K S Chithra
|Alias||Krishnan Nair Shantakumari, Chithra, Chithra KS, Chinakuyil|
|Language Worked in||Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Carnatic, Bengali|
|Birth Place||Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India|
|Sisters||K. S. Beena|
|Favourite Cuisine||Indian Cuisine|
|Favourite Color||White, Pink|
Krishnan Nair Shantakumari Chithra (born 27 July 1963), often credited as K. S. Chithra or simply Chithra, is an Indian playback singer from Kerala. Chithra sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music. She has lent her voice to Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Oriya, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Badaga, Sanskrit, Tulu, Urdu and Punjabi songs. Through a career spanning more than three decades, she has recorded over 20,000 songs. She is a recipient of six National Film Awards (the most by any female singer), five Filmfare Awards South and 31 different state film awards. She has won all the four south Indian state film awards.
Chithra is popularly and fondly referred to as Chinna Kuyil (English: Little Nightingale of South India) or Keralathinte Vanambadi (English: Nightingale of Kerala).
Born on 27 July 1963, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, into a family of musicians, Chithra's talent was recognised and nurtured from an early age by her father, the late Krishnan Nair. He was also her first guru (teacher). Her elder sister K. S. Beena is also a singer who has performed in many films as a playback singer. Chithra received her extensive training in Carnatic music from Dr. K. Omanakutty, and got a Master Degree in Music from the University of Kerala. She was selected for the National Talent Search Scholarship from the Central Government from 1978–1984. She is married to Vijayashankar, an engineer and businessman and settled in Chennai. Their only daughter Nandana died aged 8, in a pool accident in April 2011 in Dubai
Chithra was introduced to Malayalam playback by M. G. Radhakrishnan in 1979 and went on to become a regular singer for many Malayalam musicians, including Raveendran. Attahasam, Snehapurvam Meera and Njaan Ekananu were the first few films in which she recorded her songs.She also performed live concerts with K. J. Yesudas in India and abroad and that was a turning point in her career. Veteran music directors such as Raveendran, Shyam, Jerry Amaldev, Mohan Sithara, Kannur Rajan and Johnson also helped her move up in her career ladder. She made her debut in the Tamil film industry through the song "Poojaikketha Poovithu" from the film Neethana Antha Kuyil, which was composed by Ilaiyaraaja. She was given the title Chinnakuyil after singing the song "Chinna Kuyil Paadum" from the 1985 released film Poove Poochudava. Director Fazil cast her for this song after Ilaiyaraaja got impressed with her song sung in original version in Malayalam for the film Nokkethadhoorathu Kannum Nattu in 1985 directed by himself.
By the mid-eighties, she became the most sought after female singer in South India. She recorded many hit songs for the most famous composers in Malayalam and numerous songs for Ilayaraja and others in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada . She has been accredited as the only female singer to have sung the maximum number of songs for the Academy Award winning composer A. R. Rahman for his Tamil film songs. She also sang for veteran composers such as G. Devarajan, V. Dakshinamoorthy, M. B. Sreenivasan, M. S. Viswanathan, M. G. Radhakrishnan, Johnson, Raveendran, Shyam, Rajan-Nagendra, K. V. Mahadevan, S. P. Venkatesh, Ouseppachan, Hamsalekha, Deva, Mohan Sithara, Vidyasagar, Bharadhwaj, Chakravarthy, M. Jayachandran, M. G. Sreekumar, M. M. Keeravani, Sharreth, Deepak Dev, Raj-Koti, S. A. Rajkumar, Mani Sharma, Harris Jayaraj, Devisri Prasad, G. V. Prakash Kumar and many other south Indian music directors.
She has recorded many memorable Hindi songs for various music directors in Bollywood, namely A. R. Rahman, Anand-Milind, Anu Malik, Rajesh Roshan, Viju Shah, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, R D Burman, Naushad Ali, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Jatin-Lalit and many others. She also recorded the Hindi versions of her own Tamil songs sung for A. R. Rahman.
Apart from playback singing, she also appeared among the panel of judges in the singing reality Television shows at Kerala (Idea Star Singer, Josco Indian Voice) and Tamil Nadu (Airtel Super Singer Junior)