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S. Janaki

S. Janaki (Telugu:ఎస్. జానకి, Tamil:எஸ். ஜானகி, Malayalam: എസ്. ജാനകി),Kannada: ಎಸ್. ಜಾನಕಿ, (born April 23, 1938) is a legendary female playback singer. She has sung in many Indian languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi.Janaki is also a lyricist and a composer. She along with S P Balasubramanyam is the most popular singing combination in south India

Early life

S. Janaki was born into a Telugu family in Pallapatla, Repalle village, Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh.

She was interested in music from early age and started performing at the age of three. She learnt music from Sree Paidiswamy, a nadaswaram Vidwan.

Singing career

Janaki started singing at 19. She later moved to Chennai on the advice of her uncle Dr. Chandrashekar and joined AVM Studios as a singer. She started her career in movies by singing songs composed by T. Chalapati Rao in the Tamil movie Vidhiyin Vilayattu in 1957. Subsequently, she performed in the Telugu movie MLA.

She also wrote many songs for Tamil and Telugu movies. She has sung more than 30000 songs[Films,Non Films], in almost all languages in South India as well as in Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Sinhalese, Bengali, Oriya, English, Sanskrit, Konkani, Tulu, Saurashtra, Baduga, Japanese and German.[5]

A devotee of Lord Krishna and Shirdi Sai Baba, she has also recorded Hindu devotional music on Meera.

Her contemporaries are Dr.Rajkumar,P. Susheela, Vani Jayaram, K J Yesudas, L R Eeswari, P. Jayachandran, P. Leela, K. S. Chithra, P B Srinivas and S P Balasubramanyam. She is the inspiration for many upcoming female playback singers.

Personal life

S. Janaki married V.Ramprasad. She is now settled in Chennai, lives with her son Murali Krishna, who acted in few films and has an audio business of his own; and his wife Uma Murali Krishna, a classical dancer (Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi); they have two daughters Amruthavarshini and Apsara.

She is also a close relative of carnatic classical vocalist, Garimella Balakrishna Prasad.

Major awards

  • National Film Awards four times for the best Playback singer by Government of India
  • State Film awards fourteen times for the best Playback singer by Government of Kerala
  • State Film awards seven times for the best Playback singer by Government of Tamil Nadu
  • State Film awards ten times for the best Playback singer by Government of Andra Pradesh
  • State Film awards four times for the best Playback singer by Government of Karnataka
  • 2009, Honorary doctarate by Mysore university for her tremendous contribution to Kannada Film songs background singing.

National awards

  • 1976, Film Name: 16 vayadhinile, Language: Tamil, First line of the song: "Senthoora Poove"
  • 1980, Film Name: Oppol, Language: Malayalam , First line of the song: "Ettumanoorambalathil"
  • 1984, Film Name: Sithara, Language: Telugu , First line of the song: "Vennello godari andham"
  • 1992, Film Name: devar Magan, Language: Tamil, First line of song: "Inji Idippazagha"


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