The unstoppable KJ Yesudas.

Birthday Jukebox: Celebrate the Divine Voice of KJ Yesudas

In 1987, KJ Yesudas had to request the Kerala government to stop awarding him the Kerala State Award for playback singing. The reason? The singer had won the award a record 23 times since 1970 and wanted to make way for a new generation of singers to be honoured.

Born on 10 January, 1940, Kattassery Joseph Yesudas is one of India’s most accomplished and celebrated exponents of classical carnatic vocal music and leading playback singer, who has reportedly recorded over 60,000 songs in almost every Indian language.

The legend from Kerala was introduced to Bollywood by music director Salil Chowdhury, whose music for the film Chhoti Si Baat became a huge success. Yesudas went on to collaborate with composer Ravindra Jain on several films, specially for Rajshri Productions like Chitchor, Sunayna and Saawan Ko Aane Do.

A Padma Vibhushan recipient, Yesudas has been awarded the National Award for best playback singer a record 7 times.

Here’s a jukebox of some of Yesudas’ evergreen numbers:

(This story is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on 10 January, 2018. It is being republished on the occasion of KJ Yesudas’ birthday.)

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