P. Unnikrishnan

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P. Unnikrishnan
Background information
Born (1966-07-09) July 9, 1966 (age 52)
Palakkad, Kerala, India
GenresIndian classical music
Occupation(s)Playback Singer, Classical Singer & Judge (Idea Star Singer, Airtel super singer 2008)
Years active1992–present

P. Unnikrishnan (born 9 July 1966) is an Indian Carnatic vocalist and playback singer.

Early life and background[edit]

Unnikrishnan was born to K. Radhakrishnan and Dr. Harini Radhakrishnan in Palakkad, Kerala.[1] The family home, Kesari Kuteeram, was a well-known landmark of Madras city, with great grandfather Dr. K. N. Kesari being an eminent Ayurvedic physician and the promoter of the popular Telugu women's magazine Gruhalakshmi .

He went to Asan Memorial Senior Secondary School, Chennai and later transferred to Santhome Higher Secondary School ,Chennai and completed his schooling in 1984.He graduated from Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College, Chennai, and received his B.Com degree from the Madras University. He earned a General Law and Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations.

He worked as an executive in Parry's Confectionery Ltd. from 1987 to 1994 and quit his job to become a professional singer.

Singing career[edit]

sunnikrishnan was initiated into Carnatic music at age of 12 by Seshadri, sunnikrishnan. He was inspired by Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. S. Ramanathan.[2] He attended a special workshop for six months on "Veena Dhanammal Bhani" under Sangeetha Kalanidhi T.Brinda and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr.T.Vishwa Nathan.[3]

He is a national award-winning playback singer for his debut film songs "Ennavale Adi Ennavale" and "Uyirum Neeye". These songs were composed by A. R. Rahman, with whom Unni Krishnan gave most of his memorable songs.He was the first male playback singer to get national award for a Tamil song. He was one of the permanent judges in the reality television show AIRTEL Super Singer on Vijay TV in seasons (2006, 2008, 2010-2011, 2013, 2015-2016,2018) and 2008 Idea Star Singer on Asianet.

sunnikrishnan is also becoming known for his experimental work. In 2008, he presented a novel jazz concert in Thiruvananthapuram with the Eli Yamin Jazz Quartet and pianist Anil Srinivasan.

He prefers singing classical songs over pop music.

“Carnatic music has grown to a great extent. The taste of the audience has changed with time. Youngsters have developed a taste for the music form and the number of people flocking to these concerts has increased by leaps and bounds. There is novelty in the genre.”He got many awards like "Tamil Nadu's Kalaimamani","Nada Bhushanam","Isai Peroli","Yuva Kala Bharathi","Isayin Punnagai","Isai Selvam","Sangeetha Kalasarathy","Sangeetha Chakravarthy".

“The nuances of Carnatic music may be difficult for a layman to understand but music lovers today are willing to put in the effort to enjoy the music. I have seen youngsters talking about this form of music with enthusiasm. People take time off their busy schedules to come and listen to us artistes. So, it’s our responsibility to ensure that they enjoy the music. Even in reality shows, we ask the contestants to develop a taste for Carnatic music so that they can perform better in light music”.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Parrakkal Unnikrishnan is married to Priya, a Bharathanatyam and Mohiniyattam dancer and a native of Kozhikode, Kerala. They were married on November 1994 and have 2 children - a son named Vasudev Krishna and a daughter named Uthara. Vasudev Krishna was born on 27 May 1997 and Uthara was born on 11 June 2004. Uthara won National award for playback singing for her debut song "Azhagu" in the movie "Saivam". Vasudev is passionate about cricket and is a member of the Madras Cricket Club and Life Member of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.[5]

Partial playback singing Telugu discography[edit]

Year Film Name Song Title Music Director Co-Singers
1997 Ugadi Innallu ye mabbullo daagunnavo S.V.Krishna Reddy
chusa-oka-maaru S.V.Krishna Reddy Sunitha
enthandamga-undo S.V.Krishna Reddy Sunitha
naa-paate-hoyna-hoyna S.V.Krishna Reddy Prasanna
daddy-katha-vinavaa-chebuthanu S.V.Krishna Reddy Srilekha PParthasarathy
1998 Tholi Prema Romance lo Rhythms Deva Suresh Peters
1999 Premaku Velayara Ippatikippudu S. V. Krishna Reddy Solo
2000 Rhythm Gaalena Vatikikoche A. R. Rahman Kavita Krishnamurthy
2001 Ninnu Choodalani Emaindo Emogani S. A. Rajkumar Harini
2002 Malli Malli Chudali Vennelalo Yuvan Shankar Raja Bhavatharini
2003 Nee Manasu Naaku Telusu Snehitude Unte A. R. Rahman Chinmayi
2004 Naani Pedhave Palikina A. R. Rahman Sadhana Sargam
Adhrushtam Vayasa Vayasa Mani Sharma Sujatha Mohan
Arjun Madhura Madhuratara Mani Sharma Harini
2005 Seenugadu Chiranjeevi Fan Saage Neeli Megham Siva Kaakani Solo
2006 Godavari Manasa Vacha K.M. Radha Krishnan K.S.Chitra
2007 Anumanaspadam Prati Dinam Ilayaraja Solo
2008 Vinayakudu Saradaga Ee Samayam Sam Prasan Solo
2009 Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam Enduku Chentaki Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy Solo
2012 O Manasa Ayuvichi Sahaja Rao Solo
2014 Kochadaiyan Yedemaina Sakhi A.R.Rahman Solo

In 2012, Unnikrishnan rendered a series of Devotional songs on Lord Ganesha, Lord Ayyappan, Lord Venkateswara, and Devi among others. The albums were produced by Gaananjali Recordings and were composed and released by Manachanallur Giridharan. The album titles include AYYAN MALAI ENGAL MALAI, OM NAVA SAKTHI JAYA JAYA SAKTHI, SABARIMALAI VA CHARANAM SOLLI VA, VINDHAIGAL PURINDHAI NEE EN VAZHVILE, and UCHI PILLAIYARE CHARANAM.[6] Notable among them is the Harivarasanam, part of the Ayyappa album and is the only other popular rendering after the famous K J Yesudas's.[7]


  1. ^ "Unnikrishnan:Profile And Biography". Metromatinee.com. 1966-07-09. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  2. ^ "Touch of class". The Hindu. 2003-10-23. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  3. ^ "Friday Review Thiruvananthapuram / Focus : Heights of melody". The Hindu. 2006-06-30. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  4. ^ "Article Window". E paper.timesofindia.com. 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2011-11-07.
  5. ^ [1] Archived 17 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Ayyan Malai Engal Malai". iTunes.
  7. ^ The popular Harivarasanam song by Unnikrishnan, next only to the famous K J Yesudas's number. 28 November 2012 – via YouTube.

External links[edit]