Noted playback singer S.P. Balasubrahmanyam (SPB)’s son and filmmaker SP Charan on Tuesday posted an Instagram video, sharing a health update about his father and singer-actor SP Balasubrahmanyam. Charan said that his father ‘continues to be on the ventilator’ and is on the path to recovery. In the video, SP Charan is heard saying, “The status is the same as it was yesterday. There are rumors going around that dad is off the ventilator. That is not true. We do wish that the day comes real soon. He is being scrutinized by the medical team at MGM health center.”
A Covid-19 patient, SPB was reported to be on life support system and in a critical condition, said MGM Healthcare, a private hospital. In a statement issued here the hospital said on Aug 13, SPB’s condition deteriorated and based on the advice of the expert medical team attending to him, he has been moved to the intensive care unit (ICU).
The hospital said SPB is on life support system and his condition remains critical. He is currently under the observation of a team of experts from critical care and his haemodynamic and clinical parameters are being closely monitored, a bulletin released by MGM Healthcare said.
He was admitted to MGM Healthcare on Aug 5 with Covid-19 symptoms. On Aug 5, in a Facebook post, the 74 year old SPB said he was suffering from a very mild attack of coronavirus and got himself hospitalized to take rest. He said though the doctors had advised him to stay at home and take rest, he decided to be in a hospital as at home his family members would be very much concerned. He had hoped to be discharged from the hospital in two days.
SP Charan said that his father is able to recognize the doctors and has regained mobility but remains on life support. He said the doctors are happy with the singer’s progress who is undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at a Chennai hospital. However, he added that the singer may take a long time to recover fully.
Updating about the noted singer’s health, SP Charan said in a video message
on Facebook, “Dad was shifted from the 3rd floor ICU to an exclusive ICU on the 6th floor. The pleasant news is there is some mobility. He is moving around a little bit and signed thumbs up to the doctors and is able to recognize them. He is still on life support, he is breathing a little more comfortably than a few days back. Doctors see it as a very good sign that he is on a road towards getting better. There is a lot of effort from the medical team and he will take a long time for recovery. But, we are all hopeful.”
“This is not going to happen in a day or two, maybe even a week. He is going to surely recover and get back to us as early as possible. We are happy and the doctors are as well. He is looking good and not fully sedated now. He is able to recognise people. He will not talk for a little while, but, surely, he will get to that level soon enough.”
Balusubrahmanyam took to singing as a hobby during his childhood. He developed an interest in music very early in his life, and had studied notations and learnt to play instruments such as harmonium and flute on his own while listening to his father. His father wanted Balu to become an engineer; this brought him to Ananthpur, where he enrolled for the Engineering course in JNTU. Later, he discontinued the course due to typhoid and then joined AMIE. Meanwhile, he also pursued his hobby and won awards at many singing competitions. There, he was identified as a good singer in annual college programmes. Some friends recommended him to sing in Madras and provided him with referrals.
In 1964, a Madras-based Telugu Cultural Organisation, organized a music competition for amateur singers. Balu won the first prize, and that proved to be a turning point in his life. Music director SP Kodandapani took him under his wing. Offers then poured in from Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam movies.
Balasubrahmanyam made his debut in film music as a singer in Dec 15, 1966, with Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna, a film scored by his mentor Kodandapani. He rose to fame ever since with his melodious voice touching the hearts and souls of millions of people around the world.He has sung more than 40,000 songs since then in more than 5 different Indian languages, including Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam. He holds the world record in the Guinness Book of World Records for having sung the most number of song recordings by any singer (the record for a female singer is held by Lata Mangeshkar).
A gifted singer, he is highly regarded for his incredible vocal range, deep rich voice, and mastery of style, technique and control. These qualities allowed him express across various genres of Indian music, and he has been highly sought-after by many of India’s film music composers. His approach to singing is methodical; he perseveres to understand the full meaning of the songs that he sings (many of which are very poetic) and the settings in which these songs are couched in order to make it most effective. Winner of numerous national and regional awards, SPB has remained the top singer in the highly competitive Bollywood world.