Legendary singer SP Balasubrahmanyam passed away on Friday, 25 September. He was hospitalised after testing positive for Covid-19 in the first week of August. He was aged 74.

SPB Dead
SP Balasubramaniam passes away.PR Handout

His son SP Charan has announced the news of his death stating that SPB breathed his last around 1.04 pm on Thursday. The hospital has confirmed the news in a press release and claimed that he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest.

"Thiru S P Balasubrahmanyam had been admitted at MGM Healthcare on August 5th and commenced on life support measures since August 14th for severe COVID-19 pneumonia. He continued to be closely monitored by our multidisciplinary team in the critical care unit. He tested negative for COVID-19 on September 4th.

In a further setback this morning, despite maximal life support measures and the best efforts of the clinical team, his condition deteriorated further and he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest. With profound grief, we regret to inform that he has passed away on September 25th at 13:04 Hours," the press release read. 

Who was SPB?

SP Balasubrahmanyam was born in Telugu brahmin family 4 June, 1946 in the unified Madras Presidency. Since his father was a Harikatha exponent, singing came naturally to him. However, the never thought of having a singing career and wanted to become an engineer.

Music director SP Kodandapani spotted him at a competition and introduced him to Telugu film industry with Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna on 15 December 1966. The track Emi E Vintha Moham earned popularity and he started his journey on a positive note.

Just eight days after making his singing debut, SPB recorded his first non-Telugu track by singing for the Kannada movie, Nakkare Ade Swarga. He entered Tamil cinema with Athaanodu Ippadi Irundhu Eththanai Naalaachu in the film Hotel Ramba, unfortunately, the movie did not see the light of the day.

SP Balasubrahmanyam
SP Balasubrahmanyam.PR Handout

His first Malayalam film was Kadalppalam, while Ek Duuje Ke Liye marked his debut in Bollywood.

Awards and Honours
SPB, in the last five decades, has sung over 40,000 songs in 16 languages. SPB has six National Awards, seven Filmfare Awards, a Padma Shri, a Padma Bhushan, several state awards, honorary doctors and a mention in the Limca Book of Records to his credit.

He holds the Guinness World Record for recording the highest number of songs by a singer with over 40,000 songs with an average of 930 songs per year or three songs per day. He is also credited for singing a record 21 songs in 12 hours.

In his successful career, he sung for the big names of the Indian film industry like MGR, NTR, Dr Rajkumar, Rajinikanth, Salman Khan, and Shah Rukh Khan among many others. In addition to singing, he acted in over 75 movies in different languages.