SP Balasubrahmanyam: A Singer, A Father and A Beloved Mentor For Children
SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away on September 25, succumbing to his battle against COVID-19. A legendary singer and a loving father, his legacy will inspire the future generation of young singers.
By Vani Venugopal • 7 min read
Veteran singer and musician, SP Balasubrahmanyam, passed away on 25 September 2020. Lovingly known as SPB by his fans, the musician had been battling COVID-19 since August 2020. The news of SPB’s death has come as a shock, leaving millions of fans devastated. Since the announcement of his death, social media has been flooded with condolences from celebrities and fans around the world.
The singer tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to a hospital in Chennai in early August. He was later moved to the intensive care unit and put on life support. His condition took a turn for the worse on September 24, until he finally succumbed to a cardio-respiratory arrest on September 25, according to the hospital statement.
The legendary musician
SPB’s music career was one for the legends. After having made his singing debut in 1966 with the Telugu movie Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna, he sung over 40,000 songs in 16 different languages. In fact, he held the Guinness World Record for highest number of songs by a singer.
In his career spanning over 50 years, SPB’s voice has brought to life many of the greatest hits of our times. Beginning with MGR, and moving on to Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, Ajith, Suriya and Vijay, SPB has sung for almost four generations of actors. Adept at classical music as he was with film numbers, what made him stand out as a singer was his silky voice which could at the time be mischievous and romantic as well as powerful.
Apart from his music, SPB has played many roles in the entertainment industry. He has worked as an actor, producer and music composer. He was also a skilled dubbing artist, having dubbed for many actors, including Kamal Hassan. He has won six National Awards as well as the Padhma Shri in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2011.
"If you want to learn, you can also learn from children," SPB said on a show once.
Along with the many accolades to his name, SPB was also a favourite among children. They immediately warmed to his smiling demeanour and positivity. A judge on the popular children’s reality show, ‘Super Singer Junior,’ SPB emanated warmth and positivity, always encouraging children to learn music and not be limited by fear. He was a mentor who inspired and guided the young musicians. His legacy of love and patience is sure to be an inspiration for the future generation.
A loving father
A loving father, SPB shared a strong bond with his children Pallavi Subrahmanyam and SP Charan. In fact, the veteran singer once stated in an interview that his biggest regret was being unable to spend more time with his children while they were growing up.
Ever since his father was admitted to the hospital, Charan took to social media to post video updates about his father’s condition. Emotional to the verge of tearing up, Charan addressed SPB’s fans in these videos and asked them to stay positive and pray for their beloved singer’s recovery. Charan’s sincere appeals in the videos are testament to the strong emotional bond that father and son shared.
During this period, Charan also organised a mass prayer for SPB’s recovery. The prayer saw fans lining up outside his hospital with lit candles. Many celebrities and general public joined from their homes to pray for the singer’s recovery.
On September 25, Charan announced the news of his father’s death to the media.
He said, "My dad breathed his last at 1:04 pm. Thank you everyone for your prayers. My dad will live long till his fans remember him."
While SPB might no longer be with us, his legacy will live on forever with his music and the many young singers that he inspired.
About the author:
Written by Vani Venugopal on 25 September 2020.
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