"A voice, a legend, an icon "

MS Subbulakshmi

1916 - 2004

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Her rendition of the Venkateshwara Suprabhatam echoes every morning in most Hindu homes till today and perhaps will for a long time to come. She is part of their morning rituals, their prayers, their routine and their lives. Only with the beauty of her awe-inspiring voice that won hearts eachtime she sang...

A child prodigy who made her debut at the age of 10, MS, as she is fondly called, grew into a popular icon of Carnatic music. Hailing froma traditional family in Madurai, MS made her presence amidst the top musiciansin Madras with her powerful yet lilting voice.

Despite her dabble with acting and singing in the Tamil filmindustry in the early 1940s, MS got back to her first love, Carnatic music. In the years to come, she rose to become the greatest Carnatic vocalist. She was the youngest recipient of the Padma Bhushan award in 1954 and received the prestigious Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1956. She was the first Indian classical music artist to perform at the United Nations. She won hearts all over the world with her ability to infuse Carnatic music in global languages with 30 spectacular compositions. She was honoured with the Ramon Magsaysay award for public service through music in 1974 and the Bharat Ratna in 1998.  

She is popularly known for reviving the compositions of Annamacharya, the famous Telugu saint and poet. MS also gave life to the works of Mirza Ghalib, Tukaram, Adi Shankara and other poets with her beautiful compositions and voice. She lived a life filled with the richness of music for 88 long years. Her passing away in 2004 was a blow not just to the Carnatic music genre but to classical music the world over. SoulPrints salutes the Nightingale of India and her soul-stirring contribution to music and lives. Her kutcheris may have stopped, but her voice lives on...forever.

This is a SoulPrints.in tribute to MS Subbulakshmi


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