One of India’s most renowned film singers, SP Balasubrahmanyam, the legendary singer passed away at the age of 74 due to Covid related complications. The mortal remains of famous playback singer and Padma awardee S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, popular as SPB or Balu in the movie world, was laid to rest with police honors at his farmhouse in Chennai on Saturday, September 26th. At about 12.30 p.m. SPB’s body was lowered into a dug up pit bringing to end a great musical era.
Speaking briefly to the media outside the MGM Healthcare Hospital, his son S.P. Charan said Balasubrahmanyam passed away at 1.04 p.m. and thanked the hospital officials for the treatment and service. The singer’s body was taken to his residence after embalming for public homage in the evening.
The singer was hospitalized at a private hospital in Chennai after testing positive for COVID-19 and was keeping unwell for quite some time now. From Rajinikanth to Kamal Haasan, music maestro AR Rahman to Lata Mangeshkar, celebrities across India took to social media to mourn the death of the singer.
Meanwhile political leaders across the country — President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, DMK President M.K. Stalin, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko, PMK Founder S. Ramadoss and Chief Ministers of several other states mourned the singer’s death. Actor Rajinikanth tweeted: “Balu sir … you have been my voice for many years … your voice and your memories will live with me forever … I will truly miss you …”
“I have no words to say. There can be one and only Balu Sir. I have sung a couple of songs with Balu Sir in Tamil movies. In those days the recording used to be live and it was interesting. He encouraged me a lot. Some months back I had met him. He enquired about my family and me,” playback singer Jency said.
The legendary singer who has recorded over 40,000 songs in 16 languages over a period of five decades, died on Friday afternoon due to cardio-respiratory arrest at the M.G.H. Healthcare. Earlier in the day, hundreds of people stood in a long queue to pay homage to the singer as well as celebrities from the movie world at the farm house.
The singer’s family performed the last rites. The mortal remains were brought to the farmhouse on Friday evening. On Friday, a large number of people gathered at his residence here to have a last glimpse of the singer and pay their respects. Later in the evening, his body was taken in a van to his farmhouse at Thamaraipakkam. Enroute several people stood on the pavement and bade SPB a tearful goodbye.
On August 5, in a Facebook post, the 74-year-old SPB said that he was suffering from a very mild attack of coronavirus and had got himself hospitalised to take a rest. He had said that though the doctors had advised him to stay at home and take a rest, he decided to be in a hospital, as at home his family members would get concerned. SPB hoped to get discharged from the hospital in two days. But it was not to be.
MGM Healthcare in a statement said: “In a further setback this morning, despite maximal life support measures and the best efforts of the clinical team, his condition deteriorated further and he suffered a cardio-respiratory arrest. With profound grief, we regret to inform that he has passed away on September 25 at 13.04 hours.” The hospital said, Balasubrahmanyam was on life support measures since Aug 14 for severe Covid-19 pneumonia.
On August 5, in a Facebook post, the 74-year-old SPB said that he was suffering from a very mild attack of coronavirus and had got himself hospitalized to take rest. He had said that 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 get concerned.
He hoped to get discharged from the hospital in two days. But it was not to be. For a brief period, he showed some improvement in his health condition and had tested negative for coronavirus on Sept. 4. But on Sept. 24 the hospital said his condition was extremely critical.
Since then, the indications about Balasubrahmanyam were not good. He was placed on ECMO and other life support systems. The singer’s family members were present at the hospital.
Director Bharathiraja, after visiting the iconic singer at the hospital, told the media at this time of grief he was not able to say anything. It was movie director Venkat Prabhu who first tweeted about the singer’s death. Prabhu tweeted “#RIPSPB 1:04pm” announcing the sad news.