Chennai: Legendary singer S P Balasubrahmanyam, who died Thursday, held the rare distinction and unique record of rendering highest number of songs in a single day by any singer in the Indian film industry.
It is said SPB had recorded a whopping 21 songs in Kannada for composer Upendra Kumar in Bengaluru from 9 am to 9 pm on 8 February, 1981. Furthermore, he had also recorded 19 songs in Tamil and 16 songs in Hindi in a day, which still remains a record.
Tamil superstar Rajinikanth and actor-politician Kamal Haasan, for whom SPB has lent his voice for innumerable songs for more than four decades, paid rich tributes to the legendary singer, who died of cardio-respiratory arrest this afternoon.
Both Rajini and Kamal released audio/video messages in their social media and paid rich tributes to the singer.
Rajini who had prayed for SPB’s recovery released a video message condoling his death. In the video, Rajinikanth said: “Today is a very sad day. SPB has left us after battling for his life till the last moment.”
“I am in deep pain and shock over the passing away of SPB. There cannot be anyone in India who is not a fan of SPB’s voice and songs”, he said.
“Those who knew him loved him more than his voice and songs. That’s because of his humanity. He respected everyone, and without seeing them as big or small, he gave them his regard, love. He was such a great and loving man”, Rajini said.
Rajini said, “#RIP Balu sir … you have been my voice for many years… your voice and your memories will live with me forever … I will truly miss you …”
In a tweet, Kamal said, “I have acted for his voice in several films. I feel privileged about it. His works will stay immortal and his fame will live on for seven generations”.
Kamal also released an audio as a tribute to SPB in which he recalled his association with the legendary singer for the past few decades.
“Only a few people will get the recognition for their talent during their lifetime. ‘My brother’ SPB is one such person. I am proud that I was able to lip sync for so many of his songs,” Kamal said.
He has rendered his voice for so many songs for four generations and his contributions will be spoken about for seven more generations, he added.
Kamal’s audio also featured clips of both artistes sharing moments together.
Music maestros Ilayaraja, lyricist Vairamuthu and the Indian film fraternity and people cutting across party lines, condoled SPB’s and paid rich tributes to him.
Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, in his condolence message said, that “one of the scintillating personalities and legendary voice of our country, SPB, was an immensely talented singer and will be long remembered by many, who admired and regarded him for his contribution to Indian cinema in various languages of our nation.” He was a simple living and a talented personality, who has worked with many great musicians and artists, he added.
Indian Hajj Association president Abubacker said he has lost his family friend and a great human being.
As his body was brought to his residence from the hospital at 4 pm, a large number of people thronged his residence to pay their homage.
Police restored order and tens and hundreds of people queued up to a distance of nearly two km by following the social distancing norms and paid their respects.
Earlier, it was said that SPB’s body would be taken to his farm house today morning. But, due to unprecedented crowd, which kept swelling with every passing minute, and following a request made by the police citing the Covid-19 lockdown norms, it was decided to take it to Tamaraipakkam last night itself.
After about little over three hours during which public paid their homage at his residence, the final journey of SPB commenced at around 7.30 pm.