M S Subbulakshmi

Other names of M S Subbulakshmi: Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi, Kunjamma
M.S.Subbulakshmi was a popular Carnatic vocalist. She has also acted in a few Tamil movies including Meera. She was born in the year 1916 in Madurai. Her mother is Shanmugavadivu and her father is Subramania Iyer. She learnt Carnatic music from Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer. Her first Carnatic performance was in Tiruchirappalli in the year 1927 at her age of 11. Subbulakshmi got her voice recorded at her age of ten. Till 1935, M.S.Subbulakshmi was in Madurai and in 1936 she shifted her residence to Chennai. She made her debut in Tamil films in the year 1938 through Sevasadhanam. This film was a commercial success and she was lauded well for her acting. This film Sevasadhanam was one among the few films that was shot with an idea to encourage the social activities.

It was said to be the turning point for her in the Tamil cinema with the movie Sevasadhanam. She has also played as a male in the movie Savitri. Savitri showed her as the saint Narada. In 1945, she acted in Meera, which was the super hit movie of the year. Katrinile Varum Geetham song from her mesmerizing voice is being heard by younger generations too. She acted in a Hindi film named Meerabai, the remake of Meera in Tamil. Music for both the films Meera and Meerabai was by S. V. Venkatraman, who is the father of Tamil comedy actor S. Ve. Shekar. The films were directed by the British director Ellis R. Dungan. M.S. Subbulakshmi quit from acting after Meerabai and concentrated completely on her vocals. 

She was praised by the ex Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, as the Queen of Music. She has received almost all the honorary awards given in India including, Bharat Ratna, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibushan. She has also won the international award named Ramon Magsaysay Award in the year 1974. She was honored by the Indian government through the issuing of stamp with her image in 2005. She completed her life journey at her 88th age in the year 2004. The house where Madam M.S. Subbulakshmi lived is still in Madurai.