At the same time, she has done enough to democractise Carnatic music in her own way.

Senior vocalist Sudha Ragunathan has been chosen for the prestigious Sangita Kalanidhi Award this year by The Music Academy. The Natya Kala Acharya Award, instituted a couple of years ago, will go to Bharatanatyam exponent Chitra Visweswaran. A disciple of late M.L. Vasanthakumari (MLV), Sudha Ragunathan will be conferred the award by the Academy at the Sadas, which will be held on the first day of the New Year. The Academy bestowed on MLV the Sangita Kalanidhi title way back in 1977.

Stand-out artiste

Sudha Ragunathan is a stand-out artiste among musicians of her generations in many ways. The singer in her is strikingly different from the rest. She has the uncanny ability to connect across the music canvass. For many in the Carnatic music world, she comes out as an easily relatable artiste. The resultant convergence has seen Sudha Ragunathan remain popular through seasons. If the internship under MLV pitchforked her into limelight subsequently, Sudha Ragunathan has retained the adoration of fans and others alike.

Not commonman music

Carnatic music is not a commonman music. She realises it, and has religiously stuck to the tradition. At the same time, she has done enough to democractise Carnatic music in her own way. Place, platform, and people have not significantly altered the artiste in Sudha Ragunathan. A singer has to sing, and sing quality music at that. That seems to be her attitude to music. Her USP (unique selling proposition) lies in her readiness to sing at assorted platforms. That makes the person in artiste Sudha Ragunathan a lot more lovable by many a fan. In the world of professional Carnatic musicans, she is a genuine long-distance traveller. She deserves this Academy award.