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Happy birthday Yesudas!

[Galatta, Saturday, 10 January 2009 12:44 No Comment]

image His ‘Arivarasanam’ is played everyday in the Aiyappan temple in Sabarimalai. Till now, for many, the bold yet sweet tone that resonates in the cassette is what bonds them to the Almighty. K.J.Yesudas, fondly known as Dasettan, the singer who sang the song in the popular devotional album celebrates his birthday today.

Yesudas’ father, Joseph Augustine, a popular musician in his time was his first guru in music. Later, with an insatiable desire to master the art, young Yesudas enrolled at the music academy in Cochin. Further, his understanding and approach got groomed by several carnatic stalwarts including Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and Chembai Sri Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar. At the same time, with a view to expand his repertoire, he also learnt the nuances and techniques in Hindustani music from an expert in the stream.

His Kollywood debut occurred during the early 70s. Yesudas’ rich voice and his flawless presentation are his specialities; the dedication he showed to accomplish each and every song was commendable. In the Tamil film music realm his share of songs had a carnatic based tune that demanded demonstration of some complicated modulations in rendition. Yesudas’ profound knowledge and training helped him sing those songs remarkably well. His voice brought out the underlying emotion of the songs and also filled them with life and soul. It offered an inexplicable enjoyment for those who listened to it.

He was equally popular in other languages. He has to credit some of the most soulful Hindi songs.

The most remarkable feature in Yesudas’ career is the balance he established between classical and film singing. However busy he was in films, he had never neglected the chance to perform at the annual December concert season.

Yesudas is the recipient of prestigious awards such as Padmashri and Padmabushan. He has travelled to many countries abroad representing India, as its ambassador. His wife Prabha is his chief fan/critic. Her support to her husband’s career has been tremendous. Till today, she attends all his concerts occupying a seat in the front row in the auditorium. Of his three sons, Vijay has taken after his father. He is a popular playback singer in Tamil who has some memorable hits to his credit.

Music bridges the differences between human beings; it inculcates a feeling of oneness. Musical talent is a gift. Yesudas is one such blessed person whose music has created a positive impact in many.

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