K. S. Chithra

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Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra (born 27 July 1963) credited as K. S. Chithra or Chithra is an Indian playback singer and Carnatic musician. She has recorded more than 25,000 songs in various Indian languages including Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tulu, Rajasthani, Urdu, Sanskrit, and Badaga as well as foreign languages such as Malay, Latin, Arabic, Sinhalese, English and French.[3] She is also known for her extensive history of collaboration in the songs with Music Composers A.R. Rahman, Ilaiyaraja, M. M. Keeravani and with the playback singers SP Balasubrahmanyam and K J Yesudas over the years. She is also known mostly for her sweet and melodious voice for which she is fondly called as Melody Queen and Nightingale of South India.

K. S. Chithra
KS Chithra.jpg
Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra

(1963-07-27) 27 July 1963 (age 57)
Other namesNightingale of South India[1]
Piya Basanti in North India[1]
Vanambadi in Kerala[2]
Chinna Kuyil in Tamil Nadu[2]
Sangeeta Saraswathi in Andhra Pradesh [1]
Kannada Kogile in Karnataka[1]
Alma materUniversity of Kerala
  • Singer
  • music producer
Years active1979–present
HonoursPadma Shri (2005)
Padma Bhushan (2021)
Musical career

Chithra is a recipient of six National Film Awards, eight Filmfare Awards South and 36 different state film awards. She has won four south Indian state film awards.[4][5][6] She was awarded India's third highest civilian honor Padma Bhushan in 2021 and Padma Shri in 2005 for her valuable contributions towards the Indian musical fraternity.[7][8][9][10] Chithra is the first Indian woman who was honored by the House of Commons, British Parliament, United Kingdom in 1997[4] and is the only singer from India who was honored by the Government of China at the Qinghai International Music and Water Festival in 2009.[11] She is conferred with the highest honour of Rotary International, For the Sake of Honour award in 2001[citation needed] and has received the MTV Video Music Award – International Viewer's Choice at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York in 2001.[12] She received honorary doctorates from Sathyabama University in 2011[13][14] and from The International Tamil University, United States in 2018.[15][16]

She was honoured with Rashtrapati Award for being the First Ladies in the field of music felicitated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development of Government of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 20 January 2018.[17][18] In 2018, she was honoured by Mr. Craig Coughlin, Speaker of the General Assembly, New Jersey, United States.[citation needed] In 2019, she was honoured by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah and a member of the Federal Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, for successfully completing 40 years in Indian film industry.[19] Her song "Kannalane/Kehna Hi Kya" from the film Bombay (1995) was included in The Guardian's "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear Before You Die" list.[20]

Early lifeEdit

Born in Trivandrum, Kerala, into a family of musicians, Chithra's father, Krishnan Nair, was her first teacher. Her elder sister K. S. Beena and her younger brother K. Mahesh are also playback singers.[citation needed] Chithra received her training in Carnatic music from Dr. K. Omanakutty, passed B.A. in music with first class and third rank from the University of Kerala, and completed a master's degree in music.[4] She was selected to the National Talent Search Scholarship from the Central Government from 1978 to 1984.[21]

Playback singingEdit

Malayalam CinemaEdit

Chithra was introduced to Malayalam playback by M. G. Radhakrishnan in 1979 who recorded her voice for films and private albums.[citation needed] Attahasam, Snehapoorvam Meera and Njan Ekananu were the first films in which she recorded her voice. She performed live concerts with K. J. Yesudas in India and abroad. The song "Manjal Prasadavum" from the film Nakhakshathangal (1986) composed by Bombay Ravi got her the second National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer.[citation needed] She sang the song "Indupushpam Choodi Nilkum" for the film Vaishali (1989) and won her third National Film Award.[citation needed] Her first Kerala State Film Award for Best Singer was for the song "Aayiram Kannumayi" from the film Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu (1986) composed by Jerry Amaldev. Since then, she has earned wide recognition by singing popular songs under the compositions of Raveendran, Shyam, S. P. Venkitesh, Mohan Sithara, Kannur Rajan, Ilaiyaraaja, Johnson, Ouseppachan, M. K. Arjunan, A. T. Ummer, Berny Ignatius, M. B. Sreenivasan, Mohan Sithara, Vidyasagar, Ramesh Narayan, Sharreth and M. Jayachandran.[citation needed] She is regarded as "Nightingale of Kerala (Vanambadi)" and recorded many successful songs in Malayalam.[citation needed] She recorded a number of songs for the composer S. P. Venkitesh and her maximum duet songs in Malayalam are with K. J. Yesudas and M. G. Sreekumar. As of 2017, she has won the Kerala State Awards for the record 16 times.[citation needed]

Tamil CinemaEdit

Chithra made her debut in the Tamil film industry through the song "Poojaikketha Poovithu" from the film Neethana Antha Kuyil (1985), which was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. She was given the title Chinnakuyil after singing the song "Chinna Kuyil Paadum" from the 1985 released film Poove Poochudava.[4] Director Fazil cast her for this song after Ilaiyaraaja got impressed with her song sung in original version in Malayalam for the film Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu in 1985 directed by himself.[citation needed]. For the folksy classical song "Paadariyaen Padippariyaen" from the film Sindhu Bhairavi (1986), she was awarded with the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer. Since then, she has recorded thousands of Tamil film songs composed by Ilaiyaraaja, A. R. Rahman, Deva, S. A. Rajkumar, Vidyasagar, Sirpy, Yuvan Shankar Raja, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Harris Jayaraj and Santhosh Narayanan. She has sung huge number of evergreen hit songs in Tamil which are remembered till date. She is the only female singer who has sung the maximum number of songs for the Academy Award winning composer A. R. Rahman for his Tamil film songs.[citation needed]. Her fifth National award for best singer was for the song "Oooh La La" from the film Minsara Kanavu (1997).

Telugu CinemaEdit

Celebrating 50 years of musical journey of S. P. Balasubrahmanyam on 9th Dec 2016 at Duty Free Tennis Stadium,Dubai

Chithra's first Telugu song was "Paadalenu Pallavaina" from the dubbed version of Tamil film Sindhu Bhairavi (1985) composed by Ilaiyaraaja. Her first song in a Telugu film is "Abba Daanisoku" from Aakhari Poratam (1988), sung alongside S. P. Balasubrahmanyam. She gained recognition for "Jallanta Kavvinta" from Geethanjali (1989) and then went onto sing several songs.[22] Chithra received her first Nandi Award, presented by Government of Andhra Pradesh for "Kalika Chilakala Koliki" from Seetharamayya Gari Manavaralu (1991). She won a total of 11 Nandi Awards as Best Female Playback Singer for various Telugu songs.[23]

Kannada cinemaEdit

Chithra started her journey in Kannada cinema through the film Preethi released in 1986.[citation needed] The duet song "Nee Hacchida Ee Kumkuma" along with S. P. Balasubrahmanyam was composed by G. K. Venkatesh. In the same year, composer M. Ranga Rao offered her two songs in the film Aruna Raaga. This was followed by "Sheela O My Sheela", a duet song with K. J. Yesudas and composed by Bappi Lahiri for the Dwarakish directorial fantasy-adventure film Africadalli Sheela. Throughout the 1990s, she went on to become a notable singer in Kannada film industry with her perfection in diction and finesse. Her solos and duets with S. P. Balasubrahmanyam made her famous and she received great acclaim for portraying great deal of nativity in her singing. For the 1986 Kannada film Sathkaara, composer Satyam called upon her to sing a duet song along with K. J. Yesudas and since then, Chithra has recorded around 2000 songs in Kannada film industry. Her most frequent collaborations in Kannada has been with Hamsalekha, V. Manohar and her duet songs have been largely with S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and Rajesh Krishnan. She is fondly referred to as Gaana Kogile and Kannada Kogile in Kannada cinema industry.

Hindi cinemaEdit

Chithra was introduced to Hindi film music in 1985; she recorded her first Hindi song composed by S. P. Venkitesh, which was not commercially released. For the 1991 Hindi film Love, composers Anand-Milind, called upon her to sing duets song along with S. P. Balasubrahmanyam and since then, Chithra has recorded for around 200 Bollywood songs.[24] Then she went on recording some Hindi songs under A. R. Rahman's compositions from 1991 to 1995, her breakthrough in Hindi film music came through "Kehna Hi Kya" from the film Bombay (1995), which was highly successful in the North Indian region and gave her an identity in Bollywood film industry.[citation needed] For the song "Payalein Chunmun" recorded in the 1997 film Virasat, Chithra received the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer and became the only South India based female singer till date to achieve the feat. Her most number of Hindi songs were recorded for Anu Malik, the most notable being her voice recorded for eight songs out of eleven in the soundtrack of Main Prem Ki Diwani Hoon in 2003.[citation needed]

Some of Chithra's Hindi songs include "Ye Haseen Wadiyan" from Roja, "Yaaron Sun Lo" from Rangeela, "Hum Tumse Na" from Ziddi, "Payale Chunmun" from Virasat (she won a National Award, Star Screen Award and the nomination for FilmfareAwards for her rendition), "Raat Ka Nasha" from Aśoka, "Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya (sad version)", "Rang De Basanti" title track, "Mere Dil Ka Tumse Hi Kehna" from Armaan , "Mere Dil Ka Tumse Hi Kehna" from the film Armaan In the composition of Rajesh Roshan, she has sung "Koi Mil Gaya" title song of the film Koi... Mil Gaya for which she won Bollywood Movie Awards, MTV Immies Award and the nomination for Filmfare Awards.[citation needed] "Tum Bin Jiya Jaye Kaise" from the film Tum Bin topped the charts and she was lauded for her expressive rendition.[citation needed]

Apart from film songs, Chithra recorded for many private albums of which Piya Basanti and Sunset Point became hugely popular and went on to win several laurels including the MTV Music Video Awards. The popularity of the former album made her known among the Northern part of Indians identify her as "Piya Basanti" Chitra.[25]

Music companyEdit

In 1995 Chithra established the Audiotracs[26] Music Company in Chennai. AUDIOTRACS is the brand name of AT MUSICS, a music label promoted by the singer CHITHRA in 1995.[citation needed] Audiotracs is producing albums in the non film space. All of Chitra's non film albums are produced by this company.


Work and association with music directorsEdit

Chithra has sung more than 25,000 songs in number of Indian languages.[citation needed] But predominately she works in South Indian film industry. Chithra has the fame of working with huge number of music directors across India. She has recorded maximum number of songs to the music directors like A. R. Rahman, Ilayaraja, M. M. Keeravani, Koti, S. V. Krishna Reddy, Hamsalekha, Raveendran, Johnson, Sharreth, S. A. Rajkumar, Manisharma, Vidyasagar, Deva, Devi Sri Prasad, Mickey J Meyer in Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. She has worked with Laxmikant–Pyarelal, Anu Malik, Anand-Milind, Rajesh Roshan, Jatin-Lalit, Pritam, Sandesh Shandilya, Nadeem-Shravan, Nikhil-Vinay, Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen, Anand Raaj Anand, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Shantanu Moitra and A. R. Rehman in Hindi. She has recorded huge number of duets with singers like S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. J. Yesudas, M. G. Sreekumar, Mano, Hariharan, Udit Narayan, Kumar Sanu, Rajesh Krishnan, Karthik, P. Unnikrishnan, Shankar Mahadevan, Vijay Yesudas in all Indian languages. Chithra, Mano, S.P.Balasubrahmanyam have a special fame of recording all the songs in one film dominatly from 1990 to 1997 mostly in Telugu, Kannada and few Tamil films. She has even recorded hit female duets with P. Susheela, Vani Jairam, S. Janaki, S. P. Sailaja, Sujatha Mohan, Shreya Ghoshal, Shweta Mohan, Swarnalatha, Minmini, Sadhana Sargam, kavita Krishnamurthy, Anuradha Paudwal, Alisha Chinai, Harini, Sunidhi Chauhan, Alka Yagnik, Madhushree, Sunitha Upadrashta in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam & Hindi. The most successful duet combination was S.P.B-Chithra duo in Telugu and Kannada especially.

They have a fame of recording 2,500 songs to composers Raj-Koti where in total Raj-Koti composed 3,000 songs. Chithra sang some rare duets with the legendary actor and singer Dr.Rajkumar in Kannada.[citation needed]

Performances in concerts (India & abroad)Edit

Apart from playback singing, she also appeared among the panel of judges in the singing reality television shows at Kerala (Idea Star Singer and Josco Indian Voice),[27] at Tamil Nadu (Airtel Super Singer Junior),[28] where she also won the award for Best Female Judge and at Andhra Pradesh (MAA TV) Super Singer. Apart from this judgement panel she has appeared in music-shows like Swarabhishekam, Super Masti, Jhumandi Nadam. She is a regular singer in Ilayaraja's, A.R. Rahman's and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam's concerts.[citation needed] She has performed all over the world in SPB's concerts along with S. P. Sailaja, S. P. Charan. She has been a regular singer participating in all the concerts of SPB50-The World Tour, she has performed almost all around the world with S. P. B. Charan, S. P. Sailaja, Sunitha Upadrashta Karthik & Shweta Mohan.

Studio albumsEdit

Chithra recorded her first studio album with Voodoo Rapper for the album called Ragga Raaga in 1993.[citation needed] She recorded the albums in Hindi, Piya Basanti (2000) and Sunset Point. She associated with Ustad Sultan Khan for Piya Basanti which was certified Gold.[29] Sunset Point had eight songs written and narrated by Gulzar and sung by Chithra and Bhupinder.[30] In 2006, she released an album in dedication to M. S. Subbulakshmi named My Tribute. It is a collection of Kritis and bhajans dedicated to Subbulakshmi.[31] In 2009 she released Nightingale: A Salute to Lataji, a musical tribute to Lata Mangeshkar on her 80th birthday.[32] She also recorded many Malayalam albums for K. J. Yesudas, M. Jayachandran and Sharreth compositions. She also planned a ghazal album with Ghulam Ali and Asha Bhosle.[31]

Association with A. R. RahmanEdit

Chithra has an extensive history of collaboration with A. R. Rahman.

S.no Year Song Film Language Co-Singer(s)
1 1992 "Rukkumani Rukkumani" Roja Tamil S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
2 1992 "Yeh Haseen Waadiyaan" Hindi S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
3 1992 "Nagamane Nagamane" Telugu S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
4 1992 "Chella Chella Asha" Malayalam -
5 1992 "Chella Chella Asha (bit)" Malayalam -
6 1993 "Kulu Kulu" Asokan Tamil S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
7 1993 "Mujhko Yeh Lagta Hai" Dharam Yoddha Hindi S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
8 1993 "Thenkizhakku Cheemayile (1)" Kizhakku Cheemayile Tamil Malaysia Vasudevan
9 1993 "Thenkizhakku Cheemayile (2)" Tamil Malaysia Vasudevan
10 1993 "Kaathu Kaathu Dinam Kaathu" Uzhavan Tamil G. V. Prakash Kumar
11 1993 "En Aatha Pon Aatha" Tamil K. J. Yesudas
12 1993 "Kangalil Enna Eeramo" Tamil S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
13 1993 "Veerapandi Kottayile" Thiruda Thiruda Tamil Mano, Unni Menon
14 1993 "Putham Pudhu Bhoomi" Tamil Mano
15 1993 "Jhoom Jhoom" Chor Chor (Dubbed version) Hindi S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
16 1993 "Pyar Kabhi" Hindi Udit Narayan, Mano
17 1993 "Veera Bobbili" Donga Donga Telugu Mano, Unni Menon
18 1993 "Kotha Bangaru Lokam" Telugu Mano
19 1994 "Baboo Love Cheyyara" Super Police Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
20 1994 "Mukkambe Mukkambe" Telugu Mano
21 1994 "Maamo Love" Tamil S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
22 1994 "Muttamme Muttamme" Tamil Mano
23 1994 "Chumma De Chumma De" Khel Khiladi Ka Hindi S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
24 1994 "En Kadhale" (Female version) Duet Tamil -
25 1994 "Anjali Anjali Pushpanjali" Tamil S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
26 1994 "Kodite Kolatam" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
27 1994 "Anjali Anjali" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
28 1994 "Gutti Vankayi" Telugu -
29 1994 "Neenecheli Neenecheli" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam, Noel James
30 1994 "Anjali Anjali" Hindi S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
31 1994 "En Mel Vizhunda" May Madham Tamil P. Jayachandran
32 1994 "Manasa Veena" Hrudayaanjali Telugu -
33 1994 "Edapai Jarina" Telugu P. Unnikrishnan
34 1994 "Azhagu Nilave" Pavithra Tamil -
35 1994 "Eechambazham" Tamil Shahul Hameed
36 1994 "Thenmerku Paruva Kaatru" Karuthamma Tamil Unnikrishnan
37 1994 "Sirimalle Mogga Meeda" Vanitha Telugu Unnikrishnan
38 1994 "Onnu Rendu Moonuda" Pudhiya Mannargal Tamil Mano
39 1994 "Nagu Momu" Gangmaster Telugu Mano
40 1994 "Misa Misalade" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
41 1994 "Hello Hello" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
42 1994 "Enna Mayam Kannamma" Manitha Manitha Tamil Mano
43 1994 "Kisu Kisu Namakkal" Tamil Mano
44 1994 "Hello Hello Anburani" Tamil Mano
45 1994 "Neelimabbu Kondallona" Palnati Pourusham Telugu[33][circular reference] K J Yesudas
46 1995 "Kehna Hi Kya" Bombay (Dubbed version) Hindi -
47 1995 "Kannalane" Tamil -
48 1995 "Uyire Uyire" Tamil Hariharan
49 1995 "Kannanule" Telugu -
50 1995 "Urike chilake" Hariharan
1995 "Idhi Mathru Bhoomi"
51 1995 "Thoda Thoda Malardhadhenna" Indira Tamil S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
52 1995 "Thoda Thoda Pyar - 1" Priyanka Hindi S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
53 1995 "Thoda Thoda Pyar - 2" Hindi Hariharan
54 1995 "Tholi Tholi Bidiyala" Indira Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
55 1995 "Yaaro Sunlo Zara" Rangeela Hindi Udit Narayan
56 1995 "Kuluvalilae" Muthu Tamil Udit Narayan, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Kalyani Menon
57 1995 "Kalagalile Prema" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Kalyani meno
58 1995 "Phoolwani Ne Loota Mujhko" Hindi Udit Narayan, G. V. Prakash Kumar, Kalyani Menon
59 1996 "Malargaley Malargaley" Love Birds Tamil Hariharan
60 1996 "Manasuna Manasuga" Telugu Hariharan
61 1996 "Milgaye Milgaye" Hindi Hariharan
62 1997 "Ooh La La La (Maana Madurai)" Minsara Kanavu Tamil Unni Menon, Srinivas
63 1997 "Ek Bhagiya Mein" Sapnay (Dubbed version) Hindi Srinivas, Shankar Mahadevan
64 1997 "Machilipatnam" Merupu Kalalu (Dubbed version) Telugu Srinivas, Unni Menon
65 1997 "Kasirepi" 50-50 (Dubbed version) Telugu Deena Chandra Das
66 1997 "Ee Praayam Needhe Ra" Telugu Unnikrishnan
67 1997 "Sooriyanaai" Ottam (Dubbed version, album version) Tamil Deena Chandra Das
68 1997 "En Kadhal Neruppe" Tamil Unnikrishnan
69 1997 "Pogum Vazhiyellam" Ratchagan Tamil -
70 1998 "Mere Yara Dildara" Kabhi Na Kabhi Hindi S.P.Balasubrahmanyam, Hariharan
71 1998 "Tu Hi Tu" Hindi M. G. Sreekumar
72 1998 "Innalila Ledule" Prematho (Dubbed version) Telugu M. G. Sreekumar
73 1999 "En Swasa Kaatre" En Swasa Kaatre Tamil M. G. Sreekumar
74 1999 "Theendai" Tamil S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
75 1999 "Thirakkadha Kattukkulle" Tamil Unnikrishnan
76 1999 "Naa Prana Jyothi" Premante Pranam Ista Telugu M. G. Sreekumar
77 1999 "Leela Mruduleela" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
78 1999 "Tholi Saari" Telugu Unnikrishnan
79 1999 "Mel Nattu Isai" Jodi Tamil -
80 1999 "Verri Manasa" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
81 1999 "Hridayanni Muripinche" Telugu -
82 1999 "Karisal Tharasil" Taj Mahal Tamil M. G. Sreekumar
83 1999 "Sarithana Sarithana" Thalam Tamil Mano
84 2000 "Kannamoochi (Solo)" Kandukondain Kandukondain Tamil -
85 2000 "Kannamoochi (Duet)" Tamil K. J. Yesudas
86 2000 "Engae Enathu Kavithai" Tamil Srinivas
87 2000 "Dobuchulatelara (Duet)" Priyuralu Pilichindi (Dubbed version) Telugu K. J. Yesudas
88 2000 "Dobuchulatelara (Solo)" Telugu -
89 2000 "Yemaye Naa Kavitha" Telugu Srinivas
90 2000 "Injerungo Injerungo" Thenali Tamil Kamal Haasan
91 2000 "Pranama Pranama" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
92 2000 "Yeyayo Yeyayo" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
93 2000 "Neethan En Desiya Geetham" Parthale Paravasam Tamil P. Balaram
94 2000 "Neevena Jaatheyageetam" Paravasham Telugu P.Balaram
95 2001 "Shingu Lingu" Alli Arjuna Tamil -
96 2004 "Mazhai Megha Vanna" Desam Tamil Srinivas
97 2005 "Varugiraai" Anbe Aaruyire Tamil Hariharan
98 2006 "Rang De Basanti" Rang De Basanti Hindi Daler Mehndi
99 2007 "Jaage Hain " Guru Hindi A. R. Rahman
100 2007 "Ek Lo Ek Muft" Hindi Bappi Lahari
101 2007 "Rendu Maangai" Tamil S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
102 2007 "Orey Kanaa" Tamil A. R. Rahman
103 2007 "Jodi Chesei" Telugu S.P.Balasubrahmanyam
104 2007 "Innalle" Telugu A. R. Rahman
105 2008 "Idhayam Idam Maariyathe" Jodhaa Akbar Tamil Karthik
106 2010 "Tu Mera Hai" Ada... A Way of Life Hindi Sukhwinder Singh, Naresh Iyer
107 2010 "Nammakam Eeyara Swami" Puli Telugu Harini, Madhushree
108 2014 "Unborn Child" Million Dollar Arm English Unnikrishnan
109 2014 "Sach Kahoon" Raunaq Hindi A. R. Rahman
110 2014 "Naada Gaanangal" Pradhi Nayagan Malayalam Haricharan
111 2015 "Malargal Kaettaen" OK Kanmani Tamil A. R. Rahman
112 2015 "Manase Theeyaga" OK Bangaram (Dubbed version) Telugu Dr. Narayan


Chithra, along with a Kerala-based satellite channel, Asianet Cable Vision (ACV), jointly launched a fundraising organisation, Sneha Nandana, to raise funds for the welfare of retired musicians who have lost their careers due to changes in the music industry.[citation needed] She launched this organisation on the occasion of her completion of three decades in the music playback industry. She said that the fund would provide help to the musicians with financial impediments and those suffering from health problems.[citation needed] A cultural event called Chithra Pournami was held on 15 February 2011 at Thiruvananthapuram to celebrate the 30th year of her career and also to launch this organisation.[34]

Personal lifeEdit

Chithra is married to Vijayashankar, an engineer and businessman and settled in Chennai.[citation needed] They had a daughter Nandana, who was born with down's syndrome. Her daughter died in a pool accident due to drowning in Dubai in 2011 when Chithra was about to perform at an A. R. Rahman's concert.[35][36]

Performances abroadEdit

International projectsEdit

  • Recorded with the Arab singer Jawad Ali for his album Amar Ul Hob[37]
  • Recorded a song for the jazz pianist Herbie Hancock
  • Invited by the Government of China to perform in the Qinghai international water and music festival in Qinghai, China.

Awards, honors, and recognitionEdit

Chithra is a recipient of six National Film Awards (most by any female singer in India), eight Filmfare Awards South[6] and 36 different state film awards. She has won all the four south Indian state film awards. She was honored with India's civilian honor Padma Shri in 2005[7] and Padma Bhushan in 2021.[10] She is the first Indian woman who was honored by House of Commons, British Parliament, United Kingdom in 1997.[4] She is the only singer from India who was honored by the Government of China at the Qinghai International Music and Water Festival in 2009.[38] She is conferred with highest honour of Rotary International FOR THE SAKE OF HONOUR AWARD in 2001.[37] she is the only singer from South India who has received the MTV Video Music Award – International Viewer's Choice at Metropolitan Opera House, New York, United States in 2001.[12] She was conferred with the Doctor of Letters (honorary degree) by Sathyabama University in 2011[13][14] and The International Tamil University, United States in 2018.[15][16]

In 2018, she was honoured by Mr. Craig Coughlin, Speaker of the General Assembly, New Jersey, United States.[citation needed] In 2019, she was honoured by Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, sovereign ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah and is a member of the Federal Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, for successfully completing 40 years in Indian Film Industry.[19] She is the only South Indian female singer who has presented her maiden concert at the world's prestigious concert hall Royal Albert Hall in London in 2001.[39] Her song "Kannalane/Kehna Hi Kya" from the film Bombay (1995) was included in The Guardian's "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear Before You Die" list.[20]



  1. ^ a b c d "Wishing "Nightingale of South India" – Chitra a Very Happy Birthday". Telugu Film Nagar. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b "One more feather in her cap". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 July 2005.
  3. ^ Article (5 March 2016). "Chithra in concert and workshop". The Hindu.
  4. ^ a b c d e S.R. Ashok Kumar (21 July 2005). "One more feather in her cap". The Hindu.
  5. ^ Film beat (13 April 2018). "Singers Who Won National Award For Malayalam Songs". Film Beat.
  6. ^ a b Filmfare (16 June 2018). "Winners of the 65th Jio Filmfare Awards (South) 2018". Filmfare.com.
  7. ^ a b "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  8. ^ "Padma Awards 2021 announced". Ministry of Home Affairs. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  9. ^ "Shinzo Abe, Tarun Gogoi, Ram Vilas Paswan among Padma Award winners: Complete list". The Times of India. 25 January 2021. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  10. ^ a b Sharma, Priyanka (25 January 2021). "SPB honoured with Padma Vibhushan posthumously; KS Chithra gets Padma Bhushan". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 25 January 2021. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  11. ^ "Lars Grünwoldt 2009 - Special Concert Qinghai (China)". KKManagement. 31 July 2009.
  12. ^ a b "Hindustan at MTV Awards". The Times of India. 9 September 2001.
  13. ^ a b "Sathyabhama doctorates for scientist, stars". The New Indian Express. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  14. ^ a b "Honoris Causa 2011 - Satyabhama University". Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  15. ^ a b "Honorary Doctorate from International Tamil University, USA". Facebook. 12 November 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Honorary Doctorate from International Tamil University - USA". Facebook. 12 November 2018. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  17. ^ "India's 'first ladies': Rousing stories of 20 women who were pioneers in their fields". The News Minute. 22 January 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
  18. ^ "After receiving First Ladies award". Facebook. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 29 October 2020.
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