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Forgotten playback singers of Kollywood

Tamil movies are known for their music and songs. We have hundreds of music directors and thousands of playback singers which shows how big is the arena for one to survive. These days the competition just grows higher and higher, that one has to be at his/her toe to sustain in this industry. Only very few compete and survive.
I remember few singers who were extremely talented yet lost out in the race due to various reasons. Their voice is really special that still lingers in my mind. Here I have a short list of those rare voices that we rarely hear in recent movies.

1. Arunmozhi
I read somewhere that he was a part of Ilayaraja’s troop. He is a wonderful flutist. Introduced by Ilayaraja as a playback singer, he has sung some super hit songs that are still popular. Mostly seen in Ilayaraja’s album, some of his hits were

Soora Samharam- நான் என்பது நீ அல்லவோ தேவ தேவி for kamal hassan
Rasayya – Masthana Masthana for Prabhu Deva
Veera – ஆத்துல அன்னகிளி for Rajini
Sethu – A bit song after vikram wins his college election – அண்ணன் சேதுவுக்கு ஓட்டு போட்ட
2. Minmini
Winning Tamilnadu State Award for best female playback singer for her debut song in Roja (சின்ன சின்ன ஆசை), clearly talks for her talent. She had everything in her voice to introduce a heroine in the movie.
Gentleman – பார்க்காதே பார்க்காதே பஞ்சாங்கத்த பார்க்காதே
Karuthamma – பச்சை கிளி பாடும் ஊரு
Aranmanai Kili – அடி பூங்குயிலே பூங்குயிலே கேளு
3. Krishnaraj
If the hero is from a village then Krishnaraj is called immediately to the studio. I believe he was introduced by Deva. His rustic voice always captures the mood of a village song. He shot to fame from the song in Porkaalam (தஞ்சாஊரு மண்ணெடுத்து) and went to sing numerous village folk songs.
Paruthiveeran -ஐயையோ with Shreya Ghosal was a super dooper hit song
Kaadal Kottai – வெள்ளரிக்கா வெள்ளரிக்கா
Imsai arasan 23m pulikesui – பஞ்சு மெத்தை கனியே
4. Jensy
Jensy is a talented singers in 80’s. I definitely believe that the number of people who knew her would be countable. Though she had ‘n’ number of super hit songs, she wasn’t recognised the level she deserved.
Alaigal Oivathillai – காதல் ஓவியம் பாடும் காவியம்
Johny – என் வானிலே ஒரே வெண்ணிலா and ஒரு இனிய மனது இசையை அழைத்து செல்லும்
Ullasa paravaigal – தெய்வீக ராகம்
Pudiya vaarpugal – நம்தன நம்தன நம்தன தாளம் வரும்
5. Carolene I couldn’t get an image of this wonderful singer. Introduced by ARR, the only song i remember is தீ தீ தித்திக்கும் தீ தீண்ட தீண்ட சிவக்கும், an amazing song from the movie Thiruda Thiruda. Heard that she is a chinese singer. Listen to this song and I bet that you can’t get anyone to pronounce Tamil that fluently. It is just perfect. Hats off to Carolene who did put an humongous effort to get that fluentzy.
6. Yugendran
Malaysia Vasudevan’s son had singing in his blood. He also had a good appearance to get into the shoes of a hero. When he had the choice to choose his path, he chose the later which turned out to be disastrous. If he had proceeded towards playback singing he would have achieved great heights. Still he has time to get back on his track.
Autograph – கிழக்கே பார்த்தேன் விடியலாய் வந்தாய் அன்பு தோழி
Lesa Lesa – முதல் முதலாய் ஒரு மெல்லிய சந்தோஷம் வந்து
Parthen Rasithen – பார்த்தேன் பார்த்தேன் சுட சுட ரசித்தேன் [My favourite of Yugi’s song]
Pandavar Bhoomi – தோழா தோழா தோள் கொடு கொஞ்சம் சாஞ்சுக்கணும்
7. Shahul Hameed
Whatever he sings was a hit. ARR introduced this fabulous singer. I feel extremely sad that he is no more with us. His career was short lived as he succumbed to a tragic accident.
Gentleman – உசிலம்பட்டி பெண்குட்டி முத்துபேச்சி
May Maadham – மெட்ராச சுத்தி பாக்க போறேன்
Thiruda Thiruda – ராசாத்தி என் உசிரு என்னுதில்லை
Uzhavan – மாரி மழை பெய்யாதோ மக்க பஞ்சம் மாற
Vandi cholai chinnaraasu – செந்தமிழ் நாட்டு தமிழச்சியே சேலை உடுத்த தயங்குரியே
Seeing this list it is certain that Shahul is missed a lot by Tamil audience.

There are still lots and lots of songs that these players have rendered. I have just given a glimpse on them, as I wrote down this blog.


June 14, 2009 - Posted by | Entertainment, Movies | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Hi Ayyappan,
    I would like to add another singer to the above list,
    P.Jayachandran. He is one of the best singers who has sung in all south Indian languages. Here are few from his evergreen hits in tamil which I like most,
    1. Rasaathi Unne Kaanaatha Nenjam (Vaidhegi kathirunthal)
    2. Poovannam pola nenjam (Azhiyatha Kolangal)
    3. Oru daivam Thantha Poove(Kannathil Mutham Ittal)
    4. En mel vizhuntha mazhaithuliye (May madham)
    5. Inraiku en intha aananthame (Vaidhegi kathirunthal)
    6. Kollayile Thennai (Kadhalan)
    7. ThalattutheVaanam (Kadal Meengal)
    8. Poova Eduthu (Amman Kovil Kizhakaale)
    9. Kathazhang Kaatu Vazhi(Kizhakku Cheemayilae)
    10.Kanavellam Palikithey (Kireedam)

    Nice Post Ayp…keep blogging 🙂

    Comment by Pradeep | June 15, 2009 | Reply

    • Yes Pradeep, Good addition to this list!!

      Comment by ayyappanm | June 15, 2009 | Reply

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