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Why This Singer, AR Rahman’s Favorite, Was Called The Nightingale Of Tamil Cinema

She was the first female singer to win a National Award, under AR Rahman.

She started her career in singing with the song Chinnachiru Kiliye, in 1987.

In recent years, the film industry has mourned the loss of many remarkable talents, leaving behind a profound void in our hearts. One such luminary was the renowned singer Swarnalatha, fondly referred to as the Humming Queen of India. Tragically, she departed from the world at the tender age of 37.

Swarnalatha’s legacy in South Indian cinema was nothing short of legendary, despite her untimely passing on September 12, 2010. Her singing career commenced in 1987 with the song Chinnachiru Kiliye, a duet alongside KJ Yesudas, featured in the film Neethikku Thandanai. This early success catapulted her to stardom, capturing the attention of numerous directors eager to collaborate with her.

Notably, she had the privilege of working with the Oscar-winning maestro AR Rahman, who publicly declared her as his favourite singer. In the Hindi film industry, Swarnalatha is remembered for her contribution to the film Rangeela, where she lent her soulful voice to the song Hai Rama Yeh Kya Hua, alongside Hariharan. The film featured stellar performances by Aamir Khan, Urmila Matondkar, and Jackie Shroff and marked AR Rahman’s debut as a music director in Hindi cinema.

Swarnalatha’s melodious voice resonated with a myriad of esteemed musicians in the Indian film industry, including Deva, Vidyasagar, Harris Jayaraj, Anu Malik, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Mani Sharma, Hamsalekha, Ilaiyaraaja, and many more. Notably, for the Tamil rendition of the classic film Mughal-e-Azam, titled Anarkali, she rendered all the songs originally sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Shamshad Begum. Her exceptional work in this endeavour received praise from legendary Bollywood music director Naushad Ali, which Swarnalatha considered the pinnacle of her career.

Apart from her singing career, Swarnalatha also ventured into the realm of reality television. She served as a judge on shows like Ragamalika, which aired on Jaya TV in 2004, and another program on Vijay TV in 2001.

A milestone in her career was becoming the first female playback singer to secure a National Award under the guidance of AR Rahman. She received the prestigious accolade for her rendition of the song Porale Ponnuthay.

The untimely demise of Swarnalatha occurred at Malar Hospitals Ltd in Chennai, where she had been battling Idiopathic Lung Disease. Her departure left a profound void in the world of music and entertainment, as fans and the industry alike mourned the loss of a truly remarkable talent whose voice continues to echo in the hearts of those who cherished her artistry.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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