The legendary SPB passed away 3 days ago in Chennai after contracting coronavirus. He sang 40,000 songs in many languages. He was a singer, actor, music director and producer. May he rest in peace.
My wife and I had a chance to meet him for a few minutes long long time ago. He was not that famous at that time. He and P. Susila came to Berkeley to give a musical performance. At the end of the performance, the organizer invited us to the backstage to meet with these 2 singers. We went there and spoke to these two singers for a few minutes. When we were about to leave, SPB said:
(The conversation was in Tamil. I will translate in English.)
SPB: Whenever you both visit Chennai, please come to our home.
I: Yeah. You will invite us here. But when we come to Chennai, the security gurkha guarding your home will not let us in.
SPB: I don’t have any security gurkha guarding my home. It is in all the movie actors homes. I am only an ordinary singer.
Such a simple and down to earth person.
Among the 40,000 songs sung by him, my favorite is the one song in Tamil where he sang without stopping for a single breath. He also acted in that film. The movie title is Keladi Kanmani (Listen My Sweetheart). Music by Ilaiyarajaa. Here is the song: