S.P. Balasubrahmanyam aka SPB or Balu is a predominant play back singer in India, who had been singing since ages majorly in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam films. My heart refuses to refer to him in past tense. His death is one of the many shocking deaths during COVID to me. S.P. Balu's voice has that magic to please you, tease you and lift your spirits in no time, or just make you sad in a matter of seconds. He reigned the Tollywood for many decades and I remember listening to him even before I knew much about movies, music or songs! Not just singing , he also does dubbing, mimicry and has acted in many notable films. I realized he has great acting skills too - He acted as dad, as a supporting actor (guest appearance) and also as a main lead in some of the movies.
Among his many movies, some thing I recently watched after his demise - Mithunam stole my heart. I was in tears by the end of the movie both due to the movie premise and also the empty feeling of losing him. You should watch the movie to understand what I am saying. It is the story of an old couple - S.P. Balu and Lakshmi living in a remote village all alone trying to make the most of the last chapter of their lives, missing kids almost every day and dreading the occurrences of any mishaps! The love and bonding of husband and wife is worth watching. SP Balu's voice gave life to all Kamal Hassan's movies dubbed in Telugu. I still don't know how actual Kamal Hassan sounds. I have always heard him only in SPB's magnetic pitch! There is a movie Dasavatharam in which Kamal plays ten roles. I believe SPB has voiced all the ten voices using his mimicry skills. Watch the video below I stumbled on FB recently... He says how he managed the voices (it is in Telugu)! The video is blocked on blogs - You can watch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eo_OZDVsB1g.
SPB is equally adored even in Bollywood. He gave voice to Salman Khan. Sang almost all his 90's songs and it used to perfectly suit Salman. No Indian can ever forget Maine Pyar Kia, Saajan or Hum aapke hain kaun - the block buster hits of 90s, in which SPB sang many beautiful songs. In some reality singing show a singer subtly mocked his Hindi pronunciation as there is a hint of southern accent while uttering few words. Whatever may be the accent, you cannot deny this multi talented legend. His voice can woo a woman, make a child smile, make you feel immensely lively! He has won many awards, rewards, broke records and wiki says he entered Guinness records for singing over 40,000 songs. I majorly heard him in Telugu and I play his songs in one time or other on every waking day! There are many hindi, telugu, and tamil songs which are my favorites but some song which I can remember at this moment in hindi is :
The combination of him and Ilayaraja or Maniratnam or A.R.Rahman or Yesudas is sure to create magic for the listeners/viewers! It is told that he contracted Covid during a live performance. I really hoped that he should not be effected badly. Heartbreaking is a less intense word to explain what I felt the moment I heard of his demise. My entire child hood, teen and young years are laced and packed in his tone. He has such a soothing pitch. His voice fits all the stars - language no bar. This is a song he sang explaining the corona situation - https://youtu.be/ovXDz9EP84c (a powerful song. You may play it if you understand Telugu!).