An extraordinary singer, who was influenced by veteran Mohammed Rafi, SPB stamped his class in thousands of evergreen songs, evoking various emotions, be it joy, romance or pathos and later also took to acting in some films.

Living and breathing music aptly fitted him as the gifted singer said a couple of years ago that he was recording a song every day, even over 50 years after he made his debut in 1966, besides being associated with several reality shows on TV.

The evergreen song Ayiram Nilave Vaa (Come thousand moons) from the MGR starrer Adimaipen catapulted him to fame in 1969 and there had been no looking back for SPB since then.

He carved out a niche for himself after entering the field when the then veterans like T M Soundararajan (TMS) and P B Srinivas were ruling the roost.

For someone with no formal training in classical music, the heights SPB scaled were not something that even well-trained singers could touch.

Born on June 4, 1946, in Nellore in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the film world was never in the mind of SPB, also fondly called ‘Balu’ by many of his friends such as music maestro Illayaraja.

“It was never my desire to enter the film industry. I wanted to become a gazetted rank engineer which could fetch Rs 250 salary, a jeep with a chauffeur in the 1960s,” he had repeatedly said over the years.

Fans gathering outside SPB’s residence. 

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