Swarnalatha was a popular playback singer who hailed from Kerala. She has sung nearly 7000 songs as a playback singer. Her father was a harmonium player and her mother was also associated with the music field. Due to her passion for music, she travelled from Chittur, Kerala to Chennai, Tamilnadu to meet the music legend M.S. Viswanathan. Her first entry to the playback singing is through Neethikku Thandanai, a Tamil film. The music is scored by Chinnanchirukiliye Kannamma is the first song, sung by her along with K.J.Yesudas, the vocal legend. She has worked with almost all the popular music directors including Ilaiyaraaja and A.R. Rahman.

She has sung in various languages such as Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and many more. Most of her performances were in Tamil. She got the National Film Award for singing the song Porale Ponnuthayi from Karuththamma, in which the music is by A.R. Rahman. Her songs in Hindi film Rangeela were wonderful and many people praised for her mesmerizing voice. She bagged the Best Female Singer Award from the Government of Tamilnadu for three times. She was also governed with Kalaimamani award by the Government of Tamilnadu for her contribution to the Tamil film music.Government of Andhra Pradesh has also awarded her with Nandi Award for her contribution to Telugu film industry. She died at the young age of 37, due to lung disease.