'N. C. Vasanthakokilam' , whose full name is Nagapattinam Chandrashekharan Vasanthakokilam, was a very talented and renowned Tamil actress and singer. Daughter of Chandrashekhara Iyer, she was born in the pre-independence era of 1919. She was born in Irinjalakuda, Cochin (now Kerala). Her parents initially named her Kamakshi.
After she was born, her family migrated to Nagapattinam. His father sent her to one of the best Harikatha artists of the city called Gopala Iyer. Under his guidance, she began to learn the nuances of Carnatic music. In 1936, she moved to Madras and started performing in concerts. She won her first prize when she performed at the annual conference of Madras Music Academy.
Yuvaraja of Mysore had sponsored the event and the great Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar was present there too. She soon became famous because of her melodious voice and her ability to hit the high-pitch easily. Soon after, she sang plenty of songs in the Tamil language. She was a frequent performer at the Tamil Isai Sangam, Madras, Tyagaraja Aradhana, and Nellai Sangeetha Sabha, Thirunelveli.
During her time, several people in the industry consider her as one of the top singers. Her colleague and legend Tiger Varadachariar presented her with the title of Madhurageetha Vani which meant ‘very melodious voice’. She has sung songs like ‘Thithikkum Senthamizhaal Desaabhimaanam Enum’, ‘Thanthai Thaai Irundhaal Umakkindha’, ‘Jaya Jaya Buvanapathe Paalaya Jaya Karunajalathe’, and many more.
She has worked with music composers like G. Ramanathan, S. M.
, Papanasam Sivan, C. S. Jayaraman, among others. Since back then there was hardly any technology to record audio not many of her renditions are available in the shops today. Just four years after going on the stage to sing, she started receiving offers to star in movies. She made her debut with C. K. Saachi's directorial ‘Chandraguptha Chanakya’ in which she played the role of a princess named Chaaya.
She went on to enact in six more films. Though she enjoyed an immensely successful professional life, her personal life was replete with several setbacks. Her first husband dissuaded her from pursuing singing as a career. As a result, she divorced him. After her divorce, she stayed single for a long time before finally settled with C. K. Sathasivan. He was a lawyer and a filmmaker. In 1951, at the mere age of thirty-two, she breathed her last at Gopalapuram, Madras. She died due to tuberculosis.