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Famous folk artist Anasuya passes away
Andhra Pradesh

Famous folk artist Anasuya passes away

Agency News

Hyderabad/Amaravati, Mar 24: Famous folk artist and Radio commentator Dr Vinjamuri Anasuya Devi passed away in United States of America. She was 99.

Born on May 12, 1920 in Kakinada, Anasuya was a Telugu singer, harmonium player, music composer and author. Her forte is folk music and songs.

She was the daughter of Vinjamuri Venkata Lakshmi Narasimha Rao who was an Indian stage actor, Telugu-Sanskrit Pandit and her sister Vinjamuri Seetha Devi, who died in May 17, 2016 in United States of Amercia, was also musician, singer, and scholar of Telugu folk music.

Anasuya , who introduced folk music, first in her light music concerts way back in 1929 when both the genres were looked down upon by the pundits and exponents of Carnatic music.

A child prodigy, she has cut her first gramophone record at 8. It was the famous folk song 'Ayyo Koyyoda' that was later used in that equally famous film song, 'Yeruvaaka Saagaro Ranno Chinnanna'… just speaks volumes for the singer-composer’s talent. Her two books Bava Geetalu, Compilation of Folk Songs were released on April 12, 2018 at Chennai to venerate her 90th birthday. Seven more books on Folk songs and folk music were also released.

There are several other instances where her tunes were utilised by some of the big names in the industry to churn out hit numbers. Born in a family of littérateurs, musicians and artistes , Anasuya Devi learnt Carnatic music from her guru Munuganti Venkata Rao.

A harbinger of the Renaissance Movement in Andhra Pradesh, Anasuya introduced light music and folk music in her concerts from 1928 and inAll India Radio, Madras from 1938.

She has composed tunes for - Vikata Yogi and Vanjikottai Valiban (Tamil) and Rojulu Maarayi, Malleeswari, Bangaru Papa, Aggi Ramudu, Penki Pellam, Kanaka Durga Mahathmyam, Oka Oori Katha (Telugu) and Raj Tilak, (Hindi). She worked as a music director for Mahatma Kabir (Kannada) and Bommalata (Telugu).

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhara Rao on Sunday expressed his condolences on the demise of Dr Vinjamuri Anasuya Devi.

In a message, the Chief Minister said Dr Anasuya is known to all as a radio commentator who participated in the freedom struggle and actively participated in the social activities. He conveyed his condolences to the members of a family of the bereaved.

Mr Chandrashekar Rao said said she composed and sang the famous patriotic song ‘ Jaya Jaya jaya Priya bharathi” writer by her uncle Devulapally Krishna Shastry.

Anasuya Devi has the rare distinction of singing on various occasions, before luminaries such as Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad and S. Radhakrishna, the Chief Minister said.

Anasuya Devi received a major title ‘Kalaprapoorna’ an honorary doctorate from Andhra University way in 1977. She has won Lifetime Achievement awards in U.S.A and hailed as the ‘Queen of Folk Music’ in Paris, Mr Rao added.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu also condoled the death of Anasuya Devi. In a statement, Mr Naidu conveyed his condolence to the bereaved family. UNI