Saturday, June 20, 2015

SPB an asset to the film industry

One of India’s most recognised playback singers, SP Balasubrahmanyam (SPB) recently celebrated his 69th birthday.’s AVINASH GOPINATH takes a look at some amazing facts about the man.

He has the rare distinction of rendering the most number of songs in a single day by any singer. He recorded 21 songs in Kannada for the composer Upendra Kumar in Bangalore from 9am to 9pm on February 8, 1981. He also recorded 19 songs in Tamil, all in a day, and also 16 songs in Hindi, 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 six National Film Awards across four languages to his name.

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 singer and occasional composer Lata Mangeshkar for the song Didi Tera Devar Deewana is remembered even today.

SPB has acted in 72 films in three different languages, namely 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.

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 include Sigaram and Unnai Charanadaindhen.

He is a noted 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.

He is a famous TV personality as well. Having acted in two Tamil serials and a Telugu one, SPB has also hosted number of music reality shows and accepted the honour of being a judge in many famous shows in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.

SPB 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 debuts.

After he was selected to sing Aayiram Nilavae Vaa starring MGR and Jayalalitha, SPB suffered from typhoid just before the recording and couldnt lend his voice to the then superstar, which disappointed him.

When SPB was recovering from typhoid, MGR once went to the extent of delaying the shoot of his film and waited patiently for the singer to recover completely. Once SPB was able to sing, the song was recorded and then shot at a famous palace in Jaipur.


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