The list of Padma Awardees was announced on Republic Day eve. Late playback legend SP Balasubramanyam has been honoured posthumously with the Padma Vibhushan. Although he was best known for his singing, he was a multi-faceted talent who made his mark as an actor, anchor, composer and film producer, too. He worked predominantly in the Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and Malayalam film industries.
He has won six National Awards as Best Male Playback Singer for his works in four different languages -- Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. He has been a recipient of Padma Shri in 2001 and Padma Bhushan in 2011.
SPB breathed his last on September 25. With his five decade long career, he has left behind a musical legacy that can only be dreamed off. SPB has been the voice behind several megahits in Hindi. With prominent songs like “Kabootar Jaa Jaa,” “Bahut Pyaar Karte Hain,” and “Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai”, he made the '90s kids fall in love with the idea of love.
SPB’s timeless songs for Salman Khan and Bhagyashree starrer Main Pyaar Kiya (1989) hugely contributed to the success of the film. The singer sang all the songs of the film including, “Aate Jaate Hanste Gaate”, “Mere Rang Mein Rangne Waali”, “Aaya Mausam Dosti Ka” among others. It became the best-selling Bollywood soundtrack of the decade with over 10 million units of the album being sold.
Saajan's (1991) “Bahut Pyar Karte Hain” and “Jiye to Jiye Kaise” became love anthems of youngsters in the '90s. Written by Sameer, the melodious tracks sung by Balasubrahmanyam feature Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Madhuri Dixit. “Bahut Pyaar Karte Hain” also has a female version which was sung by Alka Yagnik.
SBP also sang for Salman Khan in 1993 for the film Hum Aapke Hain Koun…! Till date, his songs like “Didi Tera Devar Deewana,” Joote Do Paise Lo”, and “Wah Wah Ramji” are popular at Indian weddings. His romantic song “Pehla Pehla Pyaar Hai” is also one of the popular tracks from the film’s album.
His other popular Bollywood songs are -- “O Maria O Mariya,” from the film Saagar, Andaz Apna Apna’s “Ye Raat aur Ye Doori” and “Hum Bane Tum Bane” of Ek Duuje Ke Liye among others.
In the spirit of true geniuses and brilliance, SP Balasubrahmanyam’s discography outshone setting certain parameters that the industry could best comprehend. Although he’s not among us now, his work nonetheless has had and will impress and mesmerise generations.