K.S. Chithra, a gifted singer who has left an indelible mark in the hearts of music enthusiasts across the nation with her soul-stirring melodies, turned 60 on Thursday.
Since the late 1970s, Chithra’s extraordinary talent swiftly catapulted her to fame, and she has been delivering numerous chart-topping hits in various languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and more. Her exceptional ability to express profound emotions through her voice has earned her the status of an icon in Indian music.
Chithra’s major breakthrough came with the 1985 Fazil melodrama “Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu.” The song “Aayiram Kannumaay,” composed by the musical maverick Jerry Amaldev, remains a favorite on Chitra’s playlist for many fans.
While Malayalam cinema discovered Chithra and gifted her with some of the finest melodies, it was her work in Tamil cinema, especially with legends like Ilaiyaraaja and later A R Rahman, that truly elevated her to a legendary status in Indian film music.
Among her six National awards, three were awarded for her exceptional Tamil songs. Apart from “Sindhu Bhairavi,” there’s the delightful “Ooh La La” in “Minsara Kanavu,” composed by AR Rahman (Minsara Kanavu, 1996), and the poignant “Ovvoru Pookalume” by Bharadwaj (Autograph, 2004).
Even her National award for the Hindi film “Virasat” (1997) was for the song “Payalay Chunmun,” a clear reprise by Anu Malik of Ilaiyaraaja’s iconic “Inji Idupalagi” from “Thevar Magan” (1992).