Chinnaponnu was born in Suranam in Sivagangai District in Tamil Nadu, India. As a child of thirteen years old, she actively participated in several temple festivals and churches. After that, she started to sing in the troupe of Artist Kottaisamy as a professional singer. She used to say him as her mentor. Later she was noticed by Gunasekar, who is a member of the Communist party. As he searched for folk songs and folk artists, he helped her explore herself in several parts of the state. By 2004, she made her first entry into the Tamil cinemas as a playback singer for the movie Chandramuki song Valthuren Valthuren.
After these performances, she appeared in several television shows and was also approached by several directors. By 2008, she made her next major hit Nakku Mukka which appeared in the movie Kadhalil Vilunthen. She received Kannadhasan Award for that song. She is also noted as the Best folk song singer in Tamil. This song also featured in several other versions and won several credits. The changed lyric of this song is made for an Ad film A Day in the Life of Chennai. It was credited with two Gold Lions from Cannes by the year 2009. Also, the song featured in the Bollywood movie The Dirty Picture.
By the year 2010, for the play Suriyan Satta Kalluri song Theeka Theeka she received the Edition award of the year. By the same year, she appeared in the World Classical Tamil Conference 2010. For the song composed by A.R.Rahman, she was one of the notable artists in that theme song. By 2010 and 2011, she and her troop were terrific acts in the Chennai Sangamam Festival. She featured in the MTV Coke Studio Television series by 2011 June for the episodes Vethalai and Tere Naam. She joined hands with singers Papon and Kailash Kher.
She began her Telugu Industry career with the song Pattuko Pattuko for the talkie Bus Stop with JB and G.Anil in 2012. She also published her songs in cassettes. Her first audiotape is Suriya Thoaranam which was released by her Father Bakianathan. Her next cassette is Thannan composed with Gunasekaran and distributed by Communist Party. She also recorded her songs during her childhood and as an adult, but those records were sold informally. Her Solo Songs include Marikkozhunthae in the year 2005 and Thannane Thannane in the year 2009.
Chinnaponnu sang the slow version of Kaatusirukki from "Raavanan," one of the super hit songs of "
A R Rahman
." After making her debut in Telugu in the film Bus Stop, she sang for the Telugu films "
" and "Sarocharu." She had also sung for the films, including "
," Oru Kanniyum Moonu Kalavaanikalum, "
Katha Solla Porom
, Raja Mandhiri, "
," "Thagararu," "
Madha Gaja Raja
, Seeni, "Thaandavam,"
, etc. She had also sung for Ondraga Originals, composed by
. Chinnaponnu is married to Selvakumar, a percussionist. In 2021, the singer participated in "
Bigg Boss Tamil Season 5
" that has
as the host and with
Ciby Bhuvana Chandran
as the contestants.