KOCHI: Popular Malayalam singer Thoppil Anto passed away at the age of 81 on Saturday due to age-related ailments. He breathed his last at his residence in Edapally.
The funeral service will be held on Sunday at 2 pm at St George's Church, here. A renowned theatre and playback singer, Thoppil was a noted figure in the Malayalam theatre and film industry. He has sung over a thousand theatrical songs and a handful of excellent film songs.
In a career spanning over five decades, he won many awards, including the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy award for light music (1982), the Pravasi Pranava Dhwani Puraskar (2010) and the Changampuzha Samskarika Kendram award. Anto was the playback singer for several films, such as Father Damien (1963), Anubhavangale Nandi (1976), Sneham Oru Pravaham (1979), and Veenapoovu (1982).
He also served as a light music artist with All India Radio, Thrissur, in the 1960s. He started his musical career with a genius who made comprehensive contributions to the theatre song field. His most recent work was for the movie Honey Bee 2.
Anto spent his childhood listening to the songs of Mohammad Rafi, Mukesh, and Lata Mangeshkar, which left an intense influence on him to choose the path of music as his career. His first song 'Madhurikkum Ormakale...' became very popular.
At the age of 15, he participated in the choir of the Edappally Komala Musical Club. He later joined Tansen Musical Club and shared the stage with C O Anto, Zero Babu and Maradu Joseph. Thoppil Anto had sung in many of the prominent troupes that made waves among Kerala's ganamela audience. A few of them are Cochin Kalabhavan, Harishree, Sivagiri Shardha Kala Samiti, Thiruvananthapuram Tass, and Old Is Gold.
Thoppil Anto was blessed to begin his career with prominent and successful singers who had made significant contributions to the theatre.