Legendary vocalist M Balamuralikrishna, who first exploded on the Carnatic music scene as a child prodigy and later strode classical and cinema worlds effortlessly across generations, passed away here on Tuesday.
The 86-year-old veteran was not keeping well for some time and breathed his last on Tuesday at his residence here, his family sources said.
Mangalamapalli Balamuralikrishna, who hailed from Sankaraguptam in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, made Chennai his home to traverse the world of music and cinema. He leaves behind his wife, four sons and two daughters.
The musician featured in the popular national integration song “Miley Sur Mera Tumhara” in the ‘80s in which he sang Tamil lyrics.
He started his musical journey as a six-year-old boy and grew to be one of the best names in the profession, leaving his imprint in the field of Carnatic music.
A multi-faceted personality, he enriched music not only with his voice but also by composing over 400 songs in various languages like Telugu, Sanskrit, Kannada and Tamil. This included devotional to varnams, krithis, javalis and thillanas, in all the fundamental 72 melakartha ragas.
He was a towering figure in Carnatic music world and was loved equally by the the masses and connoisseurs. His songs like ‘Oru Naal Pothuma’ in Sivaji Ganesan-starrer “Thiruvilayadal”, ‘Chinna Kannan Azhaikiran’ in “Kavikuil” and ‘Thanga Ratham Vanthathu’ in “Kalai Koil” were great hits and are popular even today.
A crowd-puller in Carnatic music concerts, he starred in a number of films in Tamil and Telugu. He made his debut as an actor in “Bhakta Prahalada” in 1967.