Renowned singer SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away in a Chennai hospital on Friday. He was 74.
The singer was being treated for COVID-19 and was hospitalised on August 5. He tested negative for COVID-19 on September 4.
In the medical bulletin, the hospital informed that the singer’s condition deteriorated further on Friday morning and he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest.
SPB’s son SP Charan told reporters at MGM Healthcare, “SPB belongs to everyone. He will live on in his songs. My dad passed away at 1.04 pm.”
The health condition of the singer, who was admitted to the hospital with mild symptoms deteriorated for the first time on August 13 late night and he was put on life support and moved to the Intensive Care Unit. On August 19, he was put on ECMO besides ventilator and a day after, when he remained critical, people from all walks of life, including celebrities and the general public, came together to pray for his early recovery.
The six-time National Award-winning music legend has sung more than 40,000 songs in several languages including Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam and Kannada. He has also won several Filmfare awards and state awards. He was also honoured with the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan.
Born in Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, SPB made his debut as a playback singer in December 1966 with Telugu film Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna.
In the Tamil film industry, he worked with some of the acting legends of the 1970s, including M.G. Ramachandran and Shivaji Ganesan. He recorded duets with P. Susheela, Vani Jayaram, S. Janaki, and L. R. Eswari.
His association with renowned music composer Ilayaraja goes beyond cinema, as the duo partnered for concerts in small towns much before they made their foray into the movies.
SPB also collaborated with AR Rahman in the composer’s debut album Roja. He sang the evergreen track Kaadhal Rojave, and a version of its Hindi counterpart Roja Jaaneman.
In Bollywood, Salman Khan’s fans will remember him as the actor’s voice in the 1990s—he lent his voice to Khan in his early films Maine Pyar Kiya, Saajan, Hum Aapke Hain Koun! to name a few.
A versatile artiste, SPB also forayed into dubbing. He has provided voice-overs for various artists, including Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Anil Kapoor, Gemini Ganesan, Arjun Sarja and more. SPB will also be remembered for his brief stints as a producer, music director, and actor.