Renowned singer SP Balasubrahmanyam succumbs to COVID-19 aged 74

CHENNAI: Famed Indian playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam lost his battle to COV- ID-19 and passed away on September 25, according to his son SP Charan.

Popularly known as SPB or Balu in the movie world, the late singer had recorded over 40,000 songs in 16 languages over a period of five decades.

Speaking briefly to the media outside the MGM Healthcare, Charan said that Balasubrahmanyam passed away at 1:04 pm IST and thanked the hospital officials for the treatment and service.

He said further details will be shared later.

In a Facebook post on August 5, the 74-year old SPB had said he was suffering from a very mild attack of coronavirus and had got himself hospitalised to take rest.

He had said that though the doctors had advised him to stay at home and take rest, he decided to be in a hospital, as at home his family members would get concerned.

He hoped to get discharged from the hospital in two days. But it was not to be.

For sometime SPB showed some improvement, but on September 24 the hospital said his condition was extremely critical.

SPB was the voice of popular heroes of Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi movies.

He is survived by wife Savitri, son SP Charan — a movie producer and playback singer, and daughter Pallavi.

Honoured with Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awards in 2001 and 2011 respectively, SPB has won India’s six National Film Awards for the best male playback singer and several other state awards.

It was in 1981 that SPB made his debut in the Hindi movie world singing for Kamal Haasan in Ek Duuje Ke Liye and went on to sing in movies like Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, and others.

Apart from singing, SPB also dubbed for several leading artistes in Tamil and Telugu movies. For Haasan he was the default voice in Telugu movies. He dubbed for Ben Kingsley in the Telugu dubbing of English movie Gandhi.

As an actor too, SPB made a mark in a jovial father character.