Nithyasree Mahadevan

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Nithyasree Mahadevan
Nithyasree mahadevan.jpg
Background information
Born (1973-08-25) 25 August 1973 (age 41)
Origin Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu, India
Genres Carnatic music – Indian Classical Music and Playback singing
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 1987 – Present
Labels HMV, EMI, RPG, AVM Audio, Inreco, Vani, Amutham Music, Charsur Digital Workshop, Carnatica, Rajalakshmi Audio etc.

Nithyasree Mahadevan, (born 25 August 1973) also referred to as S. Nithyashri, is an eminent Carnatic musician and playback singer for film songs in many Indian languages. Mahadevan has performed in all major sabhas in India and has presented her concerts in many destinations around the world. She has received multiple awards and honours, and has released more than 500 albums.


Nithyasree was born to Lalitha Sivakumar and I. Sivakumar. Her paternal grandmother, D. K. Pattammal,[1] and her granduncle, D. K. Jayaraman,[2] were prominent Carnatic vocalists who were established disciples of Ambi Dikshithar, Papanasam Sivan, Koteeswara Iyer, T.L.Venkataramayyar and others. Her maternal grandfather was the mridangam maestro, Palghat Mani Iyer.[3]

Nithyasree first learnt music from her mother, Lalitha Sivakumar.[2] Like her mother,[4] Nithyasree was also the disciple of D. K. Pattammal,[5] and would accompany her in concert. Her father, an accomplished mridangist and disciple of his father-in-law Palghat Mani Iyer, constantly shows his support and accompanies her when she performs.[6] Nithyasree's niece and disciple, Lavanya Sundararaman, has vocally accompanied Nithyasree during some of her concerts.[7]

Nithyasree was married to V. Mahadevan, a mechanical engineer, until his death in 2012.[8] Tanujasree and Tejasree, their two daughters,[3][9] have also accompanied their mother on stage in concert,[10] and gave their first performance on television during a guest appearance on Airtel Super Singer Junior, a musical talent TV show telecast by Vijay TV.

Musical career[edit]

First performance[edit]

Nithyasree's first public Carnatic performance was at the age of 14.[4] The 1 hour concert, which was scheduled between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm, was held for the Youth Association For Classical Music on 10 August 1987. Prominent Carnatic musicians that were present at the concert, included D. K. Pattammal, D. K. Jayaraman, as well as the chief guest at that concert, K. V. Narayanaswamy.[11]

Thematic presentations[edit]

She has given numerous concerts consisting of only patriotic songs to commemorate the 50th year of Indian Independence, a few with D. K. Pattammal before her grandmother stopped performing in public.

D. K. Jayaraman and D. K. Pattammal were known for singing and popularising the compositions of Papanasam Sivan, having learnt them directly from the composer himself. Nithyasree has continued this tradition. She has also given a lecture demonstration in Coimbatore for Manoranjitham on "Papanasam Sivan – A Legend", and made two special thematic albums that solely contained his compositions.

Like D. K. Pattammal, Nithyasree presented a concert consisting solely of compositions set to raga Bhairavi. Nithyasree's concert was presented in 1994 over a duration of 3 hours, and consisted of 17 compositions in total.[12] Similarly, in 1999, her album "BHAIRAVI" was released by Charsur Digital Workstation which solely consisted of a Ragam Tanam Pallavi in ragas containing the name "Bhairavi".

Like D. K. Pattammal, Nithyasree has also popularised compositions of Gopalakrishna Bharathi. She presented a paper on the Life and Contribution of Gopalakrishna Bharathi for the Music Department of PSG College of Arts and Science, Coimbatore. Her three thematic albums that solely consisted of his compositions have been very popular, both online and offline.

Nithyasree Mahadevan has more than 750 albums to her credit on various themes and titles which are very popular among rasikas.


Nithyasree Mahadevan has performed in all major sabhas all over India and has presented her concerts in the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, Singapore, Malaysia, Switzerland, Belgium, New Zealand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and various other destinations throughout the world.[6]

Film playback singing[edit]

Nithyasree Mahadevan's introduction to Tamil playback singing came when A.R. Rahman called her to Panchathan Recording Inn, in Chennai, for a voice test sometime in the 1990s. The output from her visit was used for the song "Kannodu Kanbadellam" in the movie Jeans starring Aishwarya Rai and Prashanth. This became particularly popular which resulted in many songs in the same combination like "Minsara Kanna" from Padayappa, "Sowkiyama Kannae" from Sangamam, and "Manmatha Maasam" from Parthale Paravasam, a particular hit on digital stores following the release of the compilation Introducing A. R. Rahman.[13]

Some of her other songs include "Kumbakonam Sandhayile" from New, "Oru Nadhi Oru Pournami" from Samurai, "Kana Kaangiren" from Ananda Thandavam as well as "Thaai Thindra Mannae" from the film Aayirathil Oruvan.[13]

Television works[edit]

Nithyasree has appeared as a judge in several episodes of Vijay TV's musical reality-talent shows, including seasons 2, 3, and 4 of Airtel Super Singer, and seasons 2 and 3 of Airtel Super Singer Junior.[14] She has also appeared as a judge on the pilot episode of Vijay TV's musical reality-talent show, Super Singer Celebrity Season,.[15] Nithyasree also appeared as a guest judge on episodes 22 and 23 of Mazhavil Manorama's musical reality talent-show, "Indian Voice", which was telecast in October 2012.

Nithyasree was a permanent judge in season 3 of Raj TV's Carnatic music reality-talent show, Tanishq Swarna Sangeetham.[16][17] She previously appeared as a guest judge at various levels in earlier seasons of the show.[18]

Nithyasree is currently appearing as a special judge in season 1 of Jaya TV's musical reality-talent show, Jaya Super Singer South India.

Titles, awards and other recognition[edit]

Nithyasree has received several titles, awards and recognition including:

  • Awarded "Best Concert Award" for 6 years from the Madras Music Academy.[4]
  • Best main Artiste Award for her maiden concert for YACM 1987.
  • Papanasam Sivan Tambura prize in the year 1989
  • First prize in the All India Radio music competition (National Level) in the year 1990
  • Best Promising Artiste from Mohanam Maharajapuram Santhanam Trust in the year 1990
  • Yuva Kala Bharathi from Bharath Kalachar in 1994.[5]
  • "Innisai Mamani" from Tamil Nadu Goodwill and welfare Association in 1994.[5]
  • Kannadhasan virudhu
  • Kalaignar virudhu
  • ML Vasanthakumari Memorial Award from Mylapore Academy in 1996
  • "Naadha Bhooshanam" from Shanmuganandha sangeetha sabha Delhi in 1999
  • Ugadhi Puraskar from Madras Telugu Academy in 1999
  • "Sunadhavinodhini" in the year 1999 by Swami Omkaaraananda.
  • Bala Ratna from Bala Tripura Sundari Trust Nemili in the year 1999.
  • "Gaanaamrutha vaani" from All Ceylon Hindu Congress at Colombo in the year 1999
  • "Kalaimamani" awarded by the Government of Tamil Nadu in the year 2000.[19]
  • Melvin Jones Award for an Extraordinary Person from Lions Club Chennai in 2000
  • Sangeetha Shikhamani" from Madras Telugu Association in 2000
  • "Isai Peroli' Award from Karthik Fine Arts 2001, presented on 1 December 2001.[20]
  • "Vani Kala Sudhakara" Award from Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, presented on 10 December 2001.[21]
  • Desiya Orumaipadu maiyam Virudhu in 2001
  • "Navarasa Gana Nayaki" from Tamil Aanmeega Peravai in the year 2001
  • "Udhavum Oli" from Vasantha Memorial Trust Coimbatore in 2002
  • Sivaji Virudhu in the year 2002
  • "Sangeetha Parambarya Rathna" from Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam
  • "Shanmuka Shikamani" Award from Shanmukanandha fine arts Bombay in 2003
  • Award of Excellence from Rotary Club in 2003
  • "Isai Mani Makutam" from Rajalakshmi Fine Arts Coimbatore in 2004
  • "Padma Sadhana" (Title) from Padma Sarangapani Cultural Association, conferred by Madras High Court judge, Justice T.V.Masilamani on 3 January 2004 in Virugambakkam, Chennai.[22]
  • "Tamil Isai Vani" from Dubai Tamil kudumbam in 2006
  • "Isai kalai Tharakai" from Canberra Music Association in the year 2006
  • "Naadha Kovidha" (Title) from Naadhabrahmam, conferred by Madras High Court judge, Justice M. Chockalingam on 26 December 2006 in Chennai.[23]
  • "Jayarathna Virudhu" Award from Jayadhaarini Trust, conferred on 22 October 2008 in Chennai.[24]
  • Honorary Doctorate of Literature, awarded by The Sathyabama Autonomous University on 19 April 2008.[25]
  • "Sangeetha Kala Shironmani" from Nungambakkam Cultural Academy in the year 2008
  • "Gaana Padmam" (Title) and Award from Brahma Gana Sabha, presented on 3 December 2010 in Chennai.[26][27]
  • "Sangeetha Kalasarathy" (Title) and Award from Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, presented on 15 December 2010 in Chennai.[28]
  • Acharya Award held at Naarda Gana sabha Celebrating Teachers Day in the year 2010
  • "Sangeetha Hamsa" Award from Hamsavinodhini, presented on 1 December 2011 at Arulmigu Kasi Viswanathar Temple, West Mambalam.[29]
  • "Isai Mamani" Award from Shri Rama Bhaktha Jana Samaj, presented on 20 December 2011.[30]
  • P. Obul Reddy Award of Excellence from Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai, in the year 2011.
  • "M. S. Subbulakshmi Puraskar" from Visakha Music Academy, presented on 12 January 2012.[31]
  • Award of Proficiency from Tamil Nadu Brahmins Association (TAMBRAS) in 2012.
  • "Sangeetha Ulagin Naayaki" from Aadhi Shankarar Aanmeega Peravai at Kutthalam in 2013.
  • "Sivan Isai Selvi" (Title) from Papanasam Sivan Rasigar Manram, conferred by vocalist P. S. Narayanaswamy in September 2013 at Narada Gana Sabha in Chennai.[32]
  • "Isai Selvam" Award presented by Karunanidhi under the banner of Muthamizh Peravai on 24 January 2014 in Chennai.[33]
  • An "Top Rank" graded artist of All India Radio, Chennai.[5]
  • An "Top Rank" graded artist of Akashvani.[4]
  • A member in the panel of Expert Committee in the IYAL ISAI NATAKA MANDRAM, appointed by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
  • Is also involved in the project initiated by Aanmajothi for promoting Carnatic music among the Children studying in Corporation schools.


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  2. ^ a b Aruna Chandaraju (20 May 2005). "The Hindu : Entertainment Bangalore / Music : Proud pedigree is not all". The Hindu. Retrieved 14 April 2014. 
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  5. ^ a b c d "The Hindu : Retail Plus Hyderabad : Audio Release". The Hindu. 17 October 2008. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
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  7. ^ "The Hindu: An Evening of Melody". The Hindu. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
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  9. ^ Rajagopalan Venkataraman (21 December 2012). "Pall of gloom descends on Kotturpuram – The New Indian Express". New Indian Express. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
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  11. ^ "Jaya TV's Margazhi Mahautsavam". Season 2007. 31 December 2007. Jaya TV. Maximum Media.
  12. ^ "Three Hours of Bhairavi". Sruti, india's premier music and dance magazine (122): 13. November 1994. 
  13. ^ a b Sangeetha (21 December 2012). "The Hindu : Friday Review Thiruvananthapuram / Interview : Musical legacy". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  14. ^ G. Prasad (17 October 2011). "Children pitch it right at audition - The Hindu". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2014. 
  15. ^ TNN (20 February 2014). "TV Stars turn Super Singers – The Times of India". Times of India. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Rhythm Divine – The Hindu". The Hindu. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Tribute to the Trinity – The Hindu". The Hindu. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "Swarna Sangeetham, a talent hunt for Carnatic singers – The Hindu". The Hindu. 5 February 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2014. 
  19. ^ SVK (4 February 2000). "The Hindu : An atmosphere of tranquillity". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  20. ^ "The Hindu : Nithyashree awarded 'Isai Peroli'". The Hindu. 2 December 2001. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  21. ^ "Nithyashree honoured again". Kutcheri Buzz. 11 December 2001. Retrieved 26 March 2003. 
  22. ^ "The Hindu : 'Padma Sadhana' conferred on Nithyasree". The Hindu. 4 January 2004. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  23. ^ "Title conferred on Nithyasree – The Hindu". The Hindu. 27 December 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  24. ^ "JAYADHARINI TRUST". Jayarathna Awardees. Jayadharini Trust. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  25. ^ "Awards". Sathyabama University. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  26. ^ "Award for Nithyashri Mahadevan". Lakshman Shruthi. 4 December 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 
  27. ^ Chennai December Season 2010 : Brahma Gana Sabha opens its new 'season'
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  29. ^ "Hamsavinodhini Award for Nithyasree". Mambalam Times. 26 November 2011. p. 3. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  30. ^ "Music Season 2010–2011 – Sri Rama Bhaktha Jana Samaj". Indian Heritage – December Madras (Chennai) Music Season. Saigan Connection. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  31. ^ Sruti, india's premier music and dance magazine (329): 49. February 2012. 
  32. ^ B. Vijayalakshmi (19 September 2013). "Nithyasree 'blessed' by saint-composer". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  33. ^ "Navigating party through tempests: Karunanidhi – The Hindu". The Hindu. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 

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