Lourde-Mary Rajeshwari Eswari, aka L.R. Eswari, is an eminent playback singer of South Indian movie industry. She was born on December 1939 in Chennai to Anthony Devraj and Regina Mary Nirmala. She comes from a Roman Catholic Family. Her mother worked as a chorus singer in the movies. She used to go to the studios with her mother and one day got the job to sing in the chorus. Eswari was too talented to be a chorus singer and hence got a breakthrough to become a lead singer. She never took any formal training in music. Mainly she has worked in Tamil and Telugu film industries.
In 1958, she made her debut with the song ‘Ivarey Thaan Avarey’ in the movie Nalla Idathu Sammantham. But it was the song ‘Vaarai En Thozhi Vaaraayo’ from the film Paasa Malar (1961) that propelled her to further stardom. Since then she has lent her voice to many compositions in Tamil and Telugu movies. L.R. Eswari is known for her lively and energetic songs that are best suited as dance numbers. She possesses the excellence in different genres of music. She has sung devotional and romantic songs as well. Chellatha and Karpoora Nyagi are some of her devotional songs that were immensely popular amongst the South Indian community. She even sang religious songs in tribute to the Goddess Amman. She provided vocals to many Christmas songs including ‘Deivem Thantha Divya Kumaaran’ and ‘Varuvai Varuvai.’ Eswari has rendered many songs in various genres, and hence her voice can’t be categorized. Her songs were played at weddings as well, ‘Vaarayo Thozhi’ being one of them. She sang folk songs as well which showcases her singing abilities.
L.R. Eswari had to change her name to get fame in the music industry. She still is immensely famous among the Telugu audience and her hit Telugu songs include Maayadaari Sinnodu,
Bhale Bhale Magadivoi, Le Le Le Naa Raaja and much more amongst others. She even performed duets with other singers and her duet pairing with P. Susheela was loved by everyone. She paired with other vocalists also like P.B. Sreenivas, C.S. Jayaraman, A.L. Raghavan and much more amongst others. L.R. Eswari was honored with several state awards for her contribution to the music industry.
She then took a break from music and marked her return in 2011 with the song ‘Kalasala Kalasala’ from the Tamil movie, Osthe. This song was a major hit and became the highlight of this film. She then lent her voice for another song Naa Poondamallida in the same year. In the year 2013, she provided vocals for a Kannada song in the film, Victory. This song also received a great response from the audience. She was last seen lending her voice to the song ‘Jaipuril Jaipuril’ for the film, Athithi (2014).