Film Industry grieves loss of Veteran Singer SP Balasubrahmanyam

SP Balasubrahmanyam tested negative for COVID-19 on September 4, but continued to be on ventilator and ECMO support.

SP Balasubrahmanyam
Courtesy: iamspb (Instagram)

SP Balasubrahmanyam, the playback singer, passed away today in Chennai due to cardio-respiratory arrest after recovering from COVID-19. He was 74 years old.

SP Balasubrahmanyam had been at MGM Healthcare in Chennai, where he was admitted after he tested positive for COVID-19 in August. Though he had only mild symptoms initially, he developed complications and was put on a ventilator and ECMO support.

SP Balasubrahmanyam tested negative for COVID-19 on September 4, but continued to be on ventilator and ECMO support and participated in passive physiotherapy. His health deteriorated today and he went into cardio-respiratory arrest and passed away at 13:04 hrs. .,

Film Industry all over India is mourning the loss of SPB, “Balu” as he was fondly called.

Born in Konetammapet village in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, he made his singing debut in 1966. His debut was in the Telegu film Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna.

Since is debut in 1966, he sang over 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi.

SP Balasubrahmanyam worked in the industry for over five decades. He also became a voiceover artist for many actors, including Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Vishnuvardhan, and Salman Khan, dubbing for their characters in various languages. He was the official dubbing artist for Kamal Hassan in all his Tamil films that were dubbed in Telegu.

He rose to international prominence for his work in the 1980 Telegu film Sankarabharanam, which was critically lauded as one of the best films to come out of the Telegu film industry. He won his first National Award for his work in the film, and went on to win a total of 6 national words.  SP Balasubrahmanyam also became a recipient of the Padma Shri in 2001. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2011.

He was fondly known as SPB and ‘Paadum Nila’ (Singing Moon) by his fans. His death is being mourned by musicians, actors, politicians, and people across the country.

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