S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
About S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, known as S.P. Balu, was an influential Indian playback singer and Bollywood legend with a career that stretched over five decades and 40,000 songs.
∙ After first gaining popularity in South India, Balu became a household name throughout the country with his breakout singing performance in the 1980 film Sankarabharanam.
∙ A prolific voice actor, he provided the audio dub for Ben Kingsley’s starring role in the Telugu-language version of 1982’s Gandhi.
∙ Working as the regular playback singer to Bollywood star Salman Khan, he sang in the 1994 smash Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, which became the highest-grossing Indian film of all time.
∙ An early collaborator with two-time Oscar-winner A. R. Rahman, he sang on the composer’s debut score, for 1992’s Roja, which TIME named one of the 10 best soundtracks of all time.
∙ The government of India awarded him the Padma Shri in 2001 and the Padma Bhushan in 2011—two of the highest honors an Indian citizen can receive.
∙ He won six National Film Awards for Best Male Playback Singer in a record-breaking four different languages—Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu.
BORNJune 4, 1946