SP Balasubramaniam, happy birthday!

The singer-composer-actor turns 67 today

Born on June 4, 1946, SP Balasubramaniam or SPB as music lovers all over the country know him celebrates his 67th birthday today. And what a journey it has been! He’s sung some 40,000 songs in various Indian languages, winning more national and state awards than he can count. In 2011, he was honoured with the Padmabhushan.

But SPB’s achievements are not about numbers. For every song of his is a gem, remaining evergreen and providing pleasure to listeners every time time it’s heard. SPB’s playback singing career began in 1966, when he sang for Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna. He then went on to sing the famous Aayiram nilave vaa song in the Tamil film Adimai Penn, starring MGR. Other industries beckoned soon after.

In the 1970s, SPB ruled the music industry, and in 1980, he won his first national award for his singing in the classic, Shankarabharanam, which was about a Carnatic musician. In the early 80s, SPB made his Bollywood debut with Ek Duje Ke Liye and was the voice of Salman Khan in several films.

SPB forged strong bonds with master composers like Ilaiyaraja and made a great duet pair with S Janaki of the golden voice. Later, SPB also made memorable music with AR Rahman in films such as Roja.

His singing career has been interspersed with acting from time to time and he shone in all his character roles. SPB continues to sing, compose and perform live, always to packed arenas. That is the magic of his flawless voice.

Here’s wishing SPB a very happy birthday and many years of singing to come.