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Artist

S. Janaki

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Biography

Sishtla Sreeramamurthy Janaki (born 23 April 1938), popularly known as S. Janaki, is an Indian playback singer, and occasional music-composer. She is one of the best-known playback singers in South India who has recorded nearly 48,000 songs in all the South Indian languages. Janaki started her career in 1957 and has spanned over five decades. She has recorded songs in more than fifteen regional Indian languages and foreign languages, though primarily in Malayalam and Kannada in which she has most frequently recorded. She has won four National Film Awards and 31 different State Film Awards. Her association with singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and composer Ilaiyaraaja is well known.

S. Janaki, who is known as "The Nightingale of the South", is a recipient of an honorary doctorate 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.

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). 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.

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. She has also recorded devotional music of Meera.

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.

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. While talking about this song, K.S. Chitra said that Nobody can touch this song.

S. Janaki is married to V. Ramprasad. She lives in Chennai with her son Murali Krishna.


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