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Early life of S.Janaki

Sishtla Sreeramamurthy Janaki more popularly known as S.Janaki was born on 23rd April, 1938 in the state of Andhra Pradesh. She was born in a Telugu speaking Brahmin family in a place called Pallapatla, Repalle village, in Guntur which during that time belonged to the Madras presidency. S.Janaki's father was an Ayurvedic doctor and a teacher. S.Jankai had a keen interest towards music right from her childhood and was very much devoted to it.

S.Janaki Her devotion towards music made her perform on the stage at very young age of when she was only nine years old. A Nadaswaram Vidwan by name Sree Paidiswamy taught Janaki the basics of music for a year and also learnt few intricates of music and songs from Varanasi Balaramayya. Thus she got a very strong foundation at a very young age itself which made herself very well equipped to later perform as a successful playback singer.

It was in 1957 Janaki's uncle advised her to go to Chennai for better options in the field of music. So she moved to Chennai and joined as a singer in AVM Studios and it was there she started her career with a Tamil film 'Vidhiyin Vilayattu' in the same year under the music directorship of T. Chalapati Rao.

Janaki was highly influenced and inspired by film music not only in Tamil but in almost all the languages like Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi and used to contribute the songs rendered by eminent singers like Lata Mangeshkar, P. Leela, Jikki and P. Sush. S.Janaki the great Indian playback singer is been in the field of music for more than 55 years and has sung more than 20,000 songs in almost all the languages but however most of it was the South Indian language songs.

Some of Janaki's most popular musical hits include those that she worked and performed in combination with singer S. P. Balasubramanyam and composer Ilaiyaraaja. Janaki is very noted, recognized and appreciated by the people of South India for she is capable of modulating her voice in such way that it can take over to anybody including a small child to an elderly old woman. Because of her voice modulation capabilities, she is also referred to as the 'Melody Queen of South India'. The legendary S.Janaki has been awarded with number of National and State awards. S.Janaki is also popularly referred as "The Nightingale of the South".

Personal Life

S.Janaki Janaki married V. Ramprasad and lives in Chennai. She has a son named son Murali Krishna who acted in few movie but later started up his own audio business. His wife Uma Murali Krishna is a classical dancer. Janaki is a close relative of Carnatic classical vocalist Garimella Balakrishna Prasad.

Professional Music Career and Achievements

S.Janaki It was in 1957 and at the age of 19 Janaki started to sing and her debut was as already mentioned under the music direction of T. Chalapati Rao for the Tamil movie Vidhiyin Vilayattu which didn't turned out to be successful. The very next day after she sung for the Tamil movie she got an option to sing for a Telugu movie song "Nee Aasa Adiyaasa Chejaare Manipoosa Brathukantaa Amavaasa Lambaadolla Ramdaasa..," for the film 'M.L.A.', produced and directed by Sri Tilak.

However through this song Janaki received some recognition and gained name and fame. Again she gave a hit duet number with Late Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao written by Sri. Arudra, and the music composed by Sri. Pendyala Nageswara Rao. This song is even now considered to be as one of the classics of the Telugu movie. The big break for S.Janaki happened in 1958 when she gave her first light classical music song 'Singaravelane Deva' for the movie 'Konjum Salangai'.

This song was composed by late S. M. Subbaiah Naidu were Janaki's voice had to compete with the Nadaswaram played by Late Karaikuruchi Arunachalam. The song was highly recognized, admired and celebrated with cheer by not only the people of South India but also from North India and bought in lot of fans for Janaki. Janaki also sang the Telugu version of the 'Singaravelane Deva'song in telugu as 'Nee Leela Padeda Deva' in the film 'Muripinche Muvvalu'.

After this Janaki gave continuous hit in and in the year 1961 she got a big break with the solo song "Neeli Meghaalalo Gaali Kerataalalo Neevu Paade Paata' in the film 'Baavaamaradallu'. In 1964 Janaki gave her debut in Malayalam films too. But however her first song in Malayalam turned out to be a flop for the film 'Minnunnathellam Ponnalla'. She also had problems in pronouncing the Malayalam words for which she worked hard with the aid of music composers and lyricists. But however she got it perfect only after her friendship with her fan Leela Chacko who used to teach her Malayalam words by speaking to her in the same language.

Janaki is been singing for more than four decades almost in all the languages and for heriones of nearly five generation with still a lively voice. Janaki has also given a number of hit lists in the Kannada film industry thereby leaving an everlasting impression in the hearts of the Kannada fans. She has contributed some of the classics in the world of music in combination with the maestros of music.

As already mentioned Janaki apart from being a creative singer she was also a good lyricist and an eminent music composer. It was director Ramoji Rao after seeing the potentials of Jankai gave her the opportunity of becoming the music director for his Telugu movie 'Mouna Poraatam' in 1988. Thus Janaki became the third music director in the Telugu film industry only after Bhanumati and P. Leela.

Janaki sang for other languages like Hindi, Sinhalese, Bengali, Oriya, English, Sanskrit, Konkani, Tulu, Saurasthra, Baduga, Japanese, and German. Janaki is one of the most favorite singers of the Maestro Musician Illayaraja and sand at least 2-3 songs in almost all his movies. Apart from singing for movies Janaki also sang a number of devotional songs on Lord Krishna and Shirdi Sai Baba for she was an ardent devotee of them. She has also recorded Hindu devotional music on Meera.

She has proved to be an inspiration for the younger generations in the field of music. Some of her contemporaries include Ghantasala, Dr.Rajkumar,P. Susheela, Vani Jayaram, K J Yesudas, L R Eeswari, P. Jayachandran, P. Leela, K. S. Chithra, Sujatha, Jency, P B Srinivas and of course S P Balasubramanyam. Illayaraja in his first movie "Annakilli" used the singing skills of Janaki, the "Nightingale of South India". This turned out to be a blockbuster hit in the music industry.

She was simulataneously given songs by other music directors like M. S. Viswanathan in Avargal, from K. V. Mahadevan in Mazhai Megham), Sankar Ganesh in Aasai Manaivi and from V. Kumar in Oruvanukku Oruthi. Janaki won the first National Award in 1977 for the song "Sendhoorappoovey" in the tamil movie "16 Vayathinilae." Some of her Bollywood Hits includes Pehale Padhaayi Phir Pyaar Hoga in Aakhri Raasta, Chumma De Chumma De in Khel Khilaadi Ka (1996), Ui Man Ui Ui Ui in Sagaai, Jawan Hain Dil Jawan Hain Ham in Saheb, Yaar Bina Chain Kaha Re in Saheb, Pyasi Jawani Hai, Raat Tufani Hai in Ghayal (1990) and much more.

Awards & Privilege

S.Janaki National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for 'Senthoora Poove', '16 Vayathinile', Tamil Film, 1977

National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for 'Ettumanoorambalathil', 'Oppol', Malayalam Film, 1981

National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for 'Vennello godari andham', 'Sithara', Telugu Film, 1984

Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer in 1986 for "Yaar Bina Chain Kahan Re (Saaheb)

"Basava Bhushan" Award from Karnataka in 2011

Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamil Nadu, 1986

National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for 'Inji Idippazagha', 'Devar Magan', Tamil Film, 1992

Cinema 'Achiever Award' from the Government of Kerala, 2002

Special Jury Swaralaya Yesudas Award for outstanding performance in music, 2005

Honorary Doctorate from University of Mysore for contributions to Kannada Cinema, 2009

Janaki has also won the Orissa State Film award in 1986 for the Best Female Playback Singer for Ei Aama Sansar. She has also won the Manna Dey Puraskaar award in 2014. Though Janaki in the year 2013 was honoured with the prestigious Padma Bhushan award, she declined to accept the award, as she considered that it has come too late in her life for her career in the music field is more than five-and-half-decade. In an interview with the media people on this, Janaki very clearly stated that she had no regrets against the government for she considers the recognition of her fans in various languages as the highest award.

Some of her recent awards include

2012 - Evergreen Voice of Indian Cinema Vijay Music Awards

2013 - Maa Music Life Time achievement award by Maa Music Awards

2013 - Lifetime Achievement Award from Udaya Film Awards

Geeta Dutt Award from Andhrapradesh Government

Sangeetha Ganga Gayana Award

Sangeetha Rathna by Sangeetha Kalavedika

Singer of the Century Award