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Dr. K.J.YESUDAS

Playback Singer

Dr. K.J.YESUDASPadmashree Dr. Kattassery Joseph Yesudas, the great South Indian singer, was born on 10th January 1940 in Fort Cochin, Kerala. Born to parents Augustine Joseph Bhagavathar and mother Elizabeth Joseph, Yesudas was initiated into Carnatic music at a very young age by his father who was a classical musician himself. Although financially restrained, his father recognizing the boy’s musical talent decided to provide him musical education at any cost. His decision proved to be right ..a great musician was born, with mastery over both classical and light music who has over 30000 song recordings to his credit in a career spanning four decades.

Yesudas got his first recognition at the tender age of seven, when he won a gold medal for music at a local competition in Fort Cochin. He went on to have training from the Music Academy, Tripunithura and Swati Tirunal Music Academy, Trivandrum and obtained diplomas in 'Sangeethabhushanam' and 'Ganabhushanam'. Initially he struggled a lot for a break and suffered many hardships when he roamed around Chennai looking for an opening, living mainly on tap water and faced rejections from music directors and AIR ( All India Radio) Trivandrum. But young Yesudas patiently endured and persisted to achieve his life's goal. He became closely associated with 'Kalabhavan', an art institute which encouraged upcoming artists, began to give public concerts and started becoming popular and at last in 1961, he got a break as a playback singer in the Malayalam film ' Kalpadukal' directed by K.S Antony. The rest is history.

Dr. K.J.YESUDASDr. Yesudas soon was making a mark for himself, tearing down language barriers and singing in all South Indian languages and later almost all Indian languages. In 1976, Salil Chaudhary gave him a chance in Hindi films with 'Anand Mahal'. Although his number ' Aa Aa Re Mitwa' in the film was noticed, it was the film 'Chitchor' that really launched him in Hindi films. 'Gori Tera Gaon Bada Pyaara' and 'Jab Deep Jale Aana' were two of his memorable numbers of which the former earned him the National award for best singer in 1979. He has won the coveted National award seven times- in 1977 for the song "Manushyan Mathangale Sristichu" in the film 'Achanum Bappayum' (Malayalam), "Padmatheerthame" in the film 'Gayathri' (Malayalam,1973),  'Chitchor' (Hindi,1979), 'Mekha Sandesham' (Telugu, 1985), 'Unnikale Oru Katha Parayaam' (Malayalam, 1987), in 1992 for 'Bharatham' (Malayalam) and in 1993 for 'Sopanam' (Malayalam). He has also won numerous state awards to the extend of monopolizing the Kerala state award at one time and other awards & honours in recognition of his talent. He received the 'Padmashri' from the President of India in 1977 and in 1991 an honorary doctorate degree from the Annamalai University, Chennai in recognition for his contributions to music and art. Government of Kerala honoured him with the title 'Asthana Gayakan'. He also became a Senate member in the International Parliament for Safety and Peace, an organization incorporated in the U.S. More recently he received the Padma Bhushan from the President of India in  

Yesudas who is a down to earth, humble person believes in Shri Narayana Guru's principle of 'One caste, One Vijay religion and One God for all'. He is an ardent devotee of 'Ayyappa'. In spite of his popularity in film Music he enjoys Carnatic classical more and is an admirer of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, Dr. Bala Murali Krishna and the likes. In 1980 he launched a  recording studio Tharangini in Thiruvanathapuram. He has many album releases to his credit including devotional, light and classical music. Married to Prabha his devoted fan of many years, the couple has three boys Vinod, Vijay and Vishal. His second son Vijay follows his fathers footsteps in Music. This Musical maestro, shifts base frequently from Madras to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA where he has a studio and back and continues to enchant his fans with his wonderful voice.

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