Vani Jairam in 2009
30 November 1945 |
Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
|Years active||1971 – current|
Vani Jayaram (born 30 November 1945 in Tamil Nadu) is a playback singer in Indian cinema, primarily in South Indian languages, although she has a wider repertoire. Vani's career started in 1971 and has spanned over four decades. She has done playback singing for several Indian movies. In addition, she has recorded several private albums and participated in numerous solo concerts in India and abroad.
Songs like Ezhu Swarangalukkul, Keliviyin Nayangane, Ennulil Engo, Yaaradhu sollamal, Naanae Naana, Megamae Megamae, Kavidhai Kelungal and Nadhamenum are her musical tracks that were regarded as difficult compositions by legendary Indian music directors.
Known for her voice range, Vani's genres are film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian classical music and folk songs. Apart from Hindi, she has sung in several Indian languages, such as Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Oriya, Gujarati and Bengali languages.
Personal life and background
Vani Jayaram was born in Vellore in Tamil Nadu, in a Tamil Brahmin family of musicians. Her mother Padmavathi is the disciple of Ranga Ramunaja Iyengar, a great veena exponent. Kadaloor Sreenivasa Iyengar, who taught Vani's sister music, was fascinated by her observation and grasping power. He taught her a few Dikshitar kritis when she was hardly five. The fifth daughter in a family of six daughters and three sons, Vani always secretly yearned for a career in film playback singing. Considered to be a child prodigy, Vani Jayaram claims to have recognised the different ragas of Indian classical music before the age of five. Her voice was first heard on All India Radio, Madras, at the age of eight.
After her marriage to Jayaram she settled in Mumbai, where she realised her dream.
In 1971, she realised her childhood ambition of becoming a playback singer when Hindi film music director Vasant Desai chose her voice for the Hindi feature film Guddi. She recorded three songs for Guddi, and "Bol Re Papi Hara," a song based on the Hindustani raga "Miyan Malhar," instantly made her an household name in India. For that song she was awarded the Tansen Samman (for best classical-based song in a Hindi film), the Lions International Best Promising Singer award, the All India Cinegoers Association award, and the All India Film-goers Association award for the Best Playback Singer in 1971. She went on to sing a few songs each for music directors of Hindi cinema, including Chitragupt, Naushad (a classical song in Pakeezah and a duet with Asha Bhosle in Aaina), Madan Mohan (a duet with Kishore Kumar in the film Ek Mutthi Aasmaan), O.P. Nayyar (several songs from the film Khoon Ka Badla Khoon including duets with Mohammed Rafi and also with Uttara Kelkar and Pushpa Pagdhare), R. D. Burman (a duet with Mukesh in Chhalia), Kalyanji Anandji, Laxmikant Pyarelal, and Jaidev (a duet with Manna Dey in Parinay and a solo in Solwa Saawan). Her songs in Meera (1979), composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar, won her the Filmfare Award.Around 1974, she shifted her base to Madras and soon became a sought-after singer in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam cinema. In 1981, she sang a evergreen song Kanana Poikayil Kalabham along with K.J. Yesudas in the composition of M.K. Arjunan for the film Ariyapedatha Rahasiyam (1981) directed by P. Venu. She worked with almost all the leading music directors of south namely M. S. Viswanathan, M. B. Sreenivasan, K. V. Mahadevan, M. K. Arjunan, Jerry Amaldev, Salil Chowdhary and Ilayaraaja. With the future Academy award winner, A. R. Rahman, she recorded a duet with S. P. Balasubramanyam in the song "Sugam sugam athu" for the film Vandicholai Chinnarasu in 1994.
Besides Hindi and Tamil, Vani Jayaram has recordings in other languages of India. These include some songs in Gujarati, Marathi, Marwari, Haryanvi, Bengali and Tulu, and a huge repertoire in Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Oriya. For her work in some of these languages, she has been awarded many prestigious awards, among them are Best Female Playback Singer for states of Gujarat (1975), Tamil Nadu (1980) and Orissa (1984).One of her most famous Marathi songs, "Runanubandhachya", is a duet with the classical Hindustani singer Kumar Gandharva. This song was composed by Vani's mentor Vasant Desai for a Marathi drama called Dev Deenaghari Dhaavlaa. The lyrics were written by Bal Kolhatkar.
The P. Suseela Trust honoured Vani Jairam at a grand function in Hyderabad, with a citation and a purse of one lakh. The event was widely covered on television. On 28 May 2014, Vani was felicitated in Bhubaneshwar for her contribution to Oriya films. Preceding it was the PBS Puraskar Award in Hyderabad, instituted in memory of the inimitable P.B. Srinivos. On 30 July 2014, Yuva Kala Vahini, an organisation in Hyderabad, presented her the 'Pride of Indian Music' Award.
National Film Awards
- 1975 – Best Female Playback Singer – Various songs (Apoorva Raagangal)
- 1980 – Best Female Playback Singer – Various songs (Sankarabharanam)
- 1991 – Best Female Playback Singer – "Anathineeyara Hara" (Swathi Kiranam)
- 2013– The 60th South Indian Filmfare Award for Lifetime Achievements
- 1980 – Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer – "Mere Toh Giridhar Gopal" (Meera)
- 1972 – Gujarat State Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer – Ghoongat
- 1979 – Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Female Playback – Azhagae Unnai Aradhikkiren
- 1979 – Nandi Award for Best Female Playback Singer – Shankarabharanam
- 1982 – Orissa State Film Award for Best Singer – Debjani
- 1972 – Mian Tansen Award Best Film Playback Singer of 'Classical Song' in Films for "Bol Re Papi Hara" given by Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai.
- 1979 – Her songs in the Pandit Ravi Shankar scored film Meera brought her the Film World (1979) Cine Herald (1979) for "Mere To Giridhar Gopal".
- 1991 – Kalaimamani Award from Tamil Nadu State for her contribution to Tamil film music.
- 1992 – The youngest artist to be awarded the "Sangeet Peet Samman"
- 2004 – M.K. Thyagarajar Bhagavathar – Life Time Achievement Award from Tamil Nadu Government
- 2005 – Kamukara Award for her outstanding contribution to film music in general and in all the four South Indian languages in particular.
2014-Kannadasan Award by Kannadasan kazagam,Coimbatore
- 2006 – Mudhra Award of Excellence from Mudhra Academy, Chennai.
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- Nostalgia unlimited: Vani Jairam's songs in Malayalam continue to enchant a new generation of music lovers, The Hindu, 2 December 2005.
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