As the veteran singer SP Balasubrahmanyam turns 68 today, Bollywoodlife brings you five best songs of the man with the silken voice – one from each genre
Born on June 4,1946 in the small village of Konetammapeta in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, SP Balasubrahmanyam showed special interest in music since his early age. SP Balasubrahmanyam aka SPB was tutored in instruments like harmonium and flute. He was never trained to be a singer. But the fate had other ideas as SPB also loving called as Balu had become a singing sensation, perhaps one of the greatest legends behind the mike that cinema has ever produced.
He made his debut with the Telugu song Emi ee vintha from Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna in 1966 and since then he hasn’t looked back. SPB has the rare honour of winning the prestigious National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for six times. He also holds the Guiness World Record of highest number of songs sung by any individual. The Padma Bhushan awardee has crooned for all the big heroes over the decades. Having sung in more than five different languages, his popularity reached the sky during the ’80s. On the occasion of the legendary singer’s 68th birthday, we bring you five best songs of SP Balasubrahmanyam, one song from each genre namely – romantic song,sad song,dance number,lullaby and pure carnatic.
Ilaya Nila Pozhigirathe in Payanangal Mudivathillai
This romantic rendition from the melody king SPB will remain in the hearts of the fans for years to come. Ilaya Nila Pozhigirathe from Payangal Mudivathillai has SPB crooning wonderfully to the tunes of Isaignani Ilaiyaraaja. It wouldn’t be wrong to say the Ilaiyaraaja-SPB combo was the best composer-singer combo in the history of Indian cinema. This romantic number sung playfully by SPB was so popular that later on the great Kishore Kumar sang to the same tune in Neele neele ambar par.
Engeyum epodhum in Ninaithale Inikkum
The next in the list is the ultimate dance number, the life of all parties, the song which can still make you stand up and groove – Engeyum epodhum from the Tamil superhit movie Ninaithale Inikkum. This song rendered by SPB with such gusto is considered a cult song as it introduced disco culture to Indian cinema. Sung meticulously by SPB, Engeyum Epodhum is a foot tapping chartbuster featuring two living legends of Tamil cinema Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth.
Nalam vazha in Marupadiyum
SPB had the perfect voice to croon songs of all mood. But when it comes to sad songs, there is no one better than the legend SPB himself. Nalam vazha song from Marupadiyum featuring Arvind Swamy and Revathi is a heart wrenching rendition from the evergreen Balu. The moody number takes you back to the era of your first heartbreak and the hauntingly sweet quality of SPB’s vocals work like magic.
Thene thenpandi in Udaya Geetham
This soothing lullaby by SPB is one of those songs which can make you forget your worries and lets you go back to sleep peacefully. SPB has showcased his immense capabilities in this song which has a unique soft quality which is required for a great lullaby song. Thene thenpandi meene truly showcases the master class of SPB as a playback singer.
Shankara Naadasharirapara in Sankarabharanam
The list is incomplete without the inclusion of the carnatic talent of SPB. And what better song to exhibit SP Balasubrahmanyam’s Carnatic prowess than Shankara Naadasharirapara song from Sankarabharanam. The song will leave you in awe as the incredible SPB shows such great variations in his voice without even straining his vocals one bit. This song will leave you spellbound and after hearing him croon it is hard to believe that the singer has no Carnatic singing background.
As we reach the end of the list, it would we a great sin to not to mention the song Mandram vantha thendralkku from Mouna Ragam which is considered as all time classic by SPB fans.In many ways, SP Balasubrahmanyam was no less than the late legend Kishore Kumar in the musical world. As the greatest playback singer of our times turns an year older today, we wish the energetic singer a very happy birthday and thank him for all the wonderful melodies.