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S. Janaki
Background information
Born April 23, 1938 (1938-04-23) (age 71)
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
Genres playback singing, Indian classical
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocalist
Years active 1957-present

S. Janaki (Telugu: ఎస్. జానకి,Kannada: ಎಸ್. ಜಾನಕಿ,: Tamil:எஸ். ஜானகி, Malayalam: എസ്. ജാനകി),(born April 23, 1938) is a legendary, award-winning female playback singer. She is a Telugu by birth, but went on to become a house hold name in entire South Indian territory. She is renowned for her super modulation power of her voice which can aptly adapt to anybody ranging from a small child to an elderly old woman. She has sung in many Indian languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi.[1] Janaki is also a lyricist and a composer. She has worked with almost all the music directors of her time. She along with S P Balasubramanyam is the most popular singing combination in south India.[2]


Early life

S. Janaki was born into a Telugu family in Pallapatla, Repalle village, Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh.[3]

She was interested in music from early age and started performing at the age of three. She learnt music from Sree Paidiswamy, a nadaswaram Vidwan.

Singing career

Janaki started singing at 19.[4] She later moved to Chennai on the advice of her uncle Dr. Chandrashekar and joined AVM Studios as a singer. She started her career in movies by singing songs composed by T. Chalapati Rao in the Tamil movie Vidhiyin Vilayattu in 1957. Subsequently, she performed in the Telugu movie MLA. She went on to become one of the most favourite singers of Ilayaraja and began to sing for him for at least 2-3 songs per movie in all the 4 southern languages.

She also wrote many songs for Tamil and Telugu movies. She has sung more than 30000 songs[Films,Non Films], in almost all languages in South India as well as in Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Sinhalese, Bengali, Oriya, English, Sanskrit, Konkani, Tulu, Saurashtra, Baduga, Japanese and German.[5]

A devotee of Lord Krishna and Shirdi Sai Baba, she has also recorded Hindu devotional music on Meera.[5]

Her contemporaries include Ghantasala, Dr.Rajkumar,P. Susheela, Vani Jayaram, K J Yesudas, L R Eeswari, P. Jayachandran, P. Leela, K. S. Chithra, Sujatha, Jency, P B Srinivas and of course S P Balasubramanyam. She is the inspiration for many upcoming female playback singers.

Personal life

S. Janaki married V.Ramprasad. She is now settled in Chennai, lives with her son Murali Krishna, who acted in few films and has an audio business of his own; and his wife Uma Murali Krishna, a classical dancer (Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi); they have two daughters Amruthavarshini and Apsara.

She is also a close relative of carnatic classical vocalist, Garimella Balakrishna Prasad.[6]

Major awards

  • National Film Awards Five times for the best Playback singer by Government of India
  • State Film awards eleven times for the best Playback singer by Government of Kerala
  • State Film awards seven times for the best Playback singer by Government of Tamil Nadu
  • State Film awards ten times for the best Playback singer by Government of Andra Pradesh
  • State Film awards four times for the best Playback singer by Government of Karnataka
  • 2009, Honorary doctarate by Mysore university for her tremendous contribution to Kannada Film songs background singing.

Kerala State Film Awards:

National awards

  • 1976, Film Name: 16 vayadhinile, Language: Tamil, First line of the song: "Senthoora Poove"
  • 1981, Film Name: Oppol, Language: Malayalam , First line of the song: "Ettumanoorambalathil"
  • 1982,Film Name: "Manjil Virinja Pookkal",Language: Malayalam, First line of the song: "Manjani kombil"
  • 1984, Film Name: Sithara, Language: Telugu , First line of the song: "Vennello godari andham"
  • 1992, Film Name: devar Magan, Language: Tamil, First line of song: "Inji Idippazagha"


External links



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