Carnatic music legend Balamuralikrishna dies at 86; AR Rahman, Kamal Haasan offer condolences

Musicians, politicians and other celebrities have taken to Twitter and other social media platforms to express their sorrow at the passing away of the legendary singer M Balamuralikrishna.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Updated: November 23, 2016 7:13 pm

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In what can only be described as a huge loss to the world of Carnatic music, legendary singer Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna passed away on Tuesday, at the age of 86 after a prolonged illness in Chennai. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and three sons.

According to reports, he was not keeping well for a while now. Known as ‘God’s Own Voice’, the veteran Carnatic vocalist was a multi-instrumentalist who also delved into playback singing for films, music composition and even acting. He is known to have composed the music for the first Sanskrit movie Adi Shankaracharya in 1983, along with BV Karanth.

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Recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour in 1991, Balamuralikrishna is known for his immeasurable contribution to Indian music, especially globally. So much so, he was made Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2005. This is apart from the plethora of other national and international awards that came his way.

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A child prodigy from Andhra Pradesh’s Sankaraguptam, Balamuralikrishna is said to be the fifth-generation descendant of saint-composer Thyagaraja in the guru-shishya parampara. In a musical career that spans his entire lifetime, Balamuralikrishna’s singing appealed to connoisseurs and laymen alike, which is well portrayed by the popularity of his film music and the iconic song Mile Sur Mera Tumhara (in which he joined a gamut of singers such as Bhimsen Joshi and LataMangeshkar) as well as ability to span the three octaves with deceptive ease.

As soon as news of his passing away was known, many took to Twitter and other social media sites to express their sorrow.

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