Melody queen of South India – S. Janaki
The sweetest nightingale of the south Indian film industry during the 80s and 90s was undoubtedly the versatile female singer – S.Janaki. Being a part of almost all language film industry, she has sung for many languages like Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. Janaki has also the pride of being an occasional lyricist and composer. It is very good to see a playback singer shining in various languages. Along with the popular songs that she sang in the south Indian film industry she has also given beautiful and evergreen songs in various other north Indian film industry and north Indian languages also.
Janaki has survived in the industry for more than 5 decades holding her voice as young as ever. Within these 5 decades, she has been awarded with national and state awards that top her name out of the other singers in the industry. Even now the voice of Janaki is very fine as she is giving wonderful stage performance even now after the 50 years of her singing experience. This shows that her age is not at all the factor for the growth in the Indian film industry. She is also giving various stage performances not only in India but also in various other countries.
Early Life of Playback Singer S. Janaki
S.Janaki was born into a Telugu Brahmin family in Pallapatla, a village in Guntur, Madras Presidency, now a part of Andhra Pradesh state in India.
Her interest since her childhood could have rather brought her to greater heights in the field that made out to be her source of livelihood. Her interest in the field of music and singing started even at the age of 3. Janaki learnt music initially from Shri Paidiswamy, a Nadaswaram vidwan at her place. Her learning and pursuit in music made her a child prodigy for she was able to perform on stages at the age of three even before entering her schooling education.
S.Janaki is married to V.Ramprasad and now settled in Chennai. She lives with her son Murali Krishan who has been acting in a few films and runs an audio business of his own. He is married to Uma Krishnan, a dancer.
Career and Earning of S. Janaki playback singer
S.Janaki took over her career as singing since her latter part teenage. When she was at the age of 19, Janaki moved over to Chennai, on the advice of her uncle – Chandra shekar. Her first entry into the Tamil film industry was when she gave her voice test at the AVM Studios, Chennai. She sang for the movie – Vidhiyin Vilayattu in the year 1957; set to the tunes of the music director T.Chalapti Rao. Consequently, Janaki performed in a Telugu movie called MLA; after which Janaki became the favorite singer of the ever green music composer, Illayaraja. This phase was ensued that she could sing for at least 2 to 3 songs per movie in which Illayaraja was to set the tune of the film in all the four south Indian languages. During the 80s and 90s, she lent her voice in almost all the major films that was to rock the crowd. She is the only playback singer who has won the state award of Tamil Nadu for more number of times. Some of her hit melodies are “Senthoora Poove” for the movie 16 vayathinile, “Inji eduphazhagi” for the movie Devar Magan starring Kamal Haasan and Revathi as the lead roles.
Way apart from concentrating on her singing career, she did write lyrics for many sings in all the 4 languages as well. Some of the languages that had her voice were: Hindi, Sinhalese, Bengali, Oriya, English, Sanskrit, Konkani, Tulu, Saurashta, Baduga, Japanese and German. Her devotion to the almighty god never ends wherein she sang for many devotional cassettes being a devotee of lord Krishna and Shirdi Sai Baba. Janaki’s contemporary include Ghatasala, Raj Kumar, T.M.Soundarajan, P.Susheela, Vani Jayaram, K.J.Yesudas, L.R.Eswari, P.Jayachandran, P.Leela, K.S.Chithra, Swarnalatha, Sujatha, Jency, P.B.Srinivas and S.P.B.
Major Awards and Honors of Playback Singer Janaki
It is very common to see the Playback singer receiving awards and gifts from various sources. There are various playback singers who contribute their life fully for the playback singing and in this criterion S. Janaki dedicated her life completely towards the playback singing and this is the reason why her songs and her voice are still very popular and is remaining very deep in the heart of the people. Playback singer Janaki is also very popular for making various stage shows in various places all over the world. Not only she is very famous in Tamil language and Tamil film industry, she is also very famous in singing in various other languages in India. The stage shows also include in many other countries other than India.
• Second prize in the competitions held by All India Radio from the President of India (1956).
• Kalamamani award from the Government of Tamil Nadu - 1986.
• Sur Singar award – 1987.
• Cinema Aciever award from the Government of Kerala.
• National award – 4 times.
• State film awards – 11 times from the government of Kerala.
• State film awards – 7 times from the government of Tamil Nadu.
• State film awards – 14 times from the government of Andhra Pradesh.
• State film awards – 4 times from the government of Karnataka.
• Honorary Doctorate from the University of Mysore.