- S P Balasubrahmanyam died in a Chennai hospital
- Kamal Haasan visited the hospital a day before the singer’s death
- Kamal Haasan considered himself the face of SPB’s voice
Singing legend S P Balasubrahmanyam’s death on Friday triggered a flood of grief-stricken tributes from his colleagues, among them Kamal Haasan – one of the three actors who were most closely associated with Mr Balasubrahmanyam’s singing voice; the other two are Rajinikanth and Salman Khan. S P Balasubrahmanyam died in a Chennai hospital on Friday, where he had been taken after testing positive for COVID-19 last month. On Thursday, the hospital said in a medical bulletin that SPB’s health had worsened in the last 24 hours and that he had been put on maximum life support. Mr Haasan visited the hospital on Thursday evening.
In his tribute tweet, Kamal Haasan shared a chunk of memories in the form of a video. Some of the photographs were from the duo’s early years in the industry, while some were relatively recent. Kamal Haasan paid tribute to S P Balasubrahmanyam with these words: “It’s my good fortune that I was the shadow image of SPB’s voice for a long time. His fame will live for 7 generations.”
This is what Kamal Haasan posted:
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) September 25, 2020
Kamal Haasan and S P Balasubrahmanyam go back a long way. They worked together in several films. SPB was Kamal Haasan’s voice in many tracks, some of which were Sorgham Madhuvile, Vaartha, Ore Jeevan, Orey Naal Unainaan, Aadungal, Manmatha Leelai, and Engeyum Eppodham among many others. A Kamal Haasan film – Ek Duuje Ke Liye – was also SPB’s Hindi debut and won him a National Award. SPB also dubbed for Kamal Haasan in Telugu films, including Dasavathaaram in which he voiced all seven characters played by the actor.
Last year, to celebrate both Kamal Haasan’s birthday and his 60 years in cinema, S P Balasubrahmanyam performed at a special concert titled ‘Kamalum Naanum’ (Kamal And I).
In August, Kamal Haasan had tweeted that for several years SPB had been his voice and he had been SPB’s face.
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) August 16, 2020
S P Balasubrahmanyam, will be remembered for his extensive body of work, which includes over 40,000 songs in 16 languages. The legendary singer was the winner of six National Awards and he frequently collaborated with Ilaiyaraaja, AR Rahman and other music composers. He was also the recipient of the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan. He is survived by his wife Savitri, daughter Pallavi, and son S P B Charan, who is also a singer and a producer.