Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam, popularly known as SPB or own very own Balu Garu, is definitely one of the most gifted artists on this planet. No matter which language you think of, he will continue to be everybody’s favourite out there. Without a doubt, he is indeed the GOAT of the entertainment industry and there are no two ways about it.
But there are a few facts about Balu Garu that not everybody knows of.
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His Ambition Was To Become An Engineer:
Before foraying into the music industry and making his own mark, he enrolled for Engineering at JNTU. However, he couldn’t continue due to a Typhoid attack. Later, out of sheer passion for music he entered the industry and created all-time records here.
His Love Story:
His real-life love story reads like a movie script. He fell in love with his distant relative, Savitri, only to discover that they shared the same “Gothra,” and their families were opposed to their marriage. But, after all, who can stop true love? Later, with the help of their friends, both of them eloped and got married at the Simhachalam Temple in Visakhapatnam.
Relatives In The Industry:
SPB is related to famous personalities in the industry. He is the older brother of S.P. Shailaja, who also is a well-known singer. Not only this he is also related to Subhalekha Sudhakar through his sister as Sudhakar is the husband of S.P. Shailaja.
Multi Hyphenated Personality:
Balu Garu is not just confined to singing. He is an actor, television presenter, music director, actor, and film producer too. His multifaceted personality is what makes him more special as a person. Also, not to forget that he gives his 100% to it whatever he does.
Titles Of Balu Garu:
The world knows him as SPB and Telugu people endearingly call him Balu Garu. But are you aware of the titles he holds? In Telugu, he is known as Gaana Gandharva, and in Tamil, he is known as Paadum Nila, which means Singing Moon. The love he earned all these years is irreplaceable, isn’t it?
The Records He Holds:
He is one-of-a-kind artists the entertainment industry will ever have. So, isn’t it evident that he has a ton of records under his name?
One of them being he sang over 40000 songs in 16 languages. He holds a Guinness World Record for recording the highest number of songs by a singer for the same. He recorded 21 songs in Kannada for the composer Upendra Kumar in Bengaluru from 9 am to 9 pm on 8 February 1981, which is also a record in itself.
Apart from the six National Film Awards, six Filmfare Awards South, one Filmfare Award, and a ton of Nandi awards, he had been posthumously honoured with the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award in the country. It was received by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam’s son S P Charan on his father’s behalf from President Ram Nath Kovind. Apart from this he had won multiple awards from the state governments of the Telugu states, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as well.
Do you know that besides the multi-hyphenated personality he is, there is another hyphen we can add here. Yes, besides the multiple roles he played in his life, Balasubrahmanyam is also the chairman of Kodandapani Audio Labs, Chennai.
Ohh, did we discuss Balu Garu’s dubbing career yet? He had lent his voice to artists like the legendary Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. He accidentally became a dubbing artist with K. Balachander’s film Manmadha Leela (1976), the dubbed Telugu version of Manmadha Leelai, providing a voice-over for Kamal Haasan. He was assigned as the default dubbing artist for Kamal Haasan in Telugu-dubbed versions of Tamil films. And, of course, he proved himself to be the best and received multiple awards. He also dubbed for Ben Kingsley in the Telugu-dubbed version of Gandhi.
Apart from all the records created by SPB, he had received multiple prestigious awards like the ANR Lifetime achievement award from Akkineni Nageswara Rao in 2010.
S. P. Balasubrahmanyam is not only a gifted artist, but he is also a man with a golden heart. He had done the majority of his public appearances and events not for himself, but to raise funds for various non-profit organisations. He was also on tour to help raise funds for an organisation before becoming infected with the deadly coronavirus and losing his life to it.
Losing such an iconic singer to such a deadly virus is surely saddening. The industry had lost a legend and iconic singer. But, no matter what, SPB will forever live in the hearts of his fans through his soulful songs in various languages. Like they say, although the artist leaves the world, they will stay eternally through the art they have created.
With such mellifluous songs he sung, SPB indeed lives on forever!!
Hope he is at peace and wishing S. P. Balasubrahmanyam Garu a very Happy Birthday!!