Vani Jairam -- 10,000 songs in five decades

Veteran playback singer Vani Jairam, who has been honoured with a Padma Bhushan award, has a career spanning five decades.

Published: 27th January 2023 05:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th January 2023 05:35 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Veteran playback singer Vani Jairam, who has been honoured with a Padma Bhushan award, has a career spanning five decades. She has recorded around 10,000 songs in different Indian languages. Hailing from Vellore, she has sung in several languages including Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Gujarati, Haryanvi, Assameese, Tulu, and Bengali. The legendary singer has also recorded thousands of devotional songs and performed several solo concerts across the world as well.

Vani Jairam made her debut as a playback singer with the 1971 Hindi film Guddi which was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Although she had recorded three songs for the film, the track titled Bole Re Papihara, with visuals featuring Jaya Bachchan, became a hit that launched her as a talent to watch out for.

Over the years, she showcased her versatility and became the go-to singer for many challenging compositions. Vani Jairam collaborated with some of the biggest composers across various industries and delivered evergreen chartbusters.

Some of her frequent collaborators include composers Ilaiyaraaja, MS Viswanathan, Vijaya Bhaskar, OP Nayyar, RD Burman, V Dakshinamoorthy, MS Baburaj, G Devarajan, Johnson, and Madan Mohan. Apart from her striking solo numbers, her duets with the likes of SP Balasubrahmanyam, PB Sreenivas, KJ Yesudas, P Jayachandran, Dr Rajkumar, TM Soundarrajan, S Janaki, Asha Bhosle, and Mohammed Rafi cemented her place in the annals of Indian music history. 

Awards won
The celebrated singer has won the National Award thrice for Apoorva Raagangal, Sankarabharanam, and Swathi Kiranam.  She has also received State awards from Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Gujarat, and Odisha

Padma Shri’s Covid-19 link
Gopalsamy Veluchamy (75), who suggested Kabasura Kudineer for Covid management, did his undergraduate degree in Government Siddha Medical College, Palayamkottai in Tamil Nadu. He served as the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of Central Council for Research in Siddha, the apex body for Siddha research for the Ministry of AYUSH from 2018 to 2021. He is currently the honorary chairman of the Siddha Pharmacopoeia Committee in Chennai.

G Veluchamy was one among the first to suggest ‘Kabasura Kudineer’ for Covid-19 management in 2020.”I suggested that the ingredients used in Kabasura Kudineer were the right herbs to treat respiratory illness like Covid. Later many studies were done to prove its efficacy in Covid-19 management,” said Gopalsamy.

Gopalsamy told TNIE he also collected over 1,500 manuscripts on Siddha medicine, deciphered them and published them as a book. “I published 14 such books,” he added. 

A life devoted to Bharatanatyam 
90-year-old K Kalyanasundaram Pillai, a renowned Bharatanatyam dancer and teacher hailing from Thiruvidaimarudur in Thanjavur, was awarded the Padma Shri for his contribution to the art. 
Family members of Kalyanasundaram said he had been teaching Bharatanatyam for seven decades now. He was elected fellow of central Sangeet Natak Akademi for his strides in Indian classical dance in 2018. “I dedicate this award to my teachers including my father Thanjai T P Kuppaiah Pillai along with my brother-in-law  ‘Ayyampettai’ AT Govindaraja Pillai and brother CTK Mahalingam Pillai,” he said. “My message to youngsters who have taken up this art is that perseverance, self confidence, hard work are key to rise up.”

CM, leaders congratulate recipients
Chennai:: CM MK Stalin and other leaders congratulated the recipients of the Padma awards here on Thursday. In his congratulatory message, Stalin said those who won the country’s highest award have made the state proud.  PMK founder, Dr S Ramadoss and AMMK General Secretary TTV Dinakaran also congratulated the Padma awardees. 

‘It’s mom who showed the way’
Chennai: Palam Kalyana Sundaram has his mother to thank for for the award. He said, “From my childhood, my mother used to say not to be greedy and to donate one-tenth of whatever you get. I have been following her words until today, and I believe this why I got selected for the award.” 

India Matters


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