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K. S. Chithra

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Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra, often credited as K. S. Chithra or simply Chithra, is an Indian playback singer and carnatic musician from Kerala. Chithra also sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music. She has sung more than 25,000 songs[8] in a number of Indian languages, including Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Gujarati, Tulu, Urdu, Sanskrit, and Badaga, as well as foreign languages such as Malay, Latin, Arabic, Sinhalese, English and French.[citation needed]

K. S. Chithra
Birth nameKrishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra
Also known asMelody Queen of Indian Cinema[1]
Little Nightingale of India[2]
Vanambadi in Kerala[3]
Chinna Kuyil in Tamil Nadu[3]
Kannada Kogile in Karnataka[2]
Sangeeta Saraswathi in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana[2]
Gana priya[5]
Kala Ratna[6]
Kala srestha
Sangeetha Ratnam[7]
Swara Ratna
Sangeetha Ganendhuchooda
Born (1963-07-27) 27 July 1963 (age 55)
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
GenresPlayback singing, Carnatic music, Hindustani music
Years active1979–present
FB : KSChithra Official
Twitter : KSChithra
Instagram : KSChithra

Chithra is a recipient of six National Film Awards (most by any female singer in India),[9] eight Filmfare Awards South[10] and 35 different state film awards. She has won all the four south Indian state film awards.[11] She was honored with India's civilian honor Padma Shri[12] in 2005. She is the first Indian woman who was honored by House Of Commons, British Parliament, United Kingdom.[11] She is the only singer from India who was honored by the Government of China at the Qinghai International Music and Water Festival. 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.[13] Her song "Kannalane/Kehna Hi Kya" from the film Bombay (1995) was included in The Guardian's "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" list.[14]


Early lifeEdit

Born in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, into a family of musicians, Chithra's father, the late Krishnan Nair, was also her first guru (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.[11] She was selected to the National Talent Search Scholarship from the Central Government from 1978 to 1984.[15]

Career & FilmographyEdit

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.[11] Attahasam, Snehapoorvam Meera and Njan Ekananu were the first few films in which she recorded her voice. She also performed live concerts with K. J. Yesudas in India and abroad.[11] 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. For the same composer, she sang the song "Indupushpam Choodi Nilkum" for the film Vaishali (1989) and won her third National Film Award. 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.[11] She is regarded as "Nightingale of Kerala (Vanambadi)" and recorded many successful songs in Malayalam. 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.

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.[11] 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

Kannada cinemaEdit

Chithra started her journey in Kannada cinema through the film Preethi released in 1986. 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. For the rest of the 1980s, she recorded songs for composers like Rajan-Nagendra, S. P. Venkatesh, Chakravarthy, Sankar Ganesh and Vijay Anand. Some of her popular songs in the 1980s were from the films such as Karunamayi (1987), Suprabhatha (1988), C.B.I. Shankar (1989), Hrudaya Geethe (1989) and Krishna Nee Kunidaga (1989).From the early 90s, she was the most preferred female voice in Kannada industry and Chitra sang for most of songs released for the entire decade. The 1990s saw Chithra being extensively featuring in most of the soundtracks composed by the popular composer Hamsalekha. Starting with the song "Idu Maya Bazaru" from the film C.B.I. Shankar, her collaboration with the composer brought out many successful songs from the films such as Muthina Haara ("Madikeri Sipayi" ), Navathare, Neenu Nakkare Haalu Sakkare, Shanti Kranti, BelliKalungura, Chaitrada Premanjali, Gopi Krishna, Mannina Doni, Solillada Saradara, Annayya, GadibidiGanda, Mane Devru, Munjaneya Manju, Shrungara Kavya, Halunda Tavaru, Mahakshathriya, Himapatha,Putnanja, Karpoorada Gombe, Hrudaya Hrudaya and Shabdavedhi to name a few. 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. She continued to sing for notable music directors like V. Manohar, SadhuKokila, Deva, Rajesh Ramanath, Gurukiran, S. A. Rajkumar, K. Kalyan, Mano Murthy, V. Harikrishna, ArjunJanya and B. Ajaneesh Loknath. The song "Hele Kogile" composed by Ilaiyaraaja for the film Nammura Mandara Hoove (1996) brought her the first Kannada state award. "Tunturu" and "Ee Sundara Beladingala" songs from Amrutha Varshini (1997),"Navileno Kunibeku" and "Hamsave Hamsave" from Gattimela, "Araluva Hoovugale" from My Autograph, "Onde Usiranthe" from Snehaloka, "Sangaathi" and "Oho Chenne Chenne" from Sparsha, amongst many are considered Chithra's some of the most evergreen Kannada songs. 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.[1] 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 in Kannada cinema industry.

Hindi cinemaEdit

Music companyEdit

In 1995 Chithra established the Audiotracs[16] Music Company in Chennai. AUDIOTRACS is the brand name of AT MUSICS a music label promoted by the well known singer CHITHRA known as the nightingale of the south in 1995. Audiotracs is one of the most respected music label of south India producing albums in the non film space such as devotional music, classical music, light songs, traditional music etc. Some of the most prominent music directors of Malayalam films like M.Jayachandran, Deepak Dev, Viswajith etc. made their debut thro this label. All of Chitra's non film albums are produced by AUDIOTRACS and released thro MANORAMA MUSIC the music division of the media group Malayala Manorama thro a licensing arrangement since 2001. Apart from music cds the audiotracs catalogue is available in the digital space like YouTube, iTunes, Google+, Nokia music store etc.

Recording studioEdit

Krishna Digidesign is a digital recording studio promoted by K S Chithra in Chennai.[17] The studio is a dream come true project for Chithra.The studio was inaugurated on 6 April 2000 jointly by two of Chithra's mentors K J Yesudas and mastero Ilayaraja in the august presence of her guru Omanakutty and M. G. Radhakrishnan who had introduced her to the field of film music.

The first song was recorded by Sonu Nigam to the music of Bharadwaj. We have two studios studio A and B for song recordings and mastering projects.Today Krishna Digidesign is considered as one of the most popular and professional destination for musicians of all genre in Chennai. luminaries of the music fraternity of the country like M. Balamuralikrishna, K J Yesudas, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki, Shankar Mahadevan, Hariharan and others had graced the studio with their presence and soulful melodies.

Leading music directors like Sharreth, M. M. Keeravani, Mani Sharma, M. Jayachandran, Deepak Dev, S. Thaman, Anu Malik, Kamalakar and revered personalities like M. S. Viswanathan, Raveendran, Johnson (composer), Shyam (composer), Jerry Amaldev, L. Vaidyanathan, Hamsalekha, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Karaikudi Mani and a host of others have used the services provided by the studio over the years. Most of the recordings of Chithra's music label and the sister concern of the group 'AUDIOTRACS' are also recorded mixed and mastered in Krishna Digidesign. Apart from song recordings the studio undertakes re-recording projects.



Chithra's father, the late Krishnan Nair, was also her first guru (teacher). She started singing at her house as well she used to sing in neighbours' occasional events. Her mother Shantha, who is a veena player (not professionally) used to teach Chithra and her elder sister Beena some devotional slokas and asked them to perform in front of God.

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, Anu Malik, Mickey J Meyer in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada. 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 1990-1997 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, 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 sung maximum number of songs to so many music directors together. 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. She has been singing since more than 3 decades and yet gets chances to work with latest film music directors like Santhosh Narayanan, S. S. Thaman, Devi Sri Prasad, Mickey J Meyer, Sai Karthik, Ghibran.[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),[18] at Tamil Nadu (Airtel Super Singer Junior),[19] 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 many of the ETV (Telugu) music-shows like Swarabhishekam, Super Masti, Jhumandi Nadam etc. She is a regular singer in Ilayaraja's, A.R. Rahman's and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam's concerts. 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. 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.[20] Sunset Point had eight songs written and narrated by Gulzar and sung by Chithra and Bhupinder.[21] 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.[22] In 2009 she released Nightingale: A Salute to Lataji, a musical tribute to Lata Mangeshkar on her 80th birthday.[23] 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.[22]

In 2014, Chithra recorded a song at a Singapore studio for A. R. Rahman's private album Raunaq written by Kapil Sibal.[24]

Chithra has established her own recording label, Audiotracs, to promote new artists to collaborate with her as singers, lyricists and music directors.[citation needed]

Association with A. R. RahmanEdit

Chithra has an extensive history of collaboration with A. R. Rahman. 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 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[25][better source needed] K J Yesudas
46 1995 "Kehna Hi Kya" Bombay Hindi -
47 1995 "Kannalane" Tamil -
48 1995 "Uyire Uyire" Tamil Hariharan
49 1995 "Kannanule" Telugu -
50 1995 "Urike chilake" Telugu Hariharan
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 Hindi Srinivas, Shankar Mahadevan
64 1997 "Machilipatnam" Merupu Kalalu Telugu Srinivas, Unni Menon
65 1997 "Kasirepi" 50-50 Telugu Deena Chandra Das
66 1997 "Ee Praayam Needhe Ra" Telugu Unnikrishnan
67 1997 "Sooriyanaai" Ottam 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 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 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 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. 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. Attendees included K. J. Yesudas, V. Dakshinamurthy, Sreekumaran Thampi, P. Susheela, Hariharan, P. Jayachandran, Usha Uthup, M.K. Arjunan, Johnson, Shyam, M. Jayachandran, M. G. Sreekumar, Sharath, Sujatha Mohan, Unni Menon, Srinivas, G. Venugopal, Minmini, and Priyadarshan.[26]

Personal lifeEdit

Chithra is married to Vijayashankar, an engineer and businessman and settled in Chennai. They had a daughter Nandana,who was born with down 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.[27][28]

Stage performancesEdit

Performances outside IndiaEdit

International projectsEdit

  • Recorded with the Arab singer Jawad Ali for his album Amar Ul Hob[4]
  • 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, honours and recognitionEdit

Awards and honours Wins
Indian honours system
National Film Awards
Kerala State Film Awards
Andhra Pradesh State Film Awards
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards
Karnataka State Film Awards
Orissa State Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Asianet Film Awards
CineMAA Awards
Mathrubhumi Film Awards
Mirchi Music Awards South
Asiavision Awards
Bollywood Movie Awards
Star Screen Awards
MTV Video Music Award
MTV Immies
Cinema Express Awards
Global Indian Music Academy Awards
Film Fans Association Awards
Gamma Indian Music Awards
Gulf Malayalam Music Awards (GMMA)
Santosham Film Awards
Kerala Film Critics Association Awards
South Indian International Movie Awards
Mazhavil Mango Music Awards
Other Awards

Chithra has won six National Awards for best female playback singer,[29] the highest by any female playback singer.

International honour

Indian honours system:

  • Civilian awards:
  • 2005 – Padma Shri – India's fourth highest civilian honour[12]

National Honours

State Government Honours:

Honorary Doctorate:


  • Gana priya
  • Kala Ratna
  • Kala srestha
  • Sangeetha Ratna
  • Sangeetha Ganenduchooda
  • Swara Ratna
  • Sathkeerthi
  • Vanitha Ratna
  • Kalaiselvam
  • Kalaimamani

Life Time Achievement Award:

  • 2003 – Lifetime Achievement Award from Global Malayali council London[4]
  • 2003 – Swaralaya Yesudas Award Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2005 – SIKHARAM – 15 lifetime achievement award 2005 from India Today[4]
  • 2005 – Jeevan TVP. Jayachandran Lifetime Achievement Award 2005[4]
  • 2007 – Aginhotri lifetime achievement award 2007 from SAMORIN OF CALICUT[4]
  • 2014 - Lifetime Achievement Award from Raindropss a youth-based social organization on the occasion of Women's Day[34]
  • 2017 – V.C.Padmanabhan memorial award for lifetime achievement from manappuram finance Ltd.

National Film Awards:[29]

Filmfare Awards:

Filmfare Awards South:

IIFA Utsavam:

  • Nominations
  • 2017: IIFA Utsavam for Best Female Singer - "Maye Maye" (Jessie)

Kerala State Film Awards:

Nandi Awards (Andhra Pradesh State Film Awards):

Tamil Nadu State Film Awards:

Karnataka State Film Awards:

Orissa State Film Awards:

  • 1993 - Best Female Playback Singer - "Band Kothari Band Choraka" (Mo Kanhu Re)[citation needed]

Bollywood Movie Awards:

Global Indian Music Academy Awards (GIMA):

  • 2013 – Best Carnatic Classical Album - Vocal - Album "Vande Vasudevam" an album based on Annamacharya Krithis.[38]

MTV Video Music Award:

  • 2001 – International Viewer's Choice Awards MTV India (Hindi pop category) Album Piya Basanti.(The first singer from South India to get the prestigious MTV Award).

Star Screen Awards:

MTV Immies Awards:

South Indian International Movie Awards:

Mirchi Music Awards South:

CineMAA Awards :

Santosham Film Awards:

Asianet Film Awards:

Mathrubhumi Film Awards:

  • 1999 – Best Female Playback – "Thumbayum Thulasiyum" (Megham)
  • 2000 – Best Female Playback – "Varmukile" (Mazha)
  • 2001 – Best Female Playback – "Katte Nee Veesharuthippol" (Kattu Vannu Vilichappol)
  • 2002 – Best Female Playback – "Kaarmukil Varnante" (Nandanam)
  • 2003 – Best Female Playback – "Enthinai Nin Idam Kannin" (Mizhi Randilum)
  • 2008 – Best Female Playback – "Enguninnuvanna " (Calcutta News)
  • 2011 – Best Female Playback – "Chengathir Kaiyum" (Snehaveedu)

Gulf Malayalam Music Awards (GMMA):

  • 2005 - Best Female Playback Singer[4]
  • 2006 - Best Female Playback Singer[4]
  • 2008 - Best Female Playback Singer[4]

Kerala Film Critics Association Awards:

Asiavision Awards:

SIIMA Awards:

  • 2017 – Best Playback Singer (Female) - "Kaadaniyum Kalchilambe" (Pulimurugan)[47][48]
  • 2017 – Best Playback Singer (Female)- "Konji Pesida Venaam" (Sethupathi).[47]
  • 2018 – Best Playback Singer (Female) - "Nadavathil Thurannilla" (Kambhoji))

Gulf Andhra Music Awards (GAMA):

Mazhavil Mango Music Awards:

Other honours:

  • 1994 – Ugadi Purashkar by Madras Telugu Academy, Chennai[4]
  • 2002 – Title of "KALAISELVAM" From South Indian Film Artistes' Association or South Indian Nadigar Sangam[4]
  • 2003 – Lifetime Achievement Award from Global Malayali council London[4]
  • 2003 – Swaralaya Yesudas Award Lifetime Achievement Award
  • 2005 – SIKHARAM – 15 lifetime achievement award 2005 from India Today[4]
  • 2005 – Jeevan TVP. Jayachandran Lifetime Achievement Award 2005[4]
  • 2007 – Aginhotri lifetime achievement award 2007 from SAMORIN OF CALICUT[4]
  • 2008 – JANMASHTAMI lifetime achievement award 2008[4]
  • 2012 – "People of the Year" Honoured by Limca Book of Records[51]
  • 2013 – Special Honour for contribution to Malayalam Film Industry 100 years Indian Cinema Celebration at Chennai.
  • 2014 – Lifetime Achievement Award from Raindropss a youth-based social organization on the occasion of Women's Day[34]
  • 2014 – Felicitated by Limca Book of Records for "Empowering Women - Women Achievers of Kerala"[52]
  • 2014 – Vayalar Award by Vayalar Ramavarma Memorial Foundation for contribution of Malayalam Music Industry
  • 2015 – Felicitated by The Supreme Head of Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church His Holiness Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II at "SOMRO"15[53]
  • 2015 – Felicitated Thottuvaa "Dhanwanthari Puraskaram" by Justice Raman (Tranvancore Devaswom Ombudsman).
  • 2016 – Angamaly NRI Association (ANRIA) "Swararathna Puraskaram" as lifetime achievement award for her outstanding performance and creative contributions in the field of music spanning last 36 years.
  • 2017 – V.C.Padmanabhan memorial award for lifetime achievement from manappuram finance Ltd.

Other awards:

  • Cinema Express Awards for 1986, 1987, 1988,1990,1991,1993,1994,1995,1998[4]
  • Film Fans Association Chennai Award – 20 times (This is the oldest film award in South India)[4]
  • Gamma Indian Music Award, Malaysia for 1988,1989,1990,1996[4]
  • 2001 – "For the sake of honour" award from Rotary International[4]
  • 2001 – LuxAsianet Award for the best playback singer Kannada[4]
  • 2004 – "Vocational excellence" award from Rotary International[4]
  • 2005 – VIRTUSO Music Awards 2005[4]
  • 2006 – LuxAsianet Award for the best playback singer Kannada[4]
  • 2007 – "Sathyan National Film Award-2007" By Sathyan Foundation, Thiruvananthapuram.
  • 2007 – Sunfeast Tamil Music Awards for Best Female Playback Singer Award – "Yaaro Yarukkul" (Chennai 600028)
  • 2008 – Devasthanam Award for GANAPRIYA Puraskaram by Peringottukara Devasthanam Temple Trust[5]
  • 2010 – Jai Hind Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer Award – "Kunnathe Konnakyum" (Pazhassiraja)
  • 2010 – Swaralaya – Eenam Award for Decade's Best Talent in Malayalam Music
  • 2010 – South Scope Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer Award – "Kunnathe Konnakyum" (Pazhassiraja)
  • 2011 – Lata Mangeshkar Award (2011)
  • 2012 – Thikkurissy Award for Best Female Playback Singer – "Naattuvazhiyorathe" (Khaddama)[54]
  • 2013 – CineMAA Awards for Best Duet Song – "Nee Choopule" with Haricharan (Endukante... Premanta!, Telugu Film )
  • 2013 – K P Brhamanandan Memorial Awards for Best Female Singer (2013)
  • 2013 – ETV Kannada Sangeet Samman (P. B. Sreenivas) Award[55]
  • 2013 – Asiavision Awards-2013 for Best Female Playback - "Ilaveyil Viralukalayi" (Artist)
  • 2013 – CERA BIG Malayalam Music Awards for Best Female Playback - "Ilaveyil Viralukalayi" (Artist) and "Ponnodu Poovay" (Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty)[56]
  • 2013 – CERA Big Malayalam Music Awards for Face of the Award - Honoured for completing three decades in the industry[56]
  • 2014 – Minimol Memorial Charitable Trust - Sathkeerthi Puraskaram[57]
  • 2014 – Mappila Kala Academy in memory of K Raghavan Master - Sangeetha Ratnam Puraskaram for her contribution to film industry[7]
  • 2014 – K.P. Radhakrishna Menon memorial Kala Ratna Award for her outstanding contributions to music.[6]
  • 2014 – STAR Vijay Vijay Television Awards 2014 Favourite Judge Female for Airtel Super Singer
  • 2014 – Prasasthi Award of Excellence 2014 by Rotary International District Vacational Service Alappuzha
  • 2015 – Kerala Women In Cinema Award 2015 by Rashtra Deepika Cinema and Kerala State Women's Development Corporation For Best Singer Category
  • 2015 – CineMAA Awards 2015 Awards for Best Female Playback Singer Award – "Gopikamma" (Mukunda)
  • 2015 – K.P.S Menon Memorial Award 2015 by Chettoor Sankaran Nair Memorial Trust, Ottapalam.[58]
  • 2015 – Harmony International Award 2015 instituted by Marthoma Research Academy, Azhikode, Kodungallur.[59]
  • 2015 – Asiavision Awards 2015 for Best Female Playback Tamil- "Malargal Kaettaen" (OK Kanmani) .[45]
  • 2016 – Dakshinamoorthy [60] Puraskaram, Vaikom
  • 2016 – K P Udayabhanu Music Award by K P Udayabhanu Foundation, Trivandrum
  • 2016 – Moyinkutty Vaidyar Memorial Award 2016 instituted by Mahakavi Moyinkutty Vaidyar Mappilakala Academy,Kondotty
  • 2016 – Pattarangu Manjeri Award 2016 for her outstanding contributions to music by Baburaj Cultural Academy, Manjeri.
  • 2016 – Swaralaya Eenam Award 2016 as the best singer for her contribution in last half century.
  • 2016 – Asiavision Awards 2016 for Best Female Playback - "Kaadaniyum Kalchilambe..." (Pulimurugan) and "Poovithalai..." (Thoppil Joppan)

Other achievementsEdit

  • She has also been honoured with the Swaralaya Yesudas Award in 2004, Kalaiselvam title from the South Indian Nadigar Sangam in 2002, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Global Malayalee Council in London in 2003.
  • She has also received numerous mainstream awards like MTV Immies, Screen – Videocon Award, Film Fans Association Awards, and Cinema Express Awards. Chithra was also awarded the 'Vocational Excellence' Award by the Rotary Club of Coimbatore.[20]
  • In 2010,she got Vanitha best female playback singer award for the song "Kunnathe Konnakkum " from the film,"Pazhassi Raja".
  • In 2010, she received the C. Cheriyan Memorial Award by Cochin Fine Arts Society, Swaralaya – Eenam Award for Best Female Singer and Chakkulathamma Swaravarsha Award.
  • Her song "Kannalane (Kehna Hi Kya)" from the film Bombay (1995) was included in The Guardian's "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" list.[3]


  1. ^ "Mirchi Music Awards South 2016 Full Show Live & Winners List". Update Bro. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Wishing "Nightingale of South India" – Chitra a Very Happy Birthday". Telugu Film Nagar. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "One more feather in her cap". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 July 2005.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "K S Chithra". Facebook. Archived from the original on 12 July 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Yesudas gets 'Gayaka Rathnam' award".
  6. ^ a b Special Correspondent. "Award presented to singer K.S. Chithra". The Hindu.
  7. ^ a b "Playback singer Chitra chosen for Sangeetha Ratnam award".
  8. ^ Article (5 March 2016). "Chithra in concert and workshop". The Hindu.
  9. ^ Film beat (13 April 2018). "Singers Who Won National Award For Malayalam Songs". Film Beat.
  10. ^ Filmfare (16 June 2018). "Winners of the 65th Jio Filmfare Awards (South) 2018".
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  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Royal Albert Hall to echo with 'golden voices' of South". Press coverage and reviews. 7 April 2001.
  14. ^ "Love: part one of 1000 songs everyone must hear". The Guardian. 14 March 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  15. ^ Nair, Sulekha (23 January 2001). "Nightingale of the south". Express India. Retrieved 11 December 2010.
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  18. ^ [1] Archived 23 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
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  20. ^ a b Subha J Rao (28 October 2004). "Musically yours". The Hindu.
  21. ^ "Gulzar's Sunset Point". Archived from the original on 14 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  22. ^ a b K. Jeshi (8 December 2006). "Song all the way". The Hindu.
  23. ^ "CHORDS AND NOTES". The Hindu. 2 July 2009.
  24. ^ "Recording a song with K S Chithra in Singapore for Raunaq". Twitter page. 2014.
  25. ^ Palnati Pourusham
  26. ^ "Chitra launches fund for unemployed musicians". Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  27. ^ "KS Chithra's daughter reportedly drowned and died in Emirates Hills pool". 14 April 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  28. ^ "Singer Chithra's daughter drowns in dubai". Khaleej Times. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
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  30. ^ "Sunita, Chitra, Shankar receive Lata Mangeshkar award". 29 September 2011. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  31. ^ "K S Chithra Bags Vanitharatnam Award".
  32. ^ "K S Chithra wins Vanitharatnam award". Times of India. 21 June 2014.
  33. ^ "Sathyabhama doctorates for scientist, stars". The New Indian Express. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-22.
  34. ^ a b "Chitra, Padma Subrahmanyam to receive Women Achiever awards". The New Indian Express.
  35. ^ "52nd National Film Awards" (PDF). Retrieved 11 December 2010.
  36. ^ "65th Jio Filmfare Awards South 2018". m.times of India. 17 June 2018. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  37. ^ "kerala-film-awards-winners-list-malayalam-movie-actor". manoramaonline.
  38. ^ [2] Archived 6 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  39. ^ "SIIMA 2017 concludes: Ranbir-Kat make a special appearance - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
  40. ^ "Kerala-Film-Critics-Association-Awards-announced". newindianexpress.
  41. ^ "film-critics-award". manoramaonline.
  42. ^ "critics-awards-announced". thehindu.
  43. ^ Reporter, Manjusha Radhakrishnan,Senior (16 November 2013). "Mammootty and John Abraham rule Asiavision Awards".
  44. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-12-13.
  45. ^ a b "asia-vision-award". manoramaonline.
  46. ^ Onmanorama Staff (16 November 2016). "Asiavision Movie Awards 2016 announced: and the winners are..." Malayala Manorama. Archived from the original on 16 November 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  47. ^ a b "സൈമ അവാർഡ്: ചിത്ര മലയാളത്തിലും തമിഴിലും മികച്ച ഗായിക".
  48. ^ "സൈമ അവാർഡിൽ ഗായിക കെ.എസ്. ചിത്രയ്‌ക്ക് ഇരട്ട നേട്ടം! വിഡിയോ കാണാം".
  49. ^ "Mazhavil Mango Music Awards 2017 Winners".
  50. ^ "'Poomaram' wins big at Mazhavil Mango Music awards..." 2018-08-08. Retrieved 2018-08-11.
  51. ^ Staff Reporter. "Limca Book of Records released in Malayalam". The Hindu.
  52. ^ "Women Achievers Honoured at Launch of Limca Book of Records". The New Indian Express.
  53. ^ Somro ’15: A new experience for music lovers
  54. ^ Press Trust of India (7 January 2012). "`Aadminte Makan Abu chosen best film by Thikkurissy foundation". IBN Live. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
  55. ^ "ETV Kannada Sangeet Samman, Viacom18 group, INS, Mr. Ravish Kumar, Mr. Jaideep Singh".
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  60. ^ Sangeetha Ganendhuchooda

External linksEdit