One of the most popular voices to have ever come out of South India is that of P. Susheela. The legendary singer is known to have lent her magical voice to thousands of hits over the years in over ten different languages.
The Guinness Book of World Records has lauded her achievement and conferred the award on her for singing 17,695 solo songs across five decades. Such an achievement should surely be lauded and the singer has carved her own niche in the South Indian music industry, going on to become one of the legends of Indian cinema.
Born in Andhra Pradesh to an advocate family, P. Susheela went on to join the Maharaja’s Music College and graduated with a diploma in Music from Andhra University in First Class. She did so at a very young age and was already creating waves with her mellifluous voice in local circuits. She got her opportunity to sing in movies in the Tamil film, “Petra Thai” – and there is no looking back ever since.
Feminism backed vocals:
Around the time that South India was waking up to the advent of feminism, P. Susheela’s melodious voice went extremely well with songs that were backed with women power and feminism lyrics. This made her a hugely popular figure amongst women in addition to the film songs that she usually sang.
In addition to her beautiful voice, another facet that stood out for the singer was her ability to clearly hit the syllables of the songs that she sang. Also, she was conferred the title “Gana Saraswati” for her performances. Till date, she has sung close to 40,000 songs in different languages stretching over different genres of music.
In her long and illustrious career, she has received the national award five different times and was the first person to receive the National Award for Best Female Playback Singer in 1969. She has also received the state award from Tamil Nadu, Kerala as well as Andhra Pradesh 10 different times in her career.
On the outset, it is only natural and fitting that a legend is conferred a universal award. We wish P. Susheela all the best and congratulate her on her award.