Happy Birthday to Kavita Krishnamurti

Kavita Krishnamurti has become a known name all around India because of her beautiful voice.

She is not only excellent in classical music but also is a playback singer who has sung songs in more than 16 languages. Let us wish this Padma Shri awarded singer a very happy birthday.

Born as Sharada Krishnamurti on 25 January 1958, Kavita Krishnamurti began her music training at a very young age. Her Bangali aunt, Protimma Bhattacharya enrolled her to train under Suruma Basu, and Kavita was taught Rabindra Sangeet there. Under the guidance of Balram Puri, a classical singer, Kavita began her formal training in Hindustani classical music. Kavita won a gold medal at a music competition at the age of eight. In the mid-1960s, she won several medals participating in the Inter-Ministry Classical Competition.

She had moved to Mumbai at the age of fourteen, to try her luck in playback singing. During her college years, she got her first chance at playback singing. She got the chance to sing along with the legendary Lata Mangeshkar for a Bengali movie Sriman Prithviraj. This movie’s music direction was done by music director Hemant Kumar, and Kavita met him through his daughter who was her friend. After this opportunity, Kavita got to meet a lot of prominent people in the music and film industry but was still struggling to make her mark as a playback singer.

In 1976, she recorded her first song ‘Aayega Aanewala’ under Vilayat Khan’s composition. The song was a remake of a superhit song sung by Lata Mangeshkar and was picturised on Shabana Azmi. In 1978, she sang her first Kannada song ‘Ondanondu kaaladaga’. Being the only song in the entire movie, this song became a hit and earned fame for Kavita Krishnamurti. Then she went on to sing many Kannada-language songs.

Even though she sang a few songs in the 1980s, Kavita did not rise to fame in Bollywood until the 1990s. Her singing in the film ‘1942: A Love Story’, composed by R.D. Burman, won her much popularity. With a string of hits from 1942: A Love Story, Khamoshi, Agni Sakshi, Yaraana, and Bhairavi, Kavita established herself as one of the leading female playback singers alongside Alka Yagnik.

Today, Kavita Krishnamurti has sung recorded over 15,000 Songs in as many as 16 languages including Hindi, Rajasthani, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Odia, Marathi, Bhojpuri, English, Urdu, Gujarati, Nepali, Assamese, Konkani and other languages.

She won four Filmfare Best Female Playback Singer Awards, three of which she won consecutively from 1995-1997. She had won FilmFare Award for the songs ‘Pyar Hua Chupke se’ (1942, A Love Story), ‘Pera Piya Ghar Aaya’ (Yarana), ‘Aaj Main Upar’ (Khamoshi: The Musical) and ‘Dola Re Dola’ (Devdas). The last one was shared by Shreya Ghoshal.

In 2005, she won the prestigious Padma Shri awards.

Kavita Krishnamurti married Dr L. Subramaniam in 1999 and resides in Bengaluru.  In 2007,

Kavita and her husband opened a musical institute, the Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts in Bengaluru. Kavita launched her own app in 2013. This app is available for free download in the App Store and the Google Play Store. In 2015, for her contributions to Indian music, Jain University awarded Kavita with a Doctorate.

        –     Written by Poorna Krishnan

Poorna is from Trivandrum, Kerala, and likes to write novels and poems. She is a graduate of ‘The Film and Television Institute of India’,

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