SPB, the rare singer from south, who made great strides in Bollywood

Bollywood is notorious for rejecting south Indian singers, irrespective of their talent. But S P Balasubrahmanyam was able to break this invisible chain and make great strides in Bollywood. He is probably the only singer from south India to have achieved this feat.

Veteran singer K J Yesudas, who won the National Award for 'Gori tera gaon bada pyara’, did not have a long stint in Bollywood.

The Hindi heartland had even kept out Shailendra Singh, who rendered the evergreen song 'Main shayar tho nahin...'. Shailendra along with Lata Mangeshkar had also gifted music lovers the super-hit song 'Hum tum ek kamre mein...'

SPB too was kept out even by famous music directors, while pointing out that his Hindi pronunciation was not right. Then Laxmikant–Pyarelal gave SPB the ticket to Bollywood through the 1981-film, ‘Ek duuje ke liye’. SPB went on to win the National Award for ‘Tere mere beech mein’ of this film. There was no looking back for SPB since then.

The versatile singer, from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, enthralled people across the country.

Through the success of ‘Sajan’, SPB became the voice of love-struck couples. From the all-time hit of 'Tumse milne ki tamanna hai' and 'Dekha hai pehli baar’ to Shahrukh Khan-starrer Chennai Express' title song, ‘Nikal na jaaye’, it was SPB all the way.

The 74-year-old legendary singer passed away at a hospital in Chennai on Friday afternoon.  

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