K J Yesudas completes 50 years in Playback Singing

The celestial singer K J Yesudas is completing his golden jubilee of 50 years in the playback singing arena. He started his journey as a singer in 1961 in the composition of M B Srinivasan. He has recieved the national award most number of times by a singer. Read more in the article.

The legendary singer K J Yesudas is celebrating his golden jubilee as a singer on Nov 14th. It was on the same day before 50 years that he recorded his first song as a playback singer which marked a new era in music. He did never have to look back since then.

It was music director M B Srinivasan who brought Yesudas to the film music. He gave Yesudas an oppurtunity to sing four lines sloka written by Sree Narayana Guru in the film 'Kalppadukal'. Yesudas was only 21 then. The journey he started then is now completing five decades. By now, he has sung in many languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Telugu, Bengali, Gujarati, Oriya, Marathi, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tulu, Malay, Russian, Arabic, Latin and English. He has recorded over 50,000 songs, one of the most by any singer in the world. He has also composed a few songs in Malayalam. With the unparallelled voice, he created a huge following. The fans called him 'Gana Gandharvan' which means Celestial Singer in Malayalam.

Yesudas has recieved numerous honours and awards in his career spanning five decades. He has won the National award for the best playback singer a record 7 times. The Kerala state award has been given to him a whooping 24 times. He has won Tamil Nadu state awards and Karnataka state awards 5 times each. The Andhra Pradesh state award went to him 4 times. He has also won the West Bengal state award once.

The nation honoured him with Padmashree in 1975 and Padmabhushan in 2002. The Kerala state recognises him as the official singer of the state. Also, the devotional song 'Harivarasanam', composed by Sri Kambakkudi Kulathur Srinivasa Iyer, recited before closing the Sabarimala temple was sung by Yesudas. Despite having many versions, the one by Yesudas is used there.

The journey never ends. With an endless and immeasurable passion and enthusiasm towards music, the Celestial Singer is continuing his musical voyage.

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