The Delightful Synonym of Symphony
Dr. KS Chitra is a legendary Indian playback singer whose glory cannot be defined in a single word. Whenever we hear her name, a thousand sparkly chimes ~ filled with melody, start to soothe our ears. Even while standing at the top of fame and fortune, Dr. KS Chitra has always been the humblest human being. Chitra’s heart-melting smile is truly her constant companion. Inspiration to a lot of young talents, KS Chitra’s life is something we all should look up to.
Resembling the saying, ”You are destined to be who you are, even before you were born.”, Dr. KS Chitra was born into a family of musicians. Her father, Sh. Krishnan Nair was a well-known singer of the yesteryears. He was her first guru who taught her the early lessons of Carnatic Music. Chitra has always said that her father has given her colossal encouragement and resources during her early childhood.
After completing graduation in music with the third rank from the University of Kerala, Dr. Chithra took up her master’s degree in the same field. She always had the zeal to be at the top of her field. This turned out to be a blessing in her future endeavors. Chitra received comprehensive training in Carnatic Classical Music from Dr. K. Omanakutty, retired Professor of Music at Kerala University, under the national talent search scholarship.
After realizing her elite proficiency in music, it was Sh. M.G. Radhakrishnan, who gave Chithra a breakthrough as a singer in the Malayalam film industry. She got an opportunity to work in movies like Attahasam, Snehapurvam Meera, and Nan Ekananu, etc under his guidance. Turns out, people loved her compelling voice and mastery of music. Although, it’s not very surprising considering her immense talents. What happened next is history! Let’s hear it in her own words, “I consider the opportunity to sing with Dr. K.J. Yesudas in live concerts all over India and abroad a blessing. It was also a turning point in my career. Famous Malayalam Music Directors like Ravindran, Shyam, Jerry Amaldev, Kannoor Rajan, and Johnson were all instrumental for my rise as a playback artist in Malayalam films.”
As destined, Dr. Chithra’s phenomenal voice and melody enthralled audiences and the entire movie industry. Legendary music director Shri Ilayaraja assigned her to sing in Tamil films with the movie Nee Tana Antha Kuil. Although, her first megahit was for her songs in the film Sindhu Bhairvi, for which she received a National Award.
Remarkably, the next phase of Dr.Chitra’s singing journey began in 1984. From then onwards, Chitra has lent her voice to over fifteen thousand film songs in various Indian languages. Plus, over four thousand non-cinematic songs.
Not to brag, but Chitra has broken several records in the music industry. She holds the record for being the first female playback singer to have won six National Awards, the first female singer to win the Kerala State Government Award for the Best Playback Singer ( that too for ten consecutive years). She is the first and only singer in the history of the South Indian film playback singing to be honored by all the four southern state governments as the best playback singer. She is also the recipient of the most reputed Padma Shri Award, making her the first female singer from South India to be conferred by this award.
Chitra’s magnificent talent was realized by the Indian government and hence honored her with Padma Bhushan in 2021. Apart from honors and awards, Chitra considers her biggest blessing to be able to help fresh talents by guiding them in the right direction.
This is exactly why Dr. Chithra founded a charitable trust titled ACV-Snehanandana along with Asianet satellite communications Ltd in memory of daughter Nandana for helping needy musicians in their sunset years. Only a wise musician can be a soulful giver.
Dr. Chithra’s performance at the Royal Albert Hall London was applauded with much appreciation by a roomful of an international audience. Her international projects like Arabic Album with Javed Ali, recording for Herbie Hancock, and her performance at the Qinghai international water and music festival in Quing Hai, China, in 2009 changed this national talent into a global musical genius.
Dr. KS is a phenomenal artist filled with diverse talent whose story can help you turn your life around.