New Delhi: MS Subbulakshmi is an undisputed exponent of Carnatic music. The legendary Carnatic vocalist, who was fondly called 'MS' by her fans and supporters Subbulakshmi, started her Carnatic classical music training under mother Shanmugavadivu and her first recording was released when she was barely 10.
On her 97th birth anniversary, which has also been observed by Google with a doodle, we help you know MS Subbulakshmi, an idol even to the youngsters who take keen interest in fusion and rock music, better by bringing to you her lesser-known facts.
Her full name is Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi.
MS was fondly called Kunjamma or Kunju by her family members.
MS Subbulakshmi gave her first public performance in 1929 when she was just 13 at the esteemed Madras Music Academy. The performance comprised bhajans. The academy was known for its discriminating selection process. It broke its tradition by inviting a young girl as an important performer.
MS had also acted in a few Tamil films. Her first movie 'Sevasadanam' was released in 1938.
To raise money to launch Kalki, her husband's nationalist Tamil weekly, MS Subbulakshmi essayed the male role of Narada in 'Savitri' (1941).
But it was her title role of the Rajasthani saint-poetess Meera in a 1945 film that helped her gain national distinction. In 1947, this movie was re-made in Hindi. MS Subbulakshmi also sang the famous Meera bhajans in this film. After a short foray in films, she concentrated only on concert music.
Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar referred to Subbulakshmi as Tapaswini (the Renunciate).
The popular Kancheepuram Saree shade called MS Blue was named after her Sri Muthu Chettiyar, Congress party member and philanthropist, whom she met at the residence of R Aiyadurai and Thangam Aiyadurai at Lady Desikachari Road, Madras.
On December 18, 2005, a commemorative postage stamp on her was issued.
After the demise of her husband Kalki Sadasivam in 1997, Subbulakshmi stopped all her public performances.