Swarnalatha

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Swarnalatha
Swarnalatha.jpg
Swarnalatha
Background information
Also known asThe Humming queen of India
Born29 April 1973
Chittur, Palakkad, Kerala, India
Died12 September 2010 (aged 37)
Chennai, India
GenresPlayback singing, Carnatic music
Occupation(s)Singer
Instrumentsvocals
Years active1987–2010

Swarnalatha (29 April 1973 – 12 September 2010) was an Indian playback singer. In a career spanning almost 22 years (1987-till her death), she recorded over 7,000 songs in many languages, including Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, Urdu, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, and Badaga.[1]

She won the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for her rendition of the song "Porale Ponnuthayi" from the film Karuththamma. The song was composed by A. R. Rahman, under whose musical direction she recorded many memorable songs. She was also the first female playback singer to get a National Award In AR Rahman Music. Her distinctive voice, which could effortlessly reach high octaves, quickly made her a name to reckon with in the playback music industry.[2]

Personal life[edit]

She was born in Kerala, to K. C. Cherukutty and Kalyani. Her father was a harmonium player and singer. Her mother also had interest in music. Swarnalatha was trained to play harmonium and keyboard.[3] Swarnalatha's family later moved to Bhadravathi (Paper Town) in Shivamogga District, Karnataka where she had her education.[4]She started singing at the age of 3. Surrounded by a family of musicians and music lovers, Swarnalatha was trained in Carnatic and Hindustani music. Her sister Saroja was her first music teacher.

Career[edit]

Swarnalatha's family moved to Chennai to seek opportunities in the film industry for her singing talent. The first opportunity came from M. S. Viswanathan in 1987, when she performed a duet with K. J. Yesudas, "Chinnanchirukiliye Kannamma" in the film Neethikku Thandanai.[4] Subsequently, she was approached by many other music directors to perform songs under their baton. She also had the opportunity to work with director P. Venu. She was recruited by legendary musicians like Ilaiyaraaja and A. R. Rahman. She also recorded a few Hindi songs, the most notable one being "Hai Rama Yeh Kya Hua" from the film Rangeela with the singer Hariharan.

In Telugu, she recorded more songs under the music direction of Mani Sharma, Ramana Gogula, Raj-Koti Vandemataram Srinivas. They include the immensely popular songs like Raamma Chilakamma, Osey Ramulamma, and Nizam Babulu.

A.R.Rahman, noting her versatility as a singer and her extraordinary voice, used Swarnalatha for many of his songs. She was one of the most versatile singers of her times, as she was able to sing melodies like "Maalayil Yaaro Manathodu Pesa" from Sathriyan[2] or "Porale Ponnuthayi" from Karuthamma as well as Rahman's experimental songs like "Mukkabla" from Kadhalan or "Mottu Vittadha" from Pavithra. Swarnalatha was the first female playback singer to fetch the National Award under A. R. Rahman's music direction. She received the award for the song "Porale Ponnuthayi". Once in an interview, she said that she was moved to tears when she finished the recording of this song and received praise from A. R. Rahman. She recorded many songs with music directors Deva, Vidyasagar, Harris Jayaraj, Anu Malik, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Raj-Koti, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Mani Sharma, Hamsalekha and many others. She recorded all the songs originally rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum for the Tamil movie Anarkali (the dubbed version of the Hindi movie Mughal-e-Azam) and was praised by the Bollywood music director Naushad Ali. Once during an interview, the interviewer Setu asked her what the best moment of her life had been, expecting her to talk about receiving the National Award. But nobody had expected her to say that the best moment of her life had been when she received the kudos from the legendary Hindi film music director Naushad Ali ji for her rendition of the songs in Anarkali. Being a non-native Hindi speaker, her pronunciation in Hindi songs was noted as exceptional unlike other[citation needed] prominent singers from South India who had recorded songs in the language.

Death[edit]

Swarnalatha died at a private hospital in Chennai at the age of 37, on 12 September 2010. She had been suffering from Idiopathic lung disease. She was cremated in Chennai itself.

Awards and recognitions[edit]

She received the National Award from the Government of India when she was just 21 years old. She also a four-time recipient of the Cinema Express Awards.

National Award (Silver Lotus Award)-(Rajat Kamal)

Tamil Nadu State Awards

Cinema Express Awards

  • 1991 – Best Female Playback Singer for "Povomma Oorkolam" from Chinna Thambi[6]
  • 1995 – Best Female Playback Singer for "Muquala Muqapala" from Kadhalan
  • 1996 – Best Female Playback Singer for "Akkadannu nanga" from Indian
  • 1999 – Best Female Playback Singer for "Ulunthu vidaikayile" from Mudhalvan

Government Awards

  • 1994– Kalaimamani Award by the Government of Tamil Nadu for her contributions towards Tamil music.
  • 1995– Nandi Award by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for her contributions towards Telugu music.
  • 2000– Nandi Award by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for her contributions towards Telugu music.

Other awards

  • 2002 – The song "Rakkama Kaiya Thattu" from the movie Thalapathi (1991) was among the songs listed in a BBC World Top Ten music poll. It was performed by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and Swarnalatha[7]

Film songs[edit]

In Ilaiyaraja's musics..[edit]

The numbers based on the same tune 'Povomaa Oorkolam' and 'Nee Yengae Enn Anbae' from the film Chinnathambi were huge hits. Songs like these made Swarnalatha the singing voice of Khushbu who was ruling the roost as a Super Star for whom fans had built a temple. Government of Tamil Nadu honored her with the award of Best Singer for the song 'Povomaa Oorkolam'.

The song 'Raakkamma Kayyathattu' from the film Thalapathi figured in BBC's Hits List of world songs.

Song Movie
"Oorellam Un Paatu Thaan" Oorellam Un Paatu Thaan
"Nandri Sollave" Udan Pirappu
"Sollividu Velli Nilave" Amaidhi Padai
"Kanne indru kalyana" Aanazhagan
"Aarearaaro aareeraaro" thayumanavan
"Mana Madurai" Anthapuram
"Kuruvi Kudaintha" Azhagi
"Aattama Therottama" Captain Prabhakaran
"Malaiyil Yaaro" Chatriyan
"Chithra Kili" Chinna Devan
"Adi Vannathi Poo" Chinna Jameen
"Onnapoothttu" Chinna Jameen
"Anthiyila Vanam" Chinnavar
"Povomma Oorkolam" Chinna Thambi
"Nee Enge" Chinna Thambi
"Naan Erikarai" Chinna Thayee
"Kattu Kuyil Pattu" Chinna Mapillai
"Vennilavu Kothipathu" Chinna Mapillai
"Semparathi Poovukku" Dharma (1998 film)
"Maasi Masam" Dharma Dorai
"Mana Magalea" Devar Magan
"Vayasu Vantha" En Mana Vaanil
"Kuyil Paatu" En Rasavin Manasile
"Uthama Puthiri" Guru Sishyan
"Aradi Suvaruthan" Idhu Namma Bhoomi
"Oru Pokiri Rathiri" Idhu Namma Bhoomi
"Kooyil Mani Kettene" Kanna Unnai Thedukiren
"Enga Then Paandi" Kattabomman
"Adi Asa Machan" Kummi Paattu
"Oorukku Thekkuttu" Kummi Paattu
"Ammiyila Araichi" Kummi Paattu
"Uchi Veyilukku" Kummi Paattu
"Nee Thane Nal Thorum" Paattu Vaathiyar
"Kana Karunk Kuyilae" Pandithurai
"Malliye Chinna Mullaye" Pandithurai
"Vidalapulla" Periya Marudhu (film)
"Vidai Kodu" Piriyadha Varam Vendum
"Ooradangum Samathilea" Puthupatti Ponnuthaye
"Malligai Mottu" Sakthivel
"Kalaiyil Kettathu" Senthamizh Paattu
"Punnaivana Poonkuyile" Sevvanthi
"Margalithan Odipochu" Thalapathi
"Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu" Thalapathi
"Ennai Thottu" Unna Nenachen Pattu Padichen
"Kanna Un Kannil" Unna Nenachen Pattu Padichen
"Ennulle Ennulle" Valli
"Unnai Ethir Parthen" Vanaja Girija
"Sirakadikuthu Kuruvi" Vanaja Girija
"Aajare" Vishnu
"Naan Thanga Roja" Time (1999 film)
"Malai Kovil Vasalil" Veera
"Madathile Kanni" Veera

In A. R. Rahman's music[edit]

Year Song Movie
1993 "Usilampatti Penkutti" Gentleman
1993 "Poralae Ponnuthayi (sad)" Karuththamma
1993 "Rakozhi Rendu" Uzhavan
1994 "Nee Etty Etty Thottuvachukka" Manitha Manitha
1994 "Mukkala Mukkabla" Kadhalan
1994 "Mukkala Mukkabla" (Hindi) Kadhalan (Hindi – Humse Hai Muqabala)
1994 "Madrasa Sutthi" May Madham
1994 "Mottu Vittatha" Pavithra
1994 "Yae Muthu Paapa" Vandicholai Chinraasu
1995 "Orunal Oru Pozhuthu" Anthimanthaarai
1995 "Kucchi Kucchi" Bombay (Tamil and Telugu)
1995 "Humma Humma" Bombay
1995 "Munneru Dhaan" Indira
1995 "Hai Rama" (Hindi and Telugu) Rangeela
1995 "Ai Rama" (Tamil) Rangeela
1996 "Akkadanu Nanga" Indian
1996 "Maya Machindra" Indian
1996 "Mel Isaiye" Mr. Romeo
1997 "Shabba Shabba" Daud (Original Soundtrack in Hindi)
1997 "Shabba Shabba" Daud (Tamil – Ottam)
1997 "Oh Vandhaale" Daud (Tamil – Ottam)
1997 "Shabba Shabba" Daud (Telugu – 50-50)
1997 "Sy Saiyyante" Daud (Telugu – 50-50)
1997 "Lucky Lucky" Ratchagan
1997 "Mercury Pookal" Ratchagan
1998 "Poongkaatrilae" Dil Se.. (Tamil – Uyire)
1998 "O Priyathamma" Dil Se.. (Telugu – Prematho)
1999 "Anjathea Jeeva" Jodi
1999 "Anna Un Tholil" Oonjal
1999 "Sollu Anbe" Oonjal
1999 "Kadhalenum" Kadhalar Dhinam
1999 "Ulunthu Vithaikayilae" Mudhalvan
1999 "Kadhal Yogi" Taalam
1999 "Kuliruthu Kuliruthu" Taj Mahal
2000 "Evano Oruvan" Alaipayuthey
2000 "Kay Sera Sera" (as chorus) Pukar
2000 "Sunta Hai Mera Khuda" Pukar
2001 "Sollaiyo Solai Kili" Alli Arjuna
2001 "Chalo Chale Mitwa" Nayak
2002 "Yenthen Vaanil" Kadhal Virus
2002 "Singore Singore" Kannathil Muthamittal
2003 "Chittukuruvi" Parasuram
2006 "Kummi Adi" Sillunu Oru Kadhal

Selected Malayalam film songs[edit]

Song Movie
"Kadamizhiyil Kamaldalam" Thenkasipattanam
"Manikkakkallal Menju Menanju" Varnapakittu
"Nandalaala Hey Nandalaala" Independence
"Pottukuthedi Pudavachoodedi" Ravanaprabhu
"Balla Balla Ballare" Punjabi House
Poomeniyil Parasala Paatchan Payannur Paramu
"Varthingal Thellalle" Dreamz
"Akkuthikkuthaanakkompel" Mangalya Soothram
"Kannoram Kanamuthe Vaa" Ishtamanu Nooruvattam
"Manjil Pootha Sandhye" Minnaminunginum Minnukettu
"Neeyonnu Paad" Thacholi Varghese Chekavar
"Oru Thari Kasthoori" Highway
"Illikkadum" Eazharakkoottam
"Avva avva" Sathyam Sivam Sundaram
"Maninimukile ni pozhiyaruthe" Kuberan
"Madhu Chandrike Nee " Saadaram

Selected Telugu songs[edit]

Song Movie Music director
"Yamuna Thatilo" Thalapathi Ilaiyaraaja
"Endhirayyo" Siva Shankar Ilaiyaraaja
"Hey Dhaga Dhaga" Prematho Raa Mani Sharma
"Adireti" Bharateeyudu A. R. Rahman
"Holi Holi" Kushi Mani Sharma
"Mukkabla" Premikudu A. R. Rahman
"Raama Chilakamma" Choodalani Vundi Mani Sharma
"Srungara Kavya" Ramudochadu Raj-Koti
"Paataku Praanam" Vasu Harris Jayaraj
"O muthyalakomma (almost all songs)" Osey Ramulamma Vandemataram Srinivas
"Prarthana" Devi Devi Sri Prasad
"Nizam Babulu" Premante Idera Ramana Gogula
"Strawberry Kanne" Merupu Kalalu A.R Rahman
"Keeravani Ragamlo.." Swayamvaram Vandematarm Srinivas
"Rahasyamuga" Dum Dum Dum Kartik Raja
"Idele Taratarala Charitam" Peddarikam Raj-Koti
"Raa Raa Rajakumara" Arjun Mani Sharma
"Nachave Palapitta" Kalisundam Raa S. A. Rajkumar

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Playback singer Swarnalatha passes away". The Hindu. 12 September 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
  2. ^ a b National award winning playback singer Swarnalatha passes away, Asian Tribune, Tue, 14 September 2010 03:25
  3. ^ "Swarnalatha Biography". Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Home". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "My first break – Swarnalatha". The Hindu. 8 May 2009.
  6. ^ "Chinna Thambhi Bags Cinema Express Award". The Indian Express. 25 February 1992. Retrieved 4 October 2013.
  7. ^ BBC World Service 70th Anniversary Global Music Poll: The World's Top Ten. 2002. Retrieved 5 February 2011.

External links[edit]