Gunadasa Kapuge

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Gunadasa Kapuge
Gunadasa Kapuge.jpg
Born Ellamulla Kapuge Gunadasa
(1945-08-07)August 7, 1945
Thanabaddegama, Elpitiya
Died April 3, 2003(2003-04-03) (aged 57)
Nationality Sri Lankan
Education Eeramulla Junior College, Karandeniya Central College, Nagoda Vidyalaya, Galle, and Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda
Alma mater Haywood School of Music, Bhatkhande Music Institute
Occupation Singer, Composer, Musician
Spouse(s) Prema Kapuge
Children Mithra Kapuge, Ridhma Kapuge, Sajani Kapuge
Parent(s) Ellalamulla Kapuge Francis,Don Alice Nona

Ellamulla Kapuge Gunadasa (Sinhala:එල්ලමුල්ල කපුගේ ගුණදාස , August 7, 1945[1] - April 3, 2003[2]), better known by his stage name Gunadasa Kapuge, was a Sri Lankan musician. He was well known among Sri Lankans due to the philosophical background of his music renditions and lyrics selected for his work. Kapuge's one man show called Kampana was a historical advent of the Sinhala music industry.

Early life[edit]

Kapuge was born on August 7, 1945 in the tiny village of Thanabaddegama in Elpitiya. Being the second of eight siblings, he attended Karandeniya Central College up to grade five and the latter part at Dharmasoka College in Ambalangoda, where he initially studied science before switching to music. In 1963, he left Haywood college of music, where he was studying at that time, to follow a degree course in India. In late 1960, Kapuge joined the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and in 1969, he worked as an operational assistant and in 1975 started out as a programme producer. In 1981, he was appointed in charge of the music section of the Rajarata Sevaya and later on promoted to the position of the controller of the station. Rajarata Sevaya is one of the provincial radio stations of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. He later married Prema Withanage in 1978.[1]

Music career[edit]

Kapuge's initial release was titled "Daesa Nilupul Thema" in 1973, which became an instant hit. After which, Kapuge was quoted as a 'Grade A' vocalist by the Radio Ceylon. Thus the three decade long music career of Visharada Kapuge began. The first stage drama for which he provided background music was "Thuranga Sanniya" by Sugathapala De Silva. Since then he provided background music for the highly popular musical "Tharawo Igilethi" by Lucien Bulathsinhala and several other. His first movie background music gig was for Stanley Perera's "Sandha." In 1980, Kapuge released his first music compact cassette titled "Dhampatin Laa Sandha" featuring Malini Bulathsinhala.

  • Now his son Mithra Kapuge ,and his brother, premawardhana kapuge singing his song to save Gunadasa Kapuge's memory as well.

Music cassettes

  • 1980 - Dampatin La Sanda Basa Yanawa
  • 1981 - Seethala Sanda Eliye
  • 1983 - Unmada Sithuwam
  • 1983 - Mawathe Geethaya
  • 1990 - Kampana
  • 1990 - Piya Satahan
  • 1995 - Mirivedi Sangalalak
  • 1998 - Sunflower (1,2,3)
  • 1999 - Irabatu Taruwa
  • 2000 - Sanda Ree Sihine
  • 2000 - Nesena Gee Rasa(1,2)

Stage Plays

  • Thuranga Sanniya
  • Paraputuwo
  • Nandi Visala
  • Tharavo Igilethi
  • Sira Kandawuru
  • Sath saha Satha
  • Sasara Sevanel
  • Kampana

Tele dramas

  • Gigiri Walalu
  • Ayammawaru
  • Randoli
  • Dolospaya
  • Sira Kandawuru
  • Parameedam
  • Sasara Sevaneli
  • Rail Peeli Sanda Maddahana
  • Sanda


  • Sanda
  • Rathu Makara
  • Maala Giravi
  • Chuttey
  • Puthuni Mata Samawanna
  • Bawa Duka
  • Bawa Karma
  • Visi Dela

Kapuge staged a one-man musical show titled "Kampana" during the 1990s and also released a cassette and CD with the same title.


On returning from a tour at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Kapuge had a fall at the Bandaranaike International Airport whilst disembarking a shuttle bus. He sustained injuries on the back of his head. He was taken to the medical center at the airport at around 4.30 AM where he was given saline. After initial treatment, he was to be taken to the Colombo National Hospital. However, there was no male nurse available to assist. Kaupuge later died at Colombo National Hospital.[2]

His son Mitra Kapuge continues to sing his father's songs.



  • Swarna Sanka Award - Best Vocalist
  • Vishwa Prasadini Award
  • Sarasavi Awards - Best Vocalist


  • Rasa Sangeetha Award - Most Popular Singer
  • Presidential Award - Best Playback Singer
  • Sarasavi Award - Best Vocalist
  • OCIC Award - Creative Music Direction - "Bawa Duka"


  • Presidential Award - Best Vocalist


  • Sarasavi Awards - Prasada Pooja Award


  1. ^ a b "Gravelly voiced vocalist of yesteryear". Daily News. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Marasinghe, Sandasen (25 April 2003). "Gunadasa Kapuge inquest:Airport medical center had no doctor - Singer". Daily News. Retrieved 14 November 2014. 

External links[edit]