About K.S. Chithra
Hailed as the “Nightingale of Kerala”, vocalist Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra has been a prolific and trusted voice of music in India since the 1980s thanks to her commanding vocal range and gorgeous melodies.
• Born in 1963 to a middle-class family of teachers who were also musically inclined, Chithra simultaneously studied on a scholarship and recorded Malayalam film songs with composer M. G. Radhakrishnan.
• By the mid-1980s, master composer Ilaiyaraaja had already sought out her talents as she became a regular voice in several Tamil films. Iconic music directors like A. R. Rahman, Anand-Milind and Anu Malik soon turned their attentions to her as well.
• After several years in Bollywood, Chithra became a nationwide and international star after contributing to two blockbuster film soundtracks by Rahman: Roja in 1992 and Bombay in 1995.
• Her crystalline vocals elevate the poignant love ballad “Kehna Hi Kya” from Bombay, just as they do on songs like “Ale Ale” from Boys in 2003, demonstrating her lasting ability and appeal over a long career.
• With over a thousand songs across several languages in her repertoire, Chithra possesses poised vocals which have often been paired with other prolific playback singers like K. J. Yesudas and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam.
• A recipient of six National Film Awards for work in Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi music, Chithra has also been conferred with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan civilian honours in India.