MS Subbulakshmi Biography

MS Subbulakshmi Biography

MS Subbulakshmi was born on 16 September 1916 in Madurai, Madras Presidency, India. Her father name was Subramanja Iyer and mother Shanmukavadiver Ammal. Shanmukavadiver Ammai belonged to Devadasi community and a stage performer. The famous violinist Akkammai was her grandmother. The house of MS Subbulakshmi was the place for cultural and musical activities. In the very early age, she was influenced by the atmosphere of her family and the arrival of noted musicians. Her parents also encouraged to learn classical music. so at the very early age, she started learning Carnatic music under the guidance of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. In the meantime, she also learnt Hindustani Music at Pandit Narayan Rao Vyas.

She had a God gifted base voice so her singing voice mesmerizes the audience. The singer enriches the skills in learning Classical music by interacting with the eminent Classical masters like Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and Mazhavarayanendal Subbaramana Bhagavathar.

MS Subbulakshmi Songs and Movie Characters

ms subbulakshmi

After she became a profound learner of Karnatic and Hindustani music, gave the first public performance at Rockford Temple, Tiruchirappalli in 1927 at the age of eleven. The first performance with eminent other musicians became a milestone in her life. Her fearless performance made her a symbol of classical music in later years. MS Subbulakshmi also acted in many films in her youth, the first film was Sevasadanam, released on 2 May 1938 and few movies got commercial successes. Especially, the male character as Narada in the film Savitri made her not only a successful singer but also an actress.

MS Subbulakshmi Performance in Foreign Countries

First time in 1963, the Scotland Government invited her to participate in the famous Edinburgh International Festival for her magnificent performance. Later, she visited many countries as an ambassador of Indian Culture and Heritage. The success of the Scotland performance caused the invitations from various societies all over the world. Her performance in the UK a milestone in her life. Especially the performance in Carnegie Hall in New York made her international ambassador of music. the Government of Russia also invited her to give a performance at the Festival of India. Which was held in Moscow to show the brotherhood relationship between India and Russia? She gave a performance in numerous countries all over India, wherever she goes there she was praised by the spectators and music lovers.

Also Read : The Life story of Karnatic Musician Tyagarajan 

MS Subbulakshmi Devotional Songs

She sang the famous ‘Suprabhatam’, the early morning Hymns to wake up Lord Venkateswara. Still, Suprabhatam plays in every household in India, which makes a piece of mind to the listeners. She also sang ‘Bhajagovindam’ composed by the famous philosopher Shankaracharya, praising Lord Krishna. ‘Hanuman Chalisa’, ‘Vishnu Sahasranamam’ and many other Hymns of praising the Gods and Goddesses in Hindu history. Her Carnatic Classical music skills made her easy to bring the hymns into living. Her flawless singing and clarity in the tone made the themes of the ‘God’ praising songs into compassion way to melt the hearts of the devotees and music lovers. So her songs, hymns and Slokas became eternal by touching the tone of M.S. Subbulakshmi.

MS Subbulakshmi Personal Life

In her early life, she had a close attachment to her mother Shanmukavadiver Ammai. But when she was in teenage, she left her mother to marry the man in her own wish. So in 1936, she met the famous classical musician Sadasivam, who helped her to became the famous personality in the Indian history. He introduced her in the movies and supported her to give classical performances on various platforms which made her fame in the society. So M.S Subbulakshmi married Sadasivam in 1940. Although, Sadasivam had already four children from his first wife. However, M.S. Subbulakshmi treated them as her own children and shared the affection on the children as an own mother. Such a great personality died on 11th December 2004 in Chennai. Thousands of music lovers, political leaders and common men also paid their homage.

MS Subbulakshmi Awards

Padma Bhushan in 1954[16]
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1956
Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1968
Ramon Magsaysay award (often considered Asia’s Nobel Prize) in 1974
Padma Vibhushan in 1975[16]
Sangeetha Kalasikhamani in 1975 by The Indian Fine Arts Society, Chennai
Kalidas Samman in 1988
Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration in 1990
Bharat Ratna in 1998