Veteran singer Suresh Wadkar has been conferred with Padma Shri by the government of India.
Padma Shri is the fourth highest civilian award in the country.
The 64-year-old singer is known for his playback singing in Hindi and Marathi. He has been active for more than 47 years now. He is also a household name when it comes to devotional music.
Suresh Wadkar spoke to indianexpress.com and expressed gratitude that the government of India has conferred him with such a huge honour.
He said, “It is a great feeling to know that I am going to receive the Padma Shri. It is a big honour. I have been singing and performing for more than 47 years now, so ‘der aaye durust aaye’ (better late than never). With this the government of India has shown appreciation for my work and contribution to Indian music.”
Thanking his music teacher Jialal Vasantji, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, the singer said, “This could not be possible without the blessings of my gurus (teachers), my family and contemporaries. I take this opportunity to thank my guruji Jialal Vasantji. I thank Ravindra Jain ji also who introduced me to the industry. I can never thank Lata (Mangeshkar) ji and Asha (Bhosle) ji enough. They have treated me as their younger brother and did the hand holding for me. I would also like to thank all the seniors from the classical music family, the singers and the instrumentalists.”
“No recognition is possible unless the audience showers their love and blessings. I cannot thank them enough. Their love is humbling. I also count myself to be fortunate enough to be accepted by music lovers. If there are ‘rasik maai baap, humaare gaane ka faaida kya hai’ (without connoisseurs of music, our music is no good). Because they listen to our music, we survive. We singers owe our existence to our audience,” Suresh Wadkar concluded.