You entered the field as a singer, but later began to act in films. What would you like to be referred to as — a singer or an actor?
I have sung nearly 1,000 songs in Tamil and Telugu films. I got the opportunity to act all of a sudden, and it was for the film Ghilli. Till now, I have acted in a dozen films, the recent one being Magizhchi. So you can call me a singer-cum-actor.
Why are you not able to reach the number one position in singing or acting?
I don't believe in the number game. I do justice to whatever comes my way. I started singing in 1970 and continue to do so. Besides, I am a dubbing artist. I'm happy I'm always busy.
Have you achieved what you intended to in the field?
Remaining in the field for four decades is an achievement in itself. I sang my first song with the legend Sirkazhi S. Govindarajan for the film Agathiyar, directed by A. P. Nagarajan. Some of the singers who entered the field around the same time as me are nowhere now. So, I feel God has been kind to me.
Who are your favourite singers?
I like Gulam Ali, Lata Mangeshkar and Sirkazhi Govindarajan. To my delight, A. R. Rahman once called me the female Sirkazhi. I have sung for almost all the films featuring top heroes of different generations.
What's your aim now?
I want to play powerful roles that will display my talent.
s. r. ashok kumar
Remaining in the field for four decades is an achievement in itself. I'm happy I'm always busy