S. Janaki

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S. Janaki
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, (తెలుగు : ఎస్.జానకి), (ಕನ್ನಡ : ಎಸ್.ಜಾನಕಿ), (தமிழ் : எஸ்.ஜானகி), (മലയാളം : എസ്.ജാനകി ), (born 23 April 1938), commonly known as S. Janaki, is a versatile Indian Playback singer. As of 2007 Janaki had sung nearly 40,000 songs, encompassing most of the languages of South India, during a career that has lasted over 50 years. She confirmed in a speech while receiving the second highest civilian award of Karnataka state, Karnataka Rajyotsava Award, that the highest number of songs that she sang was in Kannada.[1] She was very active in Telugu and Tamil film industries too. 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 among the most popular musical combinations in South India.[3]

She is known as, "The Nightingale of the South".[4] She is a recipient of a Honorary doctorate[5] from the University of Mysore and the Kalaimamani award from Tamil Nadu State Government.

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 Vidwan.[citation needed]

Singing career[edit]

Janaki started singing at 19. She later moved to Chennai on the advice of her uncle Dr. Chandrashekar and joined AVM Studios as a singer. She started her career in movies by singing songs composed by T. Chalapati Rao in the Tamil movie Vidhiyin Vilayattu in 1957. Subsequently, she performed in the Telugu movie MLA. She went on to become one of the most favourite singers of Ilayaraja and began to sing for him for at least 2-3 songs per movie in all four languages of South India.[citation needed]

She also wrote many songs for Tamil and Telugu movies. She has sung more than 40000 songs[Films,Non Films], in almost all languages in South India as well as in Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Sinhalese, Bengali, Oriya, English, Sanskrit, Konkani, Tulu, Saurashtra, Baduga, Japanese and German.[citation needed]

She has also recorded Hindu devotional music on Meera.[citation needed]

Toughest song of Janaki's career[edit]

The toughest song in Janaki's career is the song "Shiva shiva ennada nalige yeke?" from the Kannada movie Hemavathi, as she said. Most of the music lovers and music critics have the same opinion. The song composed by L. Vaidyanathan which is in two different ragas called Todi and Abhogi.[8]


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.[9]

Janaki has also recorded devotional music of Meera.[10]

Janaki's recent song was "Amma amma" a dirge(mournful song) with Dhanush in the movie Velai Illa Pathatari. She has sang several others songs which are yet to release.

Personal life[edit]

S. Janaki married V.Ramprasad. She lives in Hyderabad with her son Murali Krishna, who acted in few films and has an audio business of his own

She is also a close relative of carnatic classical vocalist, Garimella Balakrishna Prasad.

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. ^ http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/15504
  9. ^ "Vani Jayaram – Tamil Film Songs Chronology". Vanijairam.com. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Happy B'day Janaki – Tamil Movie News". IndiaGlitz. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "Lifetime Achievement Award (South) winners down the years...". filmfare.com. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Vairamuthu, S Janaki – On-Spot: Vijay Music Awards 2012". Entertainment.in.msn.com. 5 November 2012. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "MAA music life time achievement award 2013 to S Janaki – Telugu cinema news". Idlebrain.com. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Eng, David (6 March 2013). "2013 Udaya Film Awards – winners". Chino Kino. Retrieved 1 October 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "S Janaki Receive Award". indiaglitz.com. Retrieved 29 March 2015. 

External links[edit]