Condolences pour in from film industry figures

They remember his ageless voice and humility

Published - September 26, 2020 12:42 am IST - CHENNAI

“In any small corner of the world, it is possible to find an SPB fan,” said actor and comedian Vivekh. Condolences poured in from several members of the Tamil film industry who remembered their association with singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam and his contribution to cinema.

His ageless voice — he has sung for several senior actors as well as the younger actors in the industry spanning five decades — and his humility were remembered by actors, directors, musicians and technicians who have been influenced by his work.

“We’ve sung over 3,000 duets across six languages,” reminisced veteran playback singer P. Susheela. She said Balasubrahmanyam’s death was like the loss of a family member. “He was always ready to help anyone. One of the most memorable songs we’ve sung together is Aayiram nilave vaa ,” she said.

Sharing a few lines from the song Engo pogudhu vaanam that Balasubrahmanyam had sung in the Rajinikanth film Kochadaiiyaan , composer A.R. Rahman wrote on Twitter that the singer’s voice was “the Voice of Victory, Love, Devotion and Joy”.

“He has sung over 40,000 songs and performed at numerous stage shows. Despite this fame, we have all learnt humility from him. He always stood grounded,” composer Harris Jayaraj said. The singer had left a legacy and his work and life would be an institution for generations to come, he said.

Actor and politician T. Rajendar said Balasubrahmanyam had given life to several songs he had composed. “Not just for the Tamil film industry, it is a huge loss for the country,” he said. Poet Vairamuthu said Balasubrahmanyam’s voice had been a companion to his writing for over 40 years.

“I had the honour of lip-syncing the songs that you have sung, on screen. We will all never forget your voice,” actor Sathyaraj said.

The South Indian Artists Association or Nadigar Sangam said his death was an irreplaceable loss to the film industry and he was an accomplished actor, besides being a singer. Music composer D. Imman said that for actor Rajinikanth’s upcoming film Annathey , SPB had already recorded a song. “I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to work with him and record one of his last songs. He was such a loving and wonderful person,” he said. Director Bharathiraja, with whom the singer shared a close friendship, said SPB did not belong to a single State but to the entire country. “I refuse to say that he is no more. I believe that his voice will keep resonating all around us and for generations to come. There is no death for his music and singing,” he said.

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