August 13, 2022
KJ Yesudas

KJ Yesudas: A south legend singer

KJ Yesudas is an Indian film actor, producer, singer, and businessman. His sensational popularity was made possible due to his albums such as “The Beat Goes On” and “Love Express”. He is one of the most popular playback singers in South India and among a few who have reached iconic status. Yesudas’ first movie was Raju Gari Gadhi 2 released in 1990.

About KJ Yesudas

KJ Yesudas was born to a Tamil family in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. He is married to Jayalakshmi, a medical practitioner.

KJ Yesudas is an upcoming Tamil movie directed by Geetha and produced by K.Babu Entertainment production company. It is written and directed by Geetha who also played the protagonist along with Srinivasan in this movie. The first look poster of this movie was released on 19 September 2017 at Aaranyakam studio in Coimbatore and it received positive reviews from the audience. The movie is expected to release in December 2017.

Life of Yesudas

His birth

Yesudas was born on June 10, 1974, to G.Srinivasan and Janaki Ammal. His father is a businessman who owned the Yesudas and Srinivasan music studios. The boy who used to break into shivers when he sang the ‘Aadu’ song in his childhood became one of the top singers in India. Yesudas is a self-taught singer who learned classical music from his father.

His education

KJ Yesudas had his schooling at the Theosophical Society High School, Thanjavur, and studied engineering at Thanjavur Engineering College. He graduated in 1994 with a B.E Degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering.

His personal life

KJ Yesudas is married to Prabha, a medical practitioner, who gave birth to a son in 2009. He has two sisters and a brother. He also has a sister-in-law, Dr. Jayalakshmi, who is also a medical practitioner. Yesudas does not have a personal assistant like other singers and had to find his own assistant for the movie “Lingaa”.

His career

KJ Yesudas was first selected by the music director Ilaiyaraaja to sing the song ‘Yaro Yarodi’ in the film “Oorukku Uzhaippavan”. In 1985, the song ‘Oru Naal Podhuma’ composed by A.R. Rahman was released and became a rage among the youngsters. It was also his first duet in Tamil with Sujatha Mohan.

His first major release was a duet with Kavita Krishnamurthy in Panchathanthiram composed by M S Viswanathan followed by several other hits such as “Kattu Mappilai” and “Paar Kanniya Vasantham”. He later worked on over 200 films including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and some Kannada movies including “Sankranthi”, “Pokiri” and many more.

Debut and early career: 1960s

In the early 1960s, KJ Yesudas was an anchor on Doordarshan and a chorus singer in Malayalam. He sang many duets with K.J.Yesudas such as “Priyamanasam” and “Kannimelenkil”. When he won the Kerala Youth Festival award in the category of the best singer, it paved the way to sing for Malayalam films. He made his debut singing for a devotional album in 1966 at the age of 12.

KJ Yesudas

Yesudas became popular after singing for the movie “Geethanjali”, directed by Ilayaraaja. Then he sang for the film “Kattu Mappilai” composed by G.K. Venkatesh and became famous. This song was later parodied by Sathyaraj in the movie “Singaravelan”.

He has also sung “Thirumoorthy Thirumogam”, a devotional album in 1979 which is considered one of his best works to date.

To get Yesudas to sing songs was no easy task. After hearing his voice, the first thought in the minds of directors, and producers was how to make money out of it. But with his talent and sincerity, he went on to sing more than 500 songs in south India and other languages including Hindi, Malayalam, and Kannada. They later produced more than 35 films with him as a singer.

Bollywood: 1970s

KJ Yesudas’ big turning point came with the release of “Pagal Nilavu” in 1977 composed by G.K. Venkatesh under the direction of P. Bharathiraja and Kamal Haasan. He sang some of his best songs in Hindi such as “Aye Ho Meri Zindagi”, “Mere Sapnon Ki Rani Aisi Bhi” and many more under the composer R D Burman and Kishore Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, and others.

In the 1980s, his popularity went up with the release of “Aadu Oru Bheegara Jeevi Aanu”, “Indrudu Chandrudu”, “Rajadhi Raja”, “Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi” and many more.

Then came “Kunjiramayanam” and “Kadhal Neer”, with S P Balasubramaniam, where he got top billing with Ravikumar. He sang many songs for the movies like “Thaazhiyude Namakku”, “Neeya Naana Kaathu”, “Aasaiyile Kadavul” and many more. This was his second venture in Hindi, after the 1970 release of the movie “Aye Ho Meri Zindagi” which also starred Kishore Kumar.

In 1996, Panchathanthiram with music by Ilaiyaraaja was release, and later in 2003, he sang the title song of the movie “Kannathil Muthamittal”.

He also sang in the film “Lingaa” directed by K.S. Ravikumar, where he sang ‘En Kaadhal Sollum’ with Sonu Nigam and Manjari Fadnis. His other known Bollywood songs include “Ini Aahaar” in the movie “Kalyug”, starring Amitabh Bachchan, and “Ab Kya Hoga” in the movie “Bewafaa”, starring Shahrukh Khan.

Awards and honor

In 1977, he won the Kerala State Film Award for the Best Playback Singer for the song ‘Panchakshari’ (Meaning Five Letters) from “Thazhviyude Namakku”, composed by Johnson.

KJ Yesudas receive his first National Film Award nomination in the Best Male Playback Singer category. For his rendition of ‘Enta Omri’ from “Ram Jaane”.

He further went on to win three National Film Awards and two Filmfare Awards. He was award ‘Padmashri’ in 1985, the civilian award Padma Shri in 2005, and Padmasri in 2012.

In 1996, Yesudas was invite to be a judge on the popular reality TV show “Indian Idol”. Which is based on Pop Idol. He judged the first two seasons. His voice featured in the opening credits of all eight seasons of Indian Idol as a special invitee.

His songs have ranked among the top in various channels and also in Asianet Film Awards for many years. The most popular Tamil single released in 2014 was Yesudas’s rendition of ‘Konja Neram’ from “Thalaivaa”.

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