Heard the news in the afternoon that legendary playback singer S.P. Balasubramanyam (SPB) is no more …. Am totally heartbroken. When he was admitted to the hospital on Aug 5, I was deeply disturbed, but thought nothing much of it. Then he was put on life support and the worry deepened. I posted this tweet –
From then on everyday for the past 50 days, the first thing I have checked as soon as I woke up is news about SPB. Some days were good, as news of his being conscious and listening to music came up. Then came news that he is looking forward to getting back home and I thought he will be fine.
Last evening, just before we went for our walk, Krishnan told me that SPB is critical and on maximum life support. That wasn’t good news ….. All through the walk I kept checking the news portals for some glimmer of hope but none came through.
Today at around 1 pm, SPB just left. It feels as though someone in the family is gone. He has been a playback singer since 1967 and his songs over the decades have been played for every occasion ! When you are sad, when you are happy, when there were challenges and when there was a party. He has sung 40,000 songs and sung them in a voice that reaches straight into your heart.
The combination of SPB and Ilayaraja has been the golden period for Tamil film music. Yes the lyricist is all important, the movie plot is critical, but this pair changed the fortunes of many a mediocre movie.
For those of us born in the 60’s, we will not see another legend of SPB’s calibre. Everything has changed in the music scene – music directors who merely arrange music, bits sung by different singers and then mixed to make a song, technology and the old scourge – copy/paste or plagiarism. Movies today have five singers singing 5 songs and some even have five different music composers !!
Here are some of Krishnan and my all time favourite songs of SPB. Can hear them over and over and over again, have done so and will continue doing so.
This blog is insufficient to write of all the SPB songs that we love .. oh, its unimaginable that his breath left him when he was silent and not singing. And its unimaginable that he won’t sing again ever as SPB. How can you leave this way???
Farewell SPB. You will be missed and sorely. Thanks for leaving behind those songs. You will live on in them. Om Shanti Om Shanti Om Shanti.