripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam [1]IMDb
Nickname(s)S. P. Balu, S. P. B., Balu [2]The Hindu
Profession(s)Musician, Playback Singer, Music Director, Actor, Dubbing Artist, Film Producer
Famous ForSinging over 40,000 songs in 16 Indian languages
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 170 cm
in meters- 1.70 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 7”
Eye ColourBrown
Hair ColourDark Brown
DebutAs a singer

Film (Telugu): Song 'Emiyee Vinta Moham!' from the film Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna (1966)
Film (Kannada): Song 'Kanasido Nanasid' from the film "Nakkare Ade Swarga" (1966)
Song (Tamil): 'Athaanodu Ippadi Irundhu Eththanai Naalaachu' from the shelved film, "Hotel Ramba" (1967)
Film (Malayalam): Kadalppalam (1969)
Film (Hindi): 5 songs from the film Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981)
Awards, Honours, Achievements State Awards

• Padma Shri by the Government of India (2001)
• Padma Bhushan by the Government of India (2011)
• Padma Vibhushan by the Government of India (2021) (posthumously)

Other Honours

• Kalaimaamani by the Government of Tamil Nadu (1981)
• Honorary Doctorate by Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University (1999)
• Karnataka Rajyothsava Award (Second Highest Civilian honor of Karnataka) by the Government of Karnataka (2008)
• Honorary Doctorate by Sathyabama University, Chennai (2009)
• Kalaprapoorna (Honorary doctorate) by Andhra University (2009)
• Honorary Doctorate by JNTU Anantapur (2010)
• Kala Pradarshini Ghantasala Puraskar by The Ghantasala family & Kala Pradarshini, Chennai (2017)
• Honorary Doctorate by The International Tamil University, United States (2017)
• Kamban Pugazh Virudhh in Sri Lanka (2020)
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam honoured with Kamban Pugazh virudhh 2020

National Film Awards (For Best Male Playback Singer)

• For the song "Omkaara Nadhaanu" from the film, 'Sankarabharanam' (1979)
• For the song "Tere Mere Beech Mein" from the film, 'Ek Duuje Ke Liye' (1981)
• For the song "Vedam Anuvanuvuna" from the film, 'Saagara Sangamam' (1983)
• For the song "Cheppaalani Undi" from the film, 'Rudraveena' (1988)
• For the song "Umandu Ghumandu Ghana Gar Je Badara" from the film, 'Sangeetha Sagara Ganayogi Panchakshara Gavai' (1995)
• For the song "Thanga Thamarai" from the film, 'Minsaara Kanavu' (1996)

Filmfare Award (Best Male Playback Singer)

• For the song "Dil Deewana" from the film 'Maine Pyar Kiya' (1989)

Filmfare Awards South

• Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South (1983)
• Outstanding Achievement As a Playback Singer (1986)
• Best Film for the film Subha Sankalpam (1995)
• Best Male Playback Singer for the song 'Ghal Ghal Ghal Ghal' from the film "Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana" (2005)
• Best Male Playback Singer for the song 'Adigadigo Bhadragi' from the film "Sri Ramadasu" (2006)
• Best Male Playback Singer for the song 'Kannal Pesum Penne' from the film "Mozhi" (2007)
• Best Male Playback Singer for the song 'Matrudevobhava' from the film "Panduranga" (2008)
• Best Male Playback Singer for the song 'Indiramma' from the film "Mahatma" (2009)
• Best Male Playback Singer for the song 'Gharane Ghara Gharane' from the film "Aaptha Rakshaka" (2010)
• Best Male Playback Singer for the song 'Yamma yamma' from the film "7aum Arivu" (2011)

South Indian International Movie Award

• SIIMA Lifetime Achievement Award (2017)

Nandi Awards

• NTR National Award for his contribution to Indian Cinema (2012)
• Special Jury Award for the film Mithunam (2012)
• Best Dubbing Artist for the film Annamayya (1997)
• Best Male Playback Singer for the film Chanti (1991)
• Special Jury Award for the film Prema (1989)
• Best Music Director Award for the film Mayuri (1985)

Tamil Nadu State Film Awards for Best Singer

• For the film Adimaippen, Shanti Nilayam (1969)
• For the film Nizhalgal (1980)
• For the film Keladi Kanmani (1990)
• For the film Jai Hind (1994)

Karnataka State Film Awards for Best Male Playback Singer

• For the film O Mallige (1997-1998)
• For the film Srushti (2004-2005)
• For the film Savi Savi Nenapu (2007-2008)
Personal Life
Date of Birth4 June 1946 (Tuesday)
BirthplaceNellore, Madras Presidency, British India (Present-day, Andhra Pradesh)
Date of Death25 September 2020 (Friday)
Place of DeathMGM Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Age (at the time of death)74 Years
Death CauseProlonged Illness (Died after recovering from COVID-19) [3]The Hindu
Zodiac signGemini
HometownNellore, Andhra Pradesh, India
College/UniversityJNTU College of Engineering Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh
Educational QualificationEngineering (Dropped) [4]The Hindu
EthnicityTelugu [5]Wikipedia
HobbiesSinging, Playing the Guitar
Controversies• In 2019, Balasubrahmanyam was invited by PM Narendra Modi to an event along with many other celebrities. The organisers of the event did not allow Balasubrahmanyam to carry his phone in the event. However, later he found that almost all the celebrities present there were having their phones with them and they were taking selfies with PM Modi. SP was very disappointed with this act and complained about this on his Facebook page. This evoked controversy. [6]The Hans India

• Balasubrahmanyam again attracted controversy for taking a dig at the actresses who wore small dresses at film events. He said that actresses wore short clothes only to impress the filmmakers. His comments outraged many actresses [7]The Hans India

• Balasubrahmanyam made to the headlines when Ilaiyaraaja sent a legal notice to him to not to perform the songs composed by him (Ilaiyaraaja) during the SPB50 world tour in 2016. However, later the duo bonded well and also performed together at various events. [8]The Hans India
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Married
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam with his wife
ChildrenSon- S. P. B. Charan (Playback Singer, Film Producer)
Daughter- Pallavi
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam with his family
ParentsFather- S. P. Sambamurthy (Harikatha Artist)
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam's parents
Mother- Sakunthalamma (Died 4 February 2019)
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam with his mother
SiblingsHe had two brothers and five sisters; one of his sisters is S. P. Sailaja, singer and actress.
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam with his sister
SingerMohammed Rafi
SportsCricket, Tennis

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam pic

Some Lesser Known Facts About S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

  • Did S. P. Balasubrahmanyam smoke?: No (He earlier used to drink alcohol, but quit smoking later) [9]Telugu News
  • Did S. P. Balasubrahmanyam drink alcohol?: Yes [10]Telugu News
  • S. P. Balasubrahmanyam was an Indian singer, musician, actor, dubbing artist, and film producer who mainly worked in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam films.
  • S. P. Balasubrahmanyam was born in a well-to-do family in Nellore.
  • Balasubrahmanyam was inclined towards music from a very young age. While in school, Balasubrahmanyam learned music and studied musical notations.
  • As a child, Balasubrahmanyam desired to become an engineer and work as a Gazetted officer as one would earn a salary of Rs. 250 and also had the privilege of a Jeep and a driver.
  • After completing his schooling, Balasubrahmanyam went to JNTU College of Engineering Anantapur in order to become an engineer. However, he discontinued engineering due to typhoid.
  • Later, he joined Chennai’s Institution of Engineers as an Associate Member.
  • Balasubrahmanyam continued learning music in his college days and won several awards at singing competitions.
  • In 1964, he was awarded the first prize in a music competition for amateur singers, organised by the Madras-based Telugu Cultural Organisation.
  • Subsequently, Balasubrahmanyam collaborated with artists like Anirutta (on the harmonium), Ilaiyaraaja (on guitar and later on harmonium), Baskar (on percussion), and Gangai Amaran (on guitar) to form a music troupe. Balasubrahmanyam was the leader of the troupe.

    An old picture of S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

    An old picture of S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

  • At the beginning of his career, Balasubrahmanyam visited many music composers and asked them for work. He sang the song “Nilave Ennidam Nerungadhe” in his first audition.
  • In December 1966, Balasubrahmanyam bagged his first Telugu film “Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna” as a singer.
  • He then went on to sing songs in many different Indian languages including Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi.

    S. P. Balasubrahmanyam dancing to his tunes during a party

    S. P. Balasubrahmanyam dancing to his tunes during a party

  • He worked with many prominent singers like P. Susheela, S. Janaki, Vani Jayaram, and L. R. Eswari during the 1970s.
  • Balasubrahmanyam gained international recognition in 1980 with the Telugu film “Sankarabharanam.”
  • Balasubrahmanyam associated with A.R. Rahman during the 90s. He recorded three songs for A. R. Rahman in his debut film “Roja.” 
  • Balasubrahmanyam did playback singing for many popular Bollywood films like “Maine Pyar Kiya” (1989), “Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!” (1994), and “Chennai Express” (2013).
  • He recorded the title song for the film, Chennai Express, singing for the lead actor Shah Rukh Khan.
  • Balasubrahmanyam was assigned as a default dubbing artist for Kamal Haasan in Telugu-dubbed versions of Tamil films.
  • He held a Guinness record for singing the highest number of songs, i.e., more than 40,000 songs in his lifetime (in 16 Indian languages).
  • Balasubrahmanyam also held a record for singing 21 songs in 12 hours for Kannada composer, Upendra Kumar. He had also recorded 19 Tamil songs in a day and 16 Hindi songs in a single day.

    SP Balasubrahmanyam during a song recording

    SP Balasubrahmanyam during a song recording

  • Balasubrahmanyam never thought of becoming a singer. However, his parents and sisters motivated him to pursue singing as his career.
  • Unlike many other singers who restrict their eating habits to keep their voice in check, SP Balasubrahmanyam never followed any such rule. He was once quoted as saying,

    I like to eat ice creams a lot and it has never affected my voice.”

  • He had also played small roles in many films.
  • In May 2020, Balasubrahmanyam sang a song titled “Bharath Bhoomi.” The song was based on humanity and was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. It was a tribute to people such as police, army, doctors, nurses and janitors who worked hard amid COVID-19 pandemic. The song was released on Ilaiyaraaja’s official YouTube account on 30 May 2020 in both Tamil and Hindi languages.

  • Balasubrahmanyam had tested positive for COVID-19 on 5 August 2020 and was subsequently admitted to MGM Healthcare in Chennai. His health started deteriorating and he was shifted to the intensive care unit in a critical state. He required a ventilator and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support. On 20 August 2020, the Tamil film industry organised a mass prayer via Zoom; his fans gathered outside the hospital with lighted candles. On 7 September 2020, Balasubrahmanyam tested negative for the coronavirus. However, he was still critical and was kept on a ventilator. On 25 September 2020 at 1:04 PM, Balasubrahmanyam died after being hospitalized for around 50 days. [11]The Hindu