A favourite of South Indian cinema and even Bollywood, Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam, popularly known as SPB, is a voice one can never get tired of listening.

 

Awarded the Padma Shri in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2011, SPB has won over 25 national awards in his singing career including Nandi and Filmfare awards.

 

Famously, he can match the voice to almost any actor. He has lent his voice to songs of MGR, Kamal Hassan, Vishnuvardhan, Shankar Nag, Gemini Ganesan and even Salman and Shah Rukh Khan.

 

SPB is most famous as the voice of Kamal Hassan, not only singing for him but also dubbing Kamal’s Tamil movies in Telugu. SPB dubbed the Telugu version of Dasavataram and lent his voice to seven characters in the movie.

 

Among Bollywood, he was known as the perfect voice for Salman Khan after the songs of Maine Pyar Kiya won hearts across India. He went on to sing for Salman Khan in blockbusters like Hum Apke Hain Kaun and Saajan.

 

He became the favourite voice of film industries. He has a Guinness record for recording the most number of songs in a day. He recorded 21 songs in Kannada for composer Upendra Kumar in February 1981.

 

SPB has been long associated with music legends like AR Rehman, KV Mahadevan and Anand-Milind, Hamsalekha. But interestingly, he was associated with Maestro Ilayaraaja at a time when they were both unknowns.

 

For example, Ilayaraja played the guitar and harmonium when SPB was a singer in a programme organised by the Telugu Cultural Organisation in 1964.

 

Here are some of his most iconic songs:

 

Pudhu Vellai Mazhai from the movie Roja, Music by AR Rehman

 

 

Mandram Vantha song from the movie Mouna Raagam, Music by Ilayaraaja


 

 

Jotheyali, Jothe Jotheyali song from the movie Geetha, Music by Ilayaraaja

 

 

Dil Deewana Bin Sajna Ke from the movie Maine Pyar Kiya fetched SPB Filmfare award; Music by Raamlakshman

 

 

Didi Tera Dewar Deewana from the movie Hum Apke Hain Kaun; Music by Raamlakshman

 

 

And the latest one is for Shah Rukh Khan with Nikal Na jaye Chennai Express from the movie Chennai Express; Music by Vishal-Shekhar

 

 

SPB’s firsts in various languages:

 

SPB’s first playback singing in Sri Sri Mryada Ramanna –Song: Emi Ee Intha Moham

 

 

His first Kannada song Nagabeku from the movie Nakkare Ade Swarga


 

 

His first Tamil song Iyarkai Ennum Ilaiya Kanni from the movie Shanthi Nilayam 

 

 

His first song in Malayalam Ee Kadalum Marukadalum was from the movie Kadalpalam 

 

 

His first song in Hindi was Ek Duje Ke Liye from the movie Ek Duje Ke Liye