SPB no more: Film industry, leaders pay tributes

From PM Narendra Modi to the likes of Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, several icons mourned the demise of playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam

Updated - June 03, 2024 09:55 am IST

Published - September 25, 2020 02:39 pm IST

Playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam. File

Playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam. File

Legendary playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam passed away at a private hospital in Chennai on Friday. He was 74.

Popularly known as SPB, Balasubrahmanyam made his singing debut in 1966 with Telugu movie Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna . He has sung over 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi. 


‘Paadum Nila’ (Singing Moon) as he was called by his fans had a lilting voice with the finest traces of great singers.  

Tamil Nadu

SPB’s funeral will have police honours: CM Palaniswami

SPB would be laid to rest with police honours, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami said here on Friday.

As a mark of respect to Balasubrahmanyam, who has “earned a perpetual place in the hearts of people” not only from Tamil Nadu but across the country, the singer “would be laid to rest” with honours from the police department, the Chief Minister announced in an official release.

CSK players pay tribute to SPB

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) players paid tribute to SPB and former Australian cricketer Dean Jones by wearing black armbands in their IPL game against Delhi Capitals on Friday.

“The Super Kings are wearing black armbands in memory of Dean Jones and SP Balasubrahmanyam. One had an absolutely iconic day at Chepauk, the other’s life has changed and shaped all of us in so many ways. Lion faceYellow heart #RIPSPB #RIPDeanJones #WhistleFromHome #WhistlePodu #Yellove #CSKvDC,” CSK wrote on its Twitter handle.

Bengali cine personalities pay tributes to SPB

Film personalities from Bengali cinema, including singer-turned-politician Babul Supriyo, singer Srikanto Acharya and filmmaker Srijit Mukherji, have paid homage to the legendary singer.

Mr. Supriyo remembered the veteran singer as a humble soul.

“I had first listened to his music when I studied in class 11 and my love for his meliflous voice which added a new life to lyrics only grew in subsequent years, he told a Bengali TV channel.

Mr. Acharya said Balasubrahmanyam’s death is great loss of Indian film industry.

“I was so happy to know he was recovering couple of days back. But our hopes were dashed as his condition worsened in last few days. It is a great loss. We need such personalities as guardians who will show us right path, he said.

Mr. Mukherji shared the lyrics of his popular song from Roja

Singer Iman Chakraborty tweeted ‘RIP Sir”.


SPB proved that music is beyond languages, regions: Maharashtra CM

Maharashtra politicians, including Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his Deputy Ajit Pawar, paid glowing tributes to SPB.

“Senior singer SP Balasubrahmanyam was a genius of the world of voice who proved with his mellifluous voice that music is beyond languages and regions.

“Time has snatched him away from us. He is immortal in a sense the magic of his voice is left behind,” the Chief Minister’s office tweeted.

Mr. Pawar said the death of Balasubrahmanyam “who enriched the Indian film industry with his evergreen voice is a big shock” to the crores of fans like him.

The NCP leader said that the over 40,000 songs Balasubrahmanyam sang is a “treasure trove” of Indian music.

Revenue Minister and Maharashtra Congress chief Balasaheb Thorat described Balasubrahmanyam as a “talented singer” whose voice has been “inscribed on the hearts of scores of people“.

Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis also took to Twitter to pay homage to Balasubrahmanyam.

“Extremely saddened to hear about demise of #SPBalasubrahmanyam ji. We have lost a legendary musical genius. My heartfelt tributes to the legend. Deepest condolences to his family, friends and all the music lovers,” Fadnavis said on the micro-blogging site.

Ministers Ashok Chavan, Nawab Malik and Amit Deshmukh, NCP MP Supriya Sule and others also paid tributes to Subrahmanyam.

Passing away of SPB is a great loss to world of music: Puducherry CM

Chief Minister of Puducherry V. Narayanasamy on Friday condoled the death of SPB.

In a condolence message, the Chief Minister said, “A legend in the cinema world, a renowned singer and admired by the people for his melodious songs, the passing away of SPB is a great loss...”

Mr. Narayanasamy conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family and prayed for a peaceful rest of the soul.

AINRC legislator N.S.J. Jayabal said in a condolence message that the “singing bird has flown away but the songs presented by SPB will always remain with us”.

Mr. Jayabal too conveyed his condolences to the family of the bereaved singer.

SPB’s voice will live on as his songs touched millions of lives: Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday condoled the demise of SPB and said his voice will live on as his songs touched millions of lives.

“My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and friends of Mr S. P. Balasubrahmanyam. His songs touched millions of hearts in many languages. His voice will live on. #RIPSPB,” he said on Twitter.


Lata Mangeshkar, A.R. Rahman, Salman Khan mourn SPB’s demise

Prominent names from Indian film industry such as veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar, music composer AR Rahman, actors Salman Khan, and Ramaya Krishnan, paid tributes to th legendary singer.

Hailing Balasubrahmanyam as a “brilliant singer” and a “kind human being”, Mangeshkar reminiscenced working with him.

“I’m very disturbed by the demise of SP Balasubrahmanyam. We have recorded many song together and did a lot shows. My condolences to his family,” the veteran singer wrote.

Rahman shared his photo with Balasubrahmanyam and simply posted, “#ripspb ...Devastated”.

Khan, who on Thursday wished the legendary singer a speedy recovery, said he was heartbroken by the news of his demise.

“Heartbroken to hear about #SPBalasubrahmanyam sir... you will forever live on in your undisputed legacy of music! condolence to the family #RIP,” he tweeted.

Kapoor remembered the musician as a “great human being” and “an incredible singer” and said that he will be “missed truly“.

“Baahubali” star Krishnan tweeted, “Someone so special can never be forgotten, may his soul rest in peace my deepest condolences to the family....#ripspb sir”

Filmmakers Madhur Bhandarkar, Bejoy Nambiar and Sujoy Ghosh also offered their condolences.


Former PM Deve Gowda, Karnataka CM Yediyurappa condole death of SPB

Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa led the people of the State in condoling the death of celebrated playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam.

Former Chief Ministers S.M. Krishna, H.D. Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah also condoled his death.

“Reaching the pinnacle of music in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi is an unassailable achievement.

This is a great loss to our nation, especially to the field of music,” Mr. Gowda said in his message.

Mr. Yediyurappa said S.P. Balasubrahmanyam had gained immense popularity through his film songs and that his achievements in music composition, acting and anchoring musical programmes are noteworthy.

Mr. Krishna, in his message, said SPB was a legend in his lifetime.

Mr, Siddaramaiah said “We have lost a great human being and I am deeply saddened by the loss. He will be alive with us through his songs.”

Mr. Kumaraswamy, in his message, said he was deeply pained to learn about the death of SPB.

“The simplicity and gentleness of SPB, who sang more than 40,000 songs, is worth emulating,” he said.

Others who condoled SPB’s death were Deputy Chief Minister Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Health Minister B. Sriramulu and Medical Education Minister Dr. K. Sudhakar.

West Bengal

SPB’s golden voice will be remembered for generations: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday mourned the death of SPB and extended condolences to his family and millions of fans.

Describing Balasubrahmanyam as “a true legend of music”, she said that his golden voice will be remembered generation after generation.

“Grieved to hear of the passing of a true legend of music, S P Balasubrahmanyam. HisCs. Condolences to his family, many admirers and colleagues in the music industry,” Ms. Banerjee tweeted.



Kerala pays rich tributes to SPB

Kerala paid rich tributes to legendary singer S.P. Balasubramanyam.

Governor Arif Mohammed Khan in a tweet said Balasubramanyam as a musician, composer and actor in five languages, enthralled the national audience, immortalising the role of Music as universal language of mankind.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan described the singer’s passing away as an“irreparable loss” to Indian music.

“I express my heartfelt condolences,”Mr, Vijayan said in a message.

“His songs had his signature style,” he added.

SPB will forever remain in our memories through his melodious voice, unparalleled compositions: Amit Shah

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday expressed grief over the demise of SPB and said he would forever remain in people’s memories through his melodious voice and unparalleled music compositions.

“Deeply saddened by the passing away of legendary musician and playback singer Padma Bhushan, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam ji. He will forever remain in our memories through his melodious voice & unparalleled music compositions. My condolences are with his family & followers. Om Shanti,” Mr. Shah tweeted



MoS for Home Kishan Reddy, Telangana CM, Telugu film industry mourn SPB’s death

Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, superstar Chiranjeevi and a host of film personalities expressed grief over the demise of legendary singer S P Balasubrahmanyam on Friday.

In his message, the MoS said Balasubrahmanyam was a colossal talent who left an indelible mark in Indian music.

“He lent his voice in many languages and took an active part in nurturing and producing talent. He was a mentor to many aspiring singers. Om Shanti to his atma and condolences to his family,” Mr. Kishan Reddy said.

Praising SPB’s stellar contributions as a playback singer, composer and actor, the Chief Minister, in a message, said the void created by his death can never be filled.

It was unfortunate that the best efforts put in by the doctors to save his life did not succeed, Rao said and conveyed his condolences to members of the bereaved family.

State BJP president and MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar, State Congress president and MP N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, TDP’s Telangana unit president L. Ramana, CPI national secretary K Narayana and several other leaders condoled the death of the singer.

I can’t believe Balu’s voice has fallen silent: Venkaiah Naidu

“The devastating news of the passing away of the legendary playback singer, S.P. Balasubramanyam has left me shattered and shell-shocked. I am benumbed and words fail me as I struggle to express my deep anguish. Like millions of people across the globe, my wife, Ushamma and I, prayed fervently for his speedy recovery. We hoped that he would win this battle against the dreaded Coronavirus. Alas! The cruel hand of destiny has snatched away ever-smiling Balu from us.

I wake up every morning and get rejuvenated by listening to Annamacharya Keertans and devotional songs of late Sri Ghantasala Venkatasewara Rao and Sripathi Panditharadhyula Balsubramanyam. This has been my routine for many years. The words that Balu is no more has left a void in me. How can my morning routine be the same without listening to your mellifluous voice, Balu?” writes Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.


You have been my voice for many years: Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth shared a video on social media along with the message, “#RIP Balu sir ... you have been my voice for many years ... your voice and your memories will live with me forever ... I will truly miss you ...”


Heartbroken: Chiranjeevi

“Heartbroken!! RIP SP Balu garu,” wrote Telugu superstar Chiranjeevi, along with a post on Twitter.


Life is truly unpredictable: Akshay Kumar

Akshay Kumar shared a picture from when he spoke to SPB at a virtual concert, and wrote, “Deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Balasubrahmanyam ji.Just a few months back I’d interacted with him during a virtual concert in this lockdown..he seemed hale,hearty & his usual legendary self...life is truly unpredictable. My thoughts & prayers with his family #RIPSPB (sic).”


President condoles

President Ram Nath Kovind condoled the death of Balasubrahmanyam.

“In the passing of music legend SP Balasubrahmanyam Indian music has lost one of its most melodious voices. Called ‘Paadum Nila’ or ‘Singing Moon’ by his countless fans, he was honoured with Padma Bhushan and many National Awards. Condolences to his family, friends and admirers,” Rashtrapati Bhavan tweeted.

Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu too tweeted. “Shocked at the tragic demise of the legendary musician Shri S.P. Balasubrahmanyam. He leaves a void in the world of music that is virtually impossible to fill.”

Our cultural world is a lot poorer: Modi

“With the unfortunate demise of Shri SP Balasubrahmanyam, our cultural world is a lot poorer. A household name across India, his melodious voice and music enthralled audiences for decades. In this hour of grief, my thoughts are with his family and admirers. Om Shanti,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also mourned his death. “Deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of legendary playback singer #SPBalasubrahmanyam. The music lovers will forever miss his euphonious voice. My thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved family members and millions of fans,” he tweeted.

His legacy will be remembered for seven generations to come: Kamal Haasan

Actor Kamal Haasan, in an audio-visual message expressed his condolences over the death of veteran singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam.

In a one-minute video, Mr. Haasan praises Mr. Balasubrahmanyam and thanks him for sharing his voice with him. The video also features clips of both artistes sharing moments together.

“There are very few great artists who receive accolades and fame that fittingly celebrates their talent, during their lifetime. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam was one of them. I had the privilege of having been the image on screen, to several songs that he has sung. In several languages, he has been the voice of four generations of heroes. His legacy will be remembered for seven generations to come,” Mr. Haasan said.


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