Born in Thiruvananthapuram the capital of Kerala state, K.S.Chitra, with her melodious voice, has built a formidable reputation as a playback singer for South Indian as well as Hindi films. She has to her credit, over 11,000 songs in languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali and Oriya.
From her young age she learned the basics in music from her father, late Krishnan Nair who was a singer and composer of repute. The gifted singer learned music at the graduate and post-graduate levels and completed her B A in music with the third rank from the university. She went on to complete her MA in music from Kerala University, for which she was chosen under the aegis of the National Talent Search Scholarship programme and was trained by Professor K.Omanakutty.
Ms Chitra got a chance in films when Prof. K.Omanakutty introduced her to her brother Mr. M.G.Radhakrishnan, a famous music director in Malayalam film industry. Her first songs were for the films like 'Attahaasam', 'Snehapoorvam Meera', and 'Njaan Ekananu' and from then on there was no looking back. Her expressive melodious voice got her plenty of offers and she was soon making a mark in Malayalam films to the extent that she has today monopolised Malayalam film music. Ilayaraja gave her the big break into Tamil films through his film 'Nee Thaanaa Antha Kuyil' but it was with 'Sindhu Bhairavi' she became a known name in Tamil industry which also won her the National Award for best playback singer. Ms Chitra's foray into Hindi film music was with the song 'Saathiya, ye tune kya kiya' in the film 'Love'. Some of the Hindi films that she has given hit songs are 'Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya', 'Aks', 'Ashoka', 'Rangeela' etc. She is one singer who has successfully broken the North-South divide and blazed a trail of glory in both worlds.
She has won the National Award for the best playback singer five times. For ' Sindhu Bhairavi' (Tamil, 1986),' Nakhashatangal' (Malayalam, 1987), ' Vaishali' ( Malayalam, 1989 ), Minsara Kanavu ( Tamil, 1996 ), Virasat (Hindi, 1997).
The Kerala government has heaped upon her the best playback singer award more than 12 times and she has the unique distinction of being the first female singer in the history of South Indian film playback singing to be honoured by all the four southern state governments as the best playback singer.
Chitra who has a strong base in classical music has an ability to pick up even the most difficult pitch with ease. Ms Chitra has many albums especially devotional music to her credit. She has also tried her hand in pop music and made an album with the 'Voodoo Rapper'. Her hugely successful albums include 'Piya Basanti'; her collaboration with sarangi exponent Ustad Sultan Khan, 'Sunset Point', where she worked with Gulzar and Bhupinder. She has had the opportunities to work with famous music directors like Salil Choudhary, Anu Malik, Nadeem-Shravan and world renowned music maestro A R Rahman. But she remains her simple down to earth self with the trademark pleasant smile. This immensely talented singer continues to impress her numerous fans with memorable songs.