Singing legend S P Balasubrahmanyam dies at 74 after battling Covid-19

S P Balasubrahmanyam | Photo: Facebook
Veteran singer S P Balasubrahmanyam died in a Chennai hospital on Friday after battling Covid-19 for a month. He was 74.

Balasubrahmanyam was admitted to MGM Healthcare for Covid-19 symptoms on August 5. His condition deteriorated eight days later and was moved to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and he was on life support and his condition remained critical. 

SPB, as his fans called him, was born into an orthodox Telugu Brahmin family in Andhra Pradesh. He was the second son in a family of three sons and five daughters. His father, S. P. Sambamurthy, was a well-known exponent of traditional art Harikatha and his sister S.P. Sailaja is a former actress-singer in Tollywood. He is survived by daughter Pallavi and son S P B. Charan.

Turning point for his career as singer was in 1964, when he won the first prize in a competition organised by Chennai-based Telugu Cultural Organisation. He was picked up by Music director SP Kodandapani who introduced SPB in film music in 1966, with Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna.

He has sung more than 40,000 songs since then in more than 5 different Indian languages, including Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam. He holds the world record in the Guinness Book of World Records for having sung the most number of song recordings by any singer. SPB has sung several private albumsr also.

SPB also holds the record for the highest number of songs in a day. The singer recorded 21 songs in 12 hours for Kannada composer Upendra Kumar. He also recorded 19 Tamil songs in a day and 16 songs in a day in Hindi. In the song, 'Mannil Intha' for the film 'Keladi Kanmani', he sung continuous lines without pausing for a breath.

The singer won six National Awards and practically monopolised playback singing for more than 30 years in South India.


Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel