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Kavita Krishnamurthy (Tamil: கைவிட கிருஷ்ணமுர்த்தி)

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Smt. Kavita Krishnamurthy (Tamil: கைவிட கிருஷ்ணமுர்த்தி, Hindi: कविता कृष्णामूर्ति) (born Sharada Krishnamurthy; 25th January, 1958) is a notable Indian film playback singer. She is best known as a Bollywood playback singer. She has lent her voice to several Indian actresses and has also sung some popular Hindi film songs.

Early life:

Kavita Krishnamurthy was born on January 25th, 1958 to T.S. Krishnamurthy in Tamil Iyer family in New Delhi, India. Her father was an employee for the central government of India, making him employed for the education of ministry. Her mother was very keen that she learnt music. Since there was no good teacher available in Delhi for Carnatic music, her mother decided that she should learn Hindustani music. Her neighbours, a Bengali couple, were like second parents to her (Kavita lived with the lady in Mumbai till her marriage) and at their suggestion, she also learnt Rabindra Sangeet. Kavita began her music training with her aunt, Mrs. Bhattacharya who taught her Rabindra Sangeet. As she completed her training, she began her formal training in Hindustani classical music under the aegis of Sri. Balram Puri. At the age of 8, Kavita Krishnamurthy won her first gold medal at a music competition. Subsequently, she won gold medals as she participated in the Inter-Ministry Classical Competition in New Delhi in the mid 1960s; thus making herself pretty confident with the stage shows and the competitions that had Kavita on stage. She did her B.A. in Economics at St. Xaviers’ College, Mumbai.

Career:

Kavita instigated her career at the age of 9, she moved to Mumbai to pursue her musical career. Her father was against a career in cinema, but Kavita assured him that she would complete her college education first. In 1971, when she was still a child, she sang her first film song which happened to be a Bengali duet with renowned playback singer Ms. Lata Mangeshkar that was conducted by the music director Hemant Kumar.

She was also full of zip in the college music troop and during the annual college festival; she inadvertently met Ranu Mukherjee, the daughter of Hemant Kumar. Ranu took the ingenuity of reintroducing to her father. Hemant Kumar was in no time impressed with her grounding music, so he began using her as a singer during his subsist performances. In one such performance, play back singer Manna Dey perceived her and retained her to sing advertisement jingles. Through her aunt’s brawny contacts, Kavita met Jaya Chakravarthy , the mother of actress Hema Malini, who later took the initiative of pioneering Kavita to the music director Laxmi Kanth in the late 1976.

Notable songs of Kavitha Krishnamurthy with Various Music Directors:

Laxmikanth gave her an alternative to hail as a dubbing artist or a career in the play back singing anon. Kavita chose the former and impressed Laxmi Kanth with her extremely strong grasp of Hindustani classical music. Initially, she used to record songs and cut demos of sings intended for singers like Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle. In her tussling phase, she gathered the patronage of music composers Laxmi Kanth – Pyarelal, who backed her so strongly that she was labeled as a LP – campwalli which gave many music directors as an aquit to avoid working with her.

In 1980, she sang the first song, “Kaahe Ko Byaahi” in the film Maang Bharo Sajana which featured her singing in her own voice. Adversely, the song was plummeted from the final cut of the film. In the year 1985, her career took off with her first major hit, “Tumse Milkar Na Jaane Kyon” from the Hindi film Pyaar Jhutka Nahin. Post the truimph of the song, it opened up various prospects beyond the Laxmi Kanth – Pyarelal camp. However, “Hawa Hawaii” and “Karte Hain hum pyaar Mr. India se”, two all in range songs from the equally popular songs from the equally popular movie, Mr India’proved to be a turning point in her career.

After this re – entry in her career, Kavita managed to get along with many legendary music directors like R D Burman, Rahman etc and her performance as a singer in the film 1942: Love Story won her a lot of fame acclaim. After making herself a quite established singer in the industry. Kavita expanded her artistic range to areas which were never surveyed. She was the main features soloist in global fusion album released by Warner Bros, attributing musicians from the 5 continents. As she actively started exploring fusion music, Kavita voyaged around the world including to the United States, UK, Europe, Africa, Australia, the Far East, the Middle East and South America. She performed in concert halls like Royal Albert Hall in London, The Kennedy centre in Washington D C, Madison Square Garden, The Lincoln centre in New York, the Zhongshan Music hall in Beijing, The Esplande in Singapore, The Putra Jaya World trade centre in Kaula Lampur and Gewandhaus Leipzigm; thus making her well versed in all the cultures of various countries all around the world. During the 1990s, she worked with some of the best music directors of India including Anu Malik, Jatin-Lalit, Nadeem-Shravan, Ismail Darbar, A R Rahman. Kavita even became the screen voice for some of the famous actress in Bollywood like Sri Devi, Manisha Koirala and Aishwarya Rai.

Pop and devotional singing:

Due to her participation in fusion and pop music, Kavita has lent her voice for several pop and devotional albums. The most prominent ones being:

  • Aadi Ganesh
  • Venkatesha Suprabhatam
  • Shiva Shlokas
  • Koi Akela Kahan
  • Meera Ka Ram
  • Mahalakshmi Stotram
  • Pop Time
  • Sai Ka Vardaan
  • Shagufthagi
  • Dil Ki Awaaz
  • Athens
  • Asmita
  • Mahiya
  • Hadh Kar Di Aapne

TV Shows:

Kavita Subramaniam has been making appearances in various music reality shows as a guest judge owing to her popularity as a playback singer. She recently was a judge for Bharat Ki Shaan: Singing Star which aired on DD National at prime time.

Personal life:

Kavitha Krishnamurthy was married to Dr. L. Subramaniam in Bangalore on November 11 1999. Dr. L. Subramaniam is himself a world Class violin player who is also popularly known for his fusion of Carnatic music with western. The surprise wedding took place in Bangalore in the presence of just 25 relatives. The world came to know it only on November 15 1999. Dr. L. Subramaniam has three children from his earlier marriage and she accepted them as her own children. Their daughter Seetha is a law graduate and is currently working on an English album. Narayanan, the middle one is a qualified doctor and loves music while Ambi, the youngest is a violinist. She says that they chose to live in Bangalore as her husband likes the city a lot and decided to make it his base. She would ideally prefer to work out of Bangalore but feels the need to be with her family.

In yr 2007, Kavita and her husband , Dr. L. Subramaniam started music institute in Bangalore called the Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts.

Awards and Honours:

Smt, Kavita Krishnamurty has received several awards and honours.

Filmfare Awards:

Kavita Krishnamurty was the recipient of three consecutive Filmfare awards from 1995–1997 and 2003

  • 1995 – Best Female Playback Singer for the Movie (1942: A Love Story) for the Song “Pyaar Hua Chupke Se”
  • 1996 – Best Female Playback Singer for the Movie Yaraana for the Song “Mera Piya Ghar Aaya”
  • 1997 – Best Female Playback Singer for the Movie “Khamoshi: The Musical” for the Song “Aaj Main Upar”
  • 2003 – Best Female Playback Singer (shared with Shreya Ghoshal) for the Movie “Devdas” for the Song “Dola Re Dola”

Civilian Awards:

  • 2005 – Padma Shri – India’s fourth highest civilian honours

Star Screen Awards:

  • 1997 – Best Female Playback Singer for the Movie “Khamoshi: The Musical“for the Song “Aaj Main Upar”
  • 2000 – Best Female Playback Singer for the Movie “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam” for the Song “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”

Zee Cine Awards:

  • 2000 – Best Female Playback Singer – Nimbooda for “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
  • 2003 – Best Female Playback Singer (shared with Shreya Ghoshal) – Dola Re for “Devdas

IIFA Awards:

  • 2003 – Best Female Playback Singer (shared with Shreya Ghoshal) for the Movie “Devdas” for the Song “Dola Re Dola”

Other Awards:

  • Yesudas Award (2008) by Swaralaya, for exceptional contribution to Indian music.
  • Kishore Kumar Journalists’/Critics’ Award in Calcutta (2002)
  • Bollywood Award, held in New York (2000)
  • Shri Ravindra Jain Sangeet Samman (2012).

 

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