Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi
Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi
started learning Carnatic music from a very early age. She gave her first public performance was during the Mahamaham festival at Kumbakonam at the age of eight, and released her first recording at the age of ten. She began her Carnatic classical music training under Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and then Hindustani classical training under Pandit Narayan Rao Vyas. By the age of 17, Subbulakshmi was giving concerts on her own, including major performances at the Madras Music Academy, a prestigious center for the study and promotion of Carnatic music.
Performance in Carnatic music concerts, was until then, a domain, traditionally reserved for men. She performed a vast variety of musical forms in different languages including Tamil , Telugu , Sanskrit, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Bengali , Gujarati and Marathi. M.S. met T.Sadasivam, a freedom fighter and a follower of Rajaji, in 1936. She married him in 1940 and their marriage spanned over 50 years, in which he played a key role in the advancement of her career.
They had no children. Sadasivam had children from his previous marriage that M.S. treated as if they were her own children. They were named Radha, Vijaya.
M.S and Sadasivam also raised Radha who frequently sang with M.S. in concert while Vijaya played the Tanpura. MS Subbulakshmi traveled to London, New York, Canada, the Far East, and other places as India's cultural ambassador. Her concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York; the UN General Assembly on UN day in 1966; the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1982; and at the Festival of India in Moscow in 1987 were significant landmarks in her career. M.S. also acted in a few Tamil films in her youth.
Her first movie "Sevasadanam" was released in 1938. MS Subbulakshmi also played the male role of Narada in "Savitri" (1941) to raise money for launching Kalki, her husband's nationalist Tamil weekly. Her title role of the Rajasthani saint-poetess Meera in the eponymous film (1945) gave her national prominence. This movie was re-made in Hindi in 1947.
The movie had M.S Subbulakshmi. sing the famous Meera bhajans, with Dilipkumar Roy as the music director. Following the success of the film she quit films and turned wholly to concert music. With the death of her husband Sadasivam in 1997, she stopped all her public performances. M.S.Subbulakshmi died on December 11, 2004 after a brief illness, due to complications relating to pneumonia and cardiac irregularities. While Lata Mangeshkar called her Tapaswini (the Renunciate), Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan termed her Suswaralakshmi (the goddess of musical notes), and Kishori Amonkar labeled her the ultimate eighth note or Aathuvaan Sur, which is above the seven notes basic to all music.
Her many famous renditions of bhajans include the chanting of Bhaja Govindam, Vishnu sahasranama (1000 names of Vishnu) and the Venkateswara Suprabhatam (musical hymns to awaken Lord Balaji early in the morning). She was widely honored, praised and awarded. Some of them more popular ones include Padma Bhushan in 1954, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1956, Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1968 (literally, Treasure Chest of Music. She was the first woman recipient of the title), Ramon Magsaysay award in 1974, the Padma Vibhushan in 1975, the Kalidas Samman in 1988, the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in 1990, and the Bharat Ratna in 1998. She was also honored as the court-singer of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams. Although she was bestowed with enormous prize moneys on these awards, she donated most of them to charity. She was awarded honorary degree degrees from several Universities. She was an ardent devotee of Kanchi Mahaswamigal and she rendered his composition Maithreem Bhajatha (O World! Cultivate peace) in her concert at the UN in 1966.
She donated many of the royalties on several best sold records to many charity organizations. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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