S. Janaki

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S. Janaki
Native name జానకి
Also known as Janakiamma
Born (1938-04-23) 23 April 1938 (age 77)
Repalle, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India
Genres Playback singing, Indian classical
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1957–present

Sishtla Sreeramamurthy Janaki (born 23 April 1938), commonly known as S. Janaki, is an Indian playback singer who has recorded nearly 48,000 songs, mostly in South Indian languages, in a career spanning 58 years. Kannada is the language in which she has most frequently recorded.[1] She has won four National Film Awards and 31 different State Film Awards.[2] Her association with singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and composer Ilaiyaraaja is well known.[3]

S. Janaki, who is known as "The Nightingale of the South",[4] is a recipient of an honorary doctorate[5] from the University of Mysore and the Kalaimamani award from Tamil Nadu State Government. S.Janaki is called the Queen of Expressions for her ability to express different kind of emotions.

In 2013, she refused the offer of a Padma Bhushan award by the Government of India, saying that it had come "too late" and that South Indian artists were not given their due recognition.[6]

Early life[edit]

S. Janaki was born on 23 April 1938 in a Telugu-speaking family in Pallapatla, Repalle Town, in Guntur, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Andhra Pradesh).[7] She was interested in music from early age and started performing at the age of three. She learnt music from Sree Paidiswamy, a nadaswaram teacher.[citation needed]

Singing career[edit]

In her twenties, S. Janaki moved to Chennai on the advice of her uncle Dr. Chandrashekar and joined AVM Studios as a singer. She started her career in movies as a playback singer in the Tamil movie Vidhiyin Vilayattu in 1957. Subsequently, she performed in the Telugu movie MLA.[citation needed] She has also recorded devotional music of Meera.[8] S. Janaki has said that the toughest song of her career has been "Shiva shiva ennada nalige yeke?" from the Kannada movie Hemavathi, composed by L. Vaidyanathan, in two different ragas, Todi and Abhogi.[9]


Janaki was increasingly given work by music directors such as M. S. Viswanathan in Avargal, K. V. Mahadevan in Mazhai Megham), Sankar Ganesh in Aasai Manaivi and V. Kumar in Oruvanukku Oruthi.[10]

Toughest song of Janaki's career[edit]

As Janaki has mentioned on many occasions that the toughest song of her entire singing career is the Kannada song "Shiva shiva ennada naaligeyeke" from the movie Hemavathi. The song, which is in two different ragas, Thodi and Aabhogi, was composed by L. Vaidyanathan. Janaki had prayed to her beloved god before going to record this unique song.[9][11] While talking of this song, K.S. Chitra said that Nobody can touch this song.

Personal life[edit]

S. Janaki is married to V. Ramprasad. She lives in Hyderabad with her son Murali Krishna. She is also a close relative of Carnatic classical vocalist, Garimella Balakrishna Prasad.[citation needed]

Awards and honours[edit]

Awards Wins
National Film Awards
Kerala State Film Awards
Nandi Awards
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards
Orissa State Film Awards
National Film Awards
Mirchi Music Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Kerala State Film Awards
Nandi Awards
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards
Orissa State Film Awards
Filmfare Awards
Special Honours
Other Awards


  1. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md8cPD2F1I8
  2. ^ "Singing straight from the heart". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 5 April 2007. Retrieved 30 December 2010. 
  3. ^ ""Kavidaye Padalaga," presented by poet and film lyricist Vairamuthu, this evening, will transform poetry into song". The Hindu. 27 July 2004. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Jayakumar, G. (18 April 2008). "Sing in your natural voice". The Hindu. 
  5. ^ "Kannada composers laud S Janaki for doctorate honor". Zee News. Retrieved 11 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Veteran singer S Janaki refuses to accept Padma Awards". CNN-IBN. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Timeless voice". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 29 June 2007. 
  8. ^ "Happy B'day Janaki – Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  9. ^ a b http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/15504
  10. ^ "Vani Jayaram – Tamil Film Songs Chronology". Vanijairam.com. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  11. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiMV6UH66Xk
  12. ^ "Lifetime Achievement Award (South) winners down the years...". filmfare.com. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Vairamuthu, S Janaki – On-Spot: Vijay Music Awards 2012". Entertainment.in.msn.com. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "MAA music life time achievement award 2013 to S Janaki – Telugu cinema news". Idlebrain.com. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Eng, David (6 March 2013). "2013 Udaya Film Awards – winners". Chino Kino. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  16. ^ a b "S Janaki Receive Award". indiaglitz.com. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 

External links[edit]