P. Susheela – The Indian playback singer
P.Susheela is an Indian playback singer very popular all over India for singing songs in various different languages that are present in India like Kannada, Tulu, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali, Paduga, Malayalam, Oriya, Telugu, Sanskrit and Sinhalese. Susheela has been a successful play back singer in the Indian film industry for more than 4 decades with the sweet voice swaying hearts for all audiences throughout the world. Almost in all the languages in India we can hear her songs. There are many hit songs that still stand evergreen in the heart of the people forever. The voice of Susheela is also one of the major strength for her in her path of success. She is very highly gifted that her voice still remains in the heart of many people and no one forgets her great works to the Film industry. P. Susheela is also called as Pulapaka Susheela.
Early Life and Background of P. Susheela Playback singer
Susheela was born in Vijayanagaram, which is a part of Andhra Pradesh today. Her parents are Mukund Rao and Sheshawata Ram. This couple had 9 children and Susheela was the 5th of those 9 children. She lost her mother at a very early age. In her early school days, she participated in all music competitions, sometimes to the detriment of her academic education. She went on to study music at Maharajah’s Government College of music and dance in Vijayanagaram and graduated in first class. So this made her earn interest in both the developing art fields – music and dance. She late joined the Sangeeta Academy in Chennai. She had her guidance completely under Subramani Iyer and completed a degree in music; ultimately making her professionally trained in music for her to enable to excel in the field of music.
Susheela along with her successful music career she got herself married to Mohan Rao and the couple has a son and 2 grand daughters. The name of her son is Jayakrishnan. The names of the granddaughter of P. Susheela are Jaya Shree and Suba Shree. Her daughter – in – law who is also one of the most popular singer, Sandhya Krishnan who debuted with Rahman for the film Iruvar.
Career and Livelihood of Playback Singer P. Susheela
In the year 1950, music director Pedyala Nageshwara Rao was in a great peek stage and also he was searching for new singers. The new singer search was for the All India Radio. This proved out to be a chance for Susheela to initiate her career with film industry and so did it begin. Of the five people selected to the final level of auditions, Susheela was finalized for her voice was so attractive that it was the main source of her getting into the final list. After this occasion of getting selected through the auditions, she sang her first the song “Edhukku Azhaithai”, with A.M.Raja for the 1951 Tamil movie Petra Yhaai (Kanna Thalli in Telugu). Her start with the career was so auspicious that her first song was recorded in a Telugu new year’s day at the Prakash studio in Andhra Pradesh. By this time of Susheela entering into the industry, she was just 16 years old; the youngest contest who competed in the audition.
Susheela began her professional career at a time when the competition among the play back singers in the film industry was highly intense. It was the time when famous singers like M.L.Vasantha Kumari, P.Leela, Jikki, Jamuna Rani, T.V.Rathinam, Radha Jayalakshmi, Soolamangalam Rajalakshmi, Rao Balasaraswathi Devi, A.P.Komala and K.Rani were in the industry with the high number of songs led by them. This was not an obstacle for Susheela to shine in the industry. Nevertheless, she achieved great popularity in short time and by the year 1955, many Indian movies featured her voice in one or more songs.
She rendered memorable songs in various south Indian languages under the musical composition of K.V.Mahadevan, M.S.Viswanathan and Saluri Rajeswara Rao. Her versatility with music and her passion on working towards many films and languages increased as days passed by making her a complete singer and an she prone to be an award winning play back singer in the film industry inclusive of the languages she sung. Since Susheela was a Telugu by birth; it was pretty easier for her to get along with the Telugu songs she sang. But it was hard for her to sing inTamil and her way of pronouncing Tamil words were indeed a great trouble for her. So, Meyyappa Chettiar made her learn proper Tamil form a Tamil teacher so that with ease, she can sing Tamil songs with no strain and the outcome of the song will also turn out to be better with her magical voice; a blend of her sweet voice and proper pronunciation of Tamil words ultimately led to grand success of the songs she sang. Susheela can either read or write in Malayalam, but had sung over 2000 sings in Malayalam.
Susheela won the first National award ever awarded in the best female play back singer category in the year 1969. So this turned out to be a divesting success in her career and eventually went on win the award for 5 times.
Awards, Accolades and Recognitions of P. Susheela
• Susheela was awarded the great title of “Padma Bushan” from the Government of India in January 2008.
• In the year 2001, the Andhra Pradesh government honored her with the “Ragupathi Venkaiah Award” for life time achievement in the Telugu film industry as the best female play back singer.
• In 2005, she received the special Jury Swaralaya Yesudas award for her outstanding performance in music.
• She was honored with the life time achievement award for the film fare awards in the year 2006.
• In the year 2011, she was honored with the Devarajan Sangeetha Award.
• She had received the National film award for Best female play back singer for 5 times in different languages:
o In the year 1969, for a Tamil song – “Naalai intha velai paarthu odiva nila” from the film Uyarntha Manidan.
o In the year 1972, for a Tamil song – “Chittu kurivi kenna kattuapadu” for the film Savale samaali.
o In the year 1977, for a Telugu song - “Jhummadi Naadham Sayyani Paadam” for the film siri siri muvva.
o Again for a Telugu movie, Meghasandesam for which she sang the song “Aakulo aakunai” in the year 1983.
o A hatrick in Telugu for the song “Yentha Peethovaade Gopaludu Venugopladu” in the year 1984.
• State awards were also Susheela’s in the time she sang for number of songs:
o Tamil Nadu state awards thrice for Uyantha Manidan and Lakshmi Kalyanam for which she sang the songs “Naalai intha velai paarthu” and Brindavathukku respectively in the year 1969, for “Aazhakaddal Neenthi Vanthen” from Anbulla Atthaan in 1981 and “Magane Magane Kannurunga” for the film Varam in the year 1989.
o Kerala state award twice for “Poonthen Aruvi Ponmudi Puzhayude” and “Poovukalku Punya Kaalam” for the movies Ore Pinnitha Katha and Chuvana Sanyakal in the year 1975 and 1977 respectively.
o Andhra Pradesh state award for 7 times for different movies.