Vani Jairam

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Vani Jairam
Birth name Kalaivani
Born (1945-11-30) 30 November 1945 (age 70)[1]
Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation(s) Playback singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1971 – current
Website Official website

Vani Jairam (born 30 November 1945 in Tamil Nadu) is a playback singer in Indian cinema, primarily in South Indian languages, although she has a wider repertoire. Vani's career started in 1971 and has spanned over four decades. She has sung playback for several Indian movies. In addition, she has recorded several private albums and participated in numerous solo concerts in India and abroad.[citation needed]

Songs like Ezhu Swarangalukkul, Keliviyin Nayangane, Ennulil Engo, Yaaradhu sollamal, Megamae Megamae, Kavidhai Kelungal Nadhamenum "Aana kana" and "Sugamana ragangale" O priyatama karuneya toreya, sada kannali pranayada, hodeya doora o jotegara and other songs are her musical tracks that were regarded as difficult.[citation needed] Known for her voice range, Vani's genres are film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian classical music and folk songs. Apart from Hindi, she has sung in several Indian languages, such as Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi, Odia, Gujarati and Bengali languages.[2]

Vani won the National Film Awards for Best Female Playback Singer three times and also has won State Government awards from the states of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.[2]

Personal life and background[edit]

Vani Jairam was born in Vellore in Tamil Nadu, in a family of musicians. Her mother Padmavathi is the disciple of Ranga Ramunaja Iyengar. He taught her a few Dikshitar kritis. The fifth daughter in a family of six daughters and three sons, was first heard on All India Radio, Madras, at the age of eight.[citation needed]

Vani Jairam studied Carnatic music under the tutelage of Cuddalore Srinivasa Iyengar, T. R. Balasubramanian and R. S. Mani. Her Hindustani classical music guru was Ustad Abdul Rahman Khan.[citation needed]

After her marriage to Jairam she settled in Mumbai.[citation needed]


In 1971, Jairam featured in the Hindi feature film Guddi. She recorded three songs for Guddi, and "Bole Re Papi Hara," a song based on the Hindustani raga "Miyan ki Malhar,". She was awarded the Tansen Samman (for best classical-based song in a Hindi film), the Lions International Best Promising Singer award, the All India Cinegoers Association award, and the All India Film-goers Association award for the Best Playback Singer in 1971.

She went on to sing a few songs each for music directors of Hindi cinema, including Chitragupta, Naushad (a classical song in Pakeezah (1972) and a duet with Asha Bhosle in Aaina (1977)), Madan Mohan (a duet with Kishore Kumar in the film Ek Mutthi Aasmaan), O.P. Nayyar (several songs from the film Khoon Ka Badla Khoon including duets with Mohammed Rafi and also with Uttara Kelkar and Pushpa Pagdhare), R. D. Burman (a duet with Mukesh in Chhalia), Kalyanji Anandji, Laxmikant Pyarelal, and Jaidev (a duet with Manna Dey in Parinay and a solo in Solwa Saawan). Her songs in Meera (1979), composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar, won her the Filmfare Award.[3] Around 1974, she shifted her base to Madras and soon became a sought-after singer in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam cinema. In 1981, she sang Kanana Poikayil Kalabham along with K. J. Yesudas in the composition of M. K. Arjunan for the film Ariyapedatha Rahasiyam (1981) directed by P. Venu.She worked with almost all the leading music directors of south namely M. S. Viswanathan, M. B. Sreenivasan, K. V. Mahadevan, M. K. Arjunan, Jerry Amaldev Ilayaraaja and the noted Bengali music directorSalil Chowdhary. With the future Academy award winner, A. R. Rahman, she recorded a duet with S. P. Balasubramanyam in the song "Sugam sugam athu" for the film Vandicholai Chinnarasu in 1994.[citation needed]

Besides Hindi and Tamil, Vani Jairam has made recordings in Gujarati, Marathi, Marwari, Haryanvi, Bengali and Tulu, Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu and Oriya. She has been awarded many prestigious awards, among them are Best Female Playback Singer for states of Gujarat (1975), Tamil Nadu (1980) and Orissa (1984).One of her most famous Marathi songs, "Runanubandhachya", is a duet with the classical Hindustani singer Kumar Gandharva. This song was composed by Vani's mentor Vasant Desai for a Marathi drama called Dev Deenaghari Dhaavlaa. The lyrics were written by Bal Kolhatkar.[citation needed].

Vani Jairam has recorded "Holi Songs" and "Thumri Dadra & Bhajans" with Pandit Briju Maharaj. She has also recorded "Gita Govindam" composed by Prafullakar with Odissi Guru Kelucharan Mohopatra playing the Pakhawaj. Vani Jairam has also released "Murugan Songs" with songs written by her with music composed by her.

Her more recently released songs include "Thiruppugazh" in the film soundtrack for Kaaviya Thalaivan, and "Narayana" in the film Ramanujan.


The P. Suseela Trust honoured Vani Jairam at a grand function in Hyderabad, with a citation and a purse of one lakh. The event was widely covered on television. On 28 May 2014, Vani was felicitated in Bhubaneshwar for her contribution to Odia films. Preceding it was the PBS Puraskar Award in Hyderabad, instituted in memory of the inimitable P.B. Srinivos. On 30 July 2014, Yuva Kala Vahini, an organisation in Hyderabad, presented her the 'Pride of Indian Music' Award.[4] ETV Kannada channel felicitated Vani jairam by giving the title Evergreen voice for her outstanding contribution to the Kannada film industry. Actor V. Ravi Chandran, actress Jayanthi, film maker Bhagawan, Vani's husband Jairam and others were present.She spoke to the audience in pure Kannada and sang some of her own Kannada film songs. Vani remembered Dr.Rajkumar on the stage and said that she is missing her favourite star.

National Film Awards[edit]

Filmfare Award[edit]

State Awards[edit]

Other Awards[edit]

  • 1972 – Mian Tansen Award Best Film Playback Singer of 'Classical Song' in Films for "Bol Re Papi Hara" given by Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai.
  • 1979 – Her songs in the Pandit Ravi Shankar scored film Meera brought her the Film World (1979) Cine Herald (1979) for "Mere To Giridhar Gopal".
  • 1991 – Kalaimamani Award from Tamil Nadu State for her contribution to Tamil film music.
  • 1992 – The youngest artist to be awarded the "Sangeet Peet Samman"
  • 2004 – M.K. Thyagarajar Bhagavathar – Life Time Achievement Award from Tamil Nadu Government[5]
  • 2005 – Kamukara Award for her outstanding contribution to film music in general and in all the four South Indian languages in particular.[6]* 2006 – Mudhra Award of Excellence from Mudhra Academy, Chennai.[7]
  • 2012 – Subramanya Bharathi award for her contribution to music.[8]
  • 2014 - Life Time Achievement Award of Radio Mirchi given at Hyderabad on 16 August 2014
  • 2014 - Best Playback Singer Award for the song 'Olanjali Kuruvi' from the Film "1983' given by Public Voting at Dubai at "Asiavision Awards 2014" on 14 November 2014
  • 2014 - Kannadasan Award by Kannadasan Kazagam,Coimbatore[9]

Other titles[edit]

  • 2004: Kamukara Award[10]
  • 2007: South Indian Meera[11]


  1. ^ Sampath, Janani (29 November 2012). "Serenading a dream". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Sweet music for the ears". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 5 December 2004. 
  3. ^ Nostalgia unlimited: Vani Jairam's songs in Malayalam continue to enchant a new generation of music lovers, The Hindu, 2 December 2005.
  4. ^ MALATHI RANGARAJAN. "Voice and versatility". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 18 August 2014. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Vani Jairam – accolades as a way of life". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 7 January 2005. 
  7. ^ "Award for Vani Jairam". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 17 November 2006. 
  8. ^ "With another award in her kitty, Vani Jairam sings on – The Times of India". The Times of India. 
  9. ^ Malathi Rangarajan (31 July 2014). "Voice and versatility". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "The Hindu". 13 November 2004. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 
  11. ^ "The Hindu". Chennai, India. 28 May 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2009. 

External links[edit]

B.Meenakshi Sundaram