Kerala’s melody king, KJ Yesudas, has turned 80 on Friday. As usual,Yesudas will spend his birthday along with his family at Kollur Mookambika temple. Across the world, various cultural events will be held to commemorate this legendary singer’s birthday.
Often called as Gaanagandharvan (The Celestial Singer), he is regarded as one of the greatest Indian singers of all time. For nearly six decades he has been regaling music buffs with his mesmerising music, a voice that is every Malayali’s pride. KJ Yesudas’ voice has seeped into the collective conscious of the Malayali, infusing melody into every emotion and mood.
Kattassery Joseph Yesudas (born 10 January 1940) has recorded more than 80,000 songs in a number of Indian languages, including Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Odia as well as Arabic, English, Latin, and Russian, during a career spanning more than five decades. Yesudas has performed in most Indian languages except for Punjabi, Assamese, Konkani, and Kashmiri. He has also composed a number of Malayalam film songs during the 1970s and 1980s. Yesudas, Dasettan to his admirers, spanning generations, has worked with the pioneers of the film music industry and the new-gen music directors with equal felicity.
Yesudas won the National Award for the Best Male Playback Singer record eight times, the Filmfare Awards South five times, and the State Award for the Best Playback Singer forty-three times, including awards given by the state governments of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and West Bengal.
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1975, the Padma Bhushan in 2002, and the Padma Vibhushan (second-highest civilian award) in 2017 by the Government of India for his contributions towards the arts.