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Veteran Singer Kalyani Menon Passes Away at 80

Kalyani Menon had sung in numerous Malayalam and Tamil films.

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2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Veteran singer Kalyani Menon has passed away.</p></div>
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Kalyani Menon, renowned classical and playback singer who had sung in numerous Malayalam and Tamil films, passed away at the age of 80 on 2 August, 2021, after a brief illness at a hospital in Chennai.

Menon's first venture was V. Dakshinamoorthy's ‘Thacholi Marumagan Chandu’ and ‘Nee varuvai ena’ in the Tamil film Sujatha. She is known for her classical renditions in Tamil films such as Alaipayudhe (wherein she sang the song named after the film's title), 'Maale Manivanna’ from Shivaji the Boss, 'Omanathingal’ from Muthu and 'Omane Penne’ from Vinnaithaandi Varuvaya. She was associated with celebrated music directors including Ilayaraja, M.S. Viswanathan, Baburaj, G. Devarajan, and Vidyasagar. Menon collaborated with AR Rahman for the iconic anthem for Asianet Channel titled ‘Shyama Sundara Kera Kedara Bhoomi’, that she sang alongside Sujatha.

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Kalyani was the only daughter of Balakrishna Menon and Karakkat Rajamma of Ernakulam. She began learning music at a very young age from Cherthala Sivaraman Nair, a disciple of Tiger Varadhachariar. She then went on to learn music from film directors and musicians like V. Dakshinamoorthy, S. Ramanathan, and Pudhucodu Krishnamurthi. She graduated from Maharajas College. According to Rajan, a close associate of the family for over 50 years, she moved to Chennai in 1975 along with her husband K. K. Menon; a Naval Commander, who passed away in 1978, and her two sons - filmmaker Rajiv Menon and Karunakara Menon; an IRS officer.

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She has to her credit, several devotional recordings including ‘Sri Guruvayurappan Suprabatham’, ‘Narayaneeyam’, ‘Mukundamala’ and ‘Mookambika Stotram’. In recent times her song ‘Jala Shaiyayil’, for which she collaborated with the Carnatic musician Sreevalsan Menon in the Malayalam art-house film Laptop, has won much acclaim.

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In 2010, Kalyani Menon received the Kalaimamani Award from the government of Tamil Nadu when her son Rajiv Menon too was presented with his Kalaimamani. She is also the recipient of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award for her contribution to devotional music.

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Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohamed Khan, issued a statement mourning Kalyani Menon's demise.

The last rites will be held on Tuesday.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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