World News: Renowned Indian singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, a Guinness world record holder for his more than 40,000 songs over 50 years, has died aged 74.
From romantic hits to popular dance tracks, he sang some of Indian cinema’s best-known numbers, spanning 16 languages.
Balasubrahmanyam died on Friday after spending days in intensive care following a Covid-19 diagnosis.
Tributes have been pouring in on social media from celebrities and fans alike.
Balasubrahmanyam was first admitted to hospital in the southern city of Chennai (formerly Madras) in early August when he tested positive for Covid-19. He tested negative early in September, but continued to receive life support treatment. The hospital where he was being treated said in a statement that he died of a cardio-respiratory arrest.
SPB, as he was popularly known, began his career in Tamil and Telugu cinema in southern India – and became the first crossover singer who gained success in Bollywood.
As news of his death broke, social media was flooded with condolences and memories as people recollected some of their favourite songs sung by him.
He was a legendary “playback singer” – that is, his voice was pre-recorded for use in films in which actors would lip-sync to the songs. He sang for top composers of his time, including AR Rahman and Ilaiyaraaja.
His breakthrough Bollywood film came in 1981 when he sang for Ek Duuje Ke Liye (We Are Made For Each Other), a romantic tragedy that was one of the year’s biggest hits.
He was hailed as a singing sensation despite his marked southern accent and became the ‘singing voice’ for Bollywood superstars such as Salman Khan. More News